Today was the first day that those 10-day contracts could start being offered and there have already been a couple of them given out in the NBA. Dominic McGuire was picked up by the Indiana Pacers and veteran point guard Mike James was signed by the Dallas Mavericks.
Let's got through some of the names that have surfaced recently and try and figure out which players the Wolves might bring in or player the Wolves should/could be scouting. There are a lot of names below, but I've highlighted (in red) the most likely candidates or the one's I personally like the most...
- Chris Douglas Roberts. Roberts was called up by the Mavericks prior just before the Wolves signed Hayward and, like Hayward was cut Sunday night before NBA deals become guaranteed. He was someone I wanted to Wolves to sign initially, but at the time they simply weren't interested. He's the best scorer in the D-League and a decent defender with good size, I'd like to at least hear that the Wolves bring him in for a workout, however it's more than likely they'll pass on him once again.
- Sam Young. Young was waived by the Pacers on Sunday and as I said before: they've already found his replacement in McGuire. Young is currently dealing with an ankle injury, however according to Darren Wolfson, Minnesota has 'kicked the tires' on him recently.
- Lazar Hayward. The Wolves could opt to bring back Lazar on a 10-day contract. He didn't see much court time with the Wolves. He played 2 of 3 games while he was on the roster and in 12 total minutes finished with 2 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists. I'm not against bringing Lazar back, but I definitely think there are some other players out there that could help a bit more.
- Kenyon Martin. With Kevin Love out the Wolves could look to sign some frontcourt help. It remains unlikely considering the Wolves already have Cunningham, Williams and Amundson at that power forward spot, unless of course Adelman decides to play Williams or Cunningham more/exclusively at small forward and then the Wolves bring in a big man to help in the frontcourt. Martin isn't a terrible option, however concerns about his ability to 'play nice with others' is a concern. We've heard all season about how well this team gets along and I don't know that it's worth the risk to bring in a guy like Martin to disrupt that chemistry.
- Hassan Whiteside. Whiteside was an option the Wolves took a close look at this offseason, but ultimately decided to keep Will Conroy (later waived to make room for Josh Howard). Whiteside is more of a 'project player' and isn't really someone that could come in an make big contributions right away. He's currently playing in the D-League, I wouldn't expect to hear his name come up for the Wolves anytime soon.
- Kris Joseph. Joseph was a second-round pick by the Boston Celtics this season and he was another player waived Sunday. Joseph is an athletic small forward that isn't really great in any one area. Although he has great athleticism, he doesn't block a lot of shots or grab a lot of rebounds. I wouldn't be surprised to hear his name surface, but I think it's more likely the Celts bring him back on a 10-day contract.
- Donte Greene. Greene was someone the Wolves looked at before they signed Lazar. Greene was initially in training camp with the Brooklyn Nets, however he broke his ankle in a workout. Greene underwent surgery and is now ready to play once again. It sounds as though he'll begin working out for teams on Jan. 11th and the Wolves are reportedly one of the six teams interested.
- Josh Childress. Childress was playing limited minutes for the Brooklyn Nets this season after he was amnestied by the Suns this summer and signed on with Brooklyn. A week or two ago he asked the Nets management to be released. They granted his request and now he's looking to jump on with another team. The wing-starved Wolves are a team with reported interest. I'm not to sure how I'd feel about Childress in Minnesota, when his game is 'on' he's probably the best player on this list, but too often it's stuck on 'off'.
- Chris Andersen. Andersen was a guy they passed on this offseason, but now with concerns in the frontcourt, the Wolves may look explore him as an option. Andersen is reportedly going to work out for the Miami Heat this week...if I had to guess, I'd say the Heat will snag him in hopes he can help with their inability to rebound the basketball.
- Gilbert Arenas or Tracy McGrady. Both of these former NBA All-Stars are playing overseas currently and I'm not quite sure if their contracts have an NBA opt-out clause. Like Martin, I don't know that you take the chance on a guy like Arenas in your locker room and as for McGrady, do you really want another wing player with defunct knees on the roster? Both players sound like 'disasters' waiting to happen.
- Derrick Brown. Brown was in training camp with the San Antonio Spurs this summer, but didn't make the final cut. He signed with PBC Lokomotiv-Kuban on October 31st and like most overseas players, I'm not sure about his contract status (ie: if he could opt-out and sign with an NBA team).
- Mickael Gelabale. Out of all the names on this list, this is the one we've heard the most about. Gelabale is a former NBA player for the Seattle Supersonics and is currently playing overseas. The Wolves are quite interested in him, however Gelabale says he's only willing to come back to the NBA for a 20-day guarantee (or two 10-day contracts). Mickael is an athletic small forward that specializes in defense (sounds exactly like what the Wolves are looking for: a defensive-minded swingman). He has an opt-out clause in his contract until Jan. 30th. There is one other unknown team with reported interest in him, but definitely a player to keep your eye on these next couple weeks.
- Rasual Butler. Butler last played in the NBA with the Toronto Raptors during the 2011-12 season, but was waived in March 2012. I'm not sure if he's decided to retire from basketball, whether he's still in shape or if he's even playing anywhere currently. I don't think this is a guy you'll hear that the Wolves are interested in, but you never know.
- Ryan Gomes. Former TWolf Ryan Gomes might be an option. Gomes was amnestied by the Clippers this offseason. He signed with a team in Germany. Again, I'm unsure of his contract situation (whether or not he has an opt-out clause). Ultimately I'd be quite surprised if Gomes made a return to Minnesota.
- Manny Harris. The former Cavalier guard Harris was on the Houston Rockets' Summer League squad this season, but didn't end up making the team and in September he signed with a team in Ukraine. He's played 80 NBA career games (all with Cleveland) and has averages of 6.2ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.4apg in 17.4mpg.
- Damion James. James, a former Net was a solid defender and athletic swingman. He was in training camp with the Hawks this summer and obviously didn't make the team. The last I hear he was playing in the D-League. If that's the case, I am shocked his name has surfaced for the Wolves recently. James did break his foot last season that allowed him little to no court time for 2011-12.
- Yi Jianlian. The former #6 pick has bounced around the League during his 5-year NBA career, withs stops in Milwaukee, New Jersey, Washington and finally Dallas (in 2011-12). He played limited minutes in 30 games with the Mavs last season. Yi was someone the Wolves looked at this summer (prior to signing Lou Amundson). With a need for bodies in the frontcourt, it's possible we could see his name resurface, however I looked around quite a bit and couldn't find any info on where he's currently playing...or if he's currently playing (obviously he's not in the NBA anymore).
- Chris Johnson. Johnson was someone the Wolves had on their Summer League team this year, but eventually lost out to Will Conroy for that 15th roster spot. Johnson is a former D-League Defensive Player of the Year and he would certainly bolster the D of Minnesota's shrinking frontcourt (with Love out). Johnson is currently playing in the D-League and if the Wolves decide to sign another frontcourt player, expect to hear about him.
- Mike Harris. Harris is a combo forward that signed on with Minnesota's Summer League squad, but, like Johnson lost out to Conroy for that final roster spot. Harris signed on with a team in China after being cut and I'm fairly certain he does NOT have an opt-out clause, can't confirm that though.
- Troy Murphy. Troy signed on with the Dallas Mavericks, beginning of November. He played 14 games for the Mavs, but was waived at the end of November (so Dallas could sign Derek Fisher). Murphy is a forward/center that can rebound and shoot the three. He wasn't someone I really thought about until I started writing this, but adding him to the roster, would be a very intriguing fit. His size (6'10") and three-point prowess are two attributes the Wolves are currently craving.
- Michael Redd. Redd is someone the Wolves initially wanted to bring in on a non-guaranteed contract (in training camp), however Redd declined because he wanted a guarantee. I'm not sure if his stance has softened on that and whether he'd accept a 10-day contract, but he's someone we'll be hearing a bit about in the coming weeks. He would fill a big need at shooting guard as someone who is an 'okay' defender, but can also knock down open shots. With all of Minnesota's knee injuries (Roy, Chase, Lee, Howard, etc.) could be 'bad karma' to bring in yet another player with a history of knee injuries--not that, that fact really means he'll re-injure himself.
- Bobby Simmons. Simmons was in the D-League last season and eventually signed a couple 10-day contracts with the Los Angeles Clippers. In 28 games with L.A. he averaged 2.9ppg and 2rpg in 14.9mpg. I don't believe he's currently playing anywhere or in shape (or still has the talent) to make an NBA team at this season.
- Delonte West. Like Arenas & Martin mentioned above, there are justified concerns about West and his ability to be a good teammate. His mental health issues and constant 'head-butting' with the Mavericks caused them to release him prior to this season. West is a very capable combo guard that would add a lot to this Wolves team, but the last thing the Wolves need is West disrupting the chemistry of this tight-knit team.
- Shawne Williams. Williams signed with the Nets prior to the 2011-12 season on a two-year deal (the second year being a player option). He was later shipped to the Blazers in the trade that landed the Nets Gerald Wallace. He never appeared in a game for Portland (was injured) and the Blazers worked out a buyout with him making him a free agent this summer. I'm unsure where/if he's currently playing, however there was a report in early December (2012) that Williams was arrested in Memphis on drug charges (found/smelt of marijuana and found unprescribed codeine cough syrup in his vehicle). I highly doubt that a return to the NBA is in his near future.
- Chris Wright. The former Golden State Warrior is currently playing in the D-League. During his time in Golden State he appeared in 24 games 2.9ppg & 1.9rpg in 7.8mpg. Chris Wright is a 6'8" small forward not to be confused with former Georgetown point guard 6'1" Chris Wright. During Wright's collegiate career he was known as a fairly versatile defender--being able to guard both on the perimeter and in the post as well as a talented rebounder.
This list clearly got a bit larger than I had anticipated and is more of a list of players that are available rather than a list of player the Wolves have rumored interest in. Out of all the names, for whatever reason I'm most intrigued by Troy Murphy. A big guy who can stretch the floor with his shooting and can still go into the post, grab rebounds and get putbacks. A bit like Kevin Love in very small doses. I wouldn't be mad if the Wolves signed him, however I still believe the need for a small forward/shooting guard heavily outweighs the need for frontcourt help--unless of course Adelman decides to play Derrick Williams or Dante Cunningham more/exclusively at the small forward, opening up time and a need for another frontcourt player.
We should be hearing more on this subject in the very near future, stay tuned to HOWL for the updates, until then GO WOLVES!