AP Source: Wolves agree to terms with Hill for 2 years, $8M
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Timberwolves keep adding big men to their roster in free agency, fortifying the depth behind their starters and calling into question the futures of a couple of notable names.
The Wolves agreed to terms with free agent forward Jordan Hill on a two-year, $8 million contract on Wednesday, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the deal.
Hill joins Cole Aldrich, who signed his three-year, $22 million deal on Wednesday, as rugged post players added by new coach and president Tom Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden in their first foray into free agency. They give the Timberwolves some healthy backups to Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng, something the team did not have when the market opened.
The additions only crowd the frontcourt further when factoring in veterans Kevin Garnett and Nikola Pekovic.
Garnett, the franchise icon, returned to Minnesota in a trade with Brooklyn two years ago and was given a hero's welcome upon his arrival. He served as a valuable mentor to Towns, Dieng, Andrew Wiggins and the rest of the young Timberwolves last season, helping them understand the work that it takes to have long-term success in the NBA.
But the 40-year-old was only able to play in 38 games last season because of achy knees. After being acquired in the trade in February 2015, Garnett was only able to play in five games because of knee issues.
He is under contract for $8 million next season. If he returns, it would be a record 22nd season in the league for him.
Garnett also spoke about wanting to get into ownership with the Timberwolves. Those talks could not happen until after he retires, but owner Glen Taylor recently sold 15 percent of the team to Chinese entrepreneur Lizhang Jhiang and New York real estate mogul Meyer Orbach to fortify his position. Taylor remains in the market for someone to come in as a minority partner and eventually succeed him as majority owner of the Wolves, but Garnett for the meantime is on the outside looking in.
Pekovic has struggled with injuries even more than Garnett over the past few seasons. An arthritic ankle has made it difficult for the burly center to stay on the court. He has played in 42 games combined over the last two seasons and has only played one stretch of at least 10 games in a row since January 2014.
Pekovic still has two years and nearly $24 million left on his deal.
The Wolves also have third-year power forward Adreian Payne on the roster, creating a log jam in the frontcourt.
Hill averaged 8.8 points and 6.2 rebounds for the Indiana Pacers last year. In his seven years in the league, Hill has proven to be a solid rebounder and defender, two traits Thibodeau was looking to add.
The move gives the Timberwolves the maximum 15 guaranteed contracts.