March 12, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz small forward Josh Howard (8) looks to pass while defended by Detroit Pistons small forward Tayshaun Prince (22) during the second half at Energy Solutions Arena. The Jazz defeated the Pistons 105-90. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

Wolves Sign Veteran Swingman Josh Howard

According to Chris Broussard of ESPN, the Timberwolves have agreed to a veteran’s minimum contract with Josh Howard. The former Dallas Mavericks starter played in 43 games for the Utah Jazz last year, starting in 18. He averaged 8.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game in Utah, and hasn’t played particularly well since the 2008-2009 season with the Mavericks, in which he averaged 18 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and just over a steal per game.

The Wolves were rumored to be interested in Mickael Pietrus as well, but it was a matter of convincing one of the veterans to agree to sign a minimum contract. Howard worked out for the Wolves in Dallas on Monday, and reportedly looked pretty good.

Overall, Howard was the better choice, as he has a little more size and a track record of being closer to an average all-around player. Make no mistake, the Wolves are not getting the Josh Howard of the early-to-mid 00’s, the one the Timberwolves passed up to select the notorious Ndudi Ebi. That version averaged at least 18 points per game in three consecutive seasons in Dallas, but that version is also long gone. Still, Howard will provide additional depth to the SG and SF positions that have been depleted by injuries to Chase Budinger and Brandon Roy.

Unfortunately, due to the maximum roster size of 15 players, the Wolves will likely be waiving point guard Will Conroy, who only had a partially-guaranteed contract and has struggled mightily in limited floor time. Conroy has seemingly always been the first guy off the bench to cheer on his teammates this season and seems like a genuinely good guy, but he is a career D-Leaguer for a reason. Good luck, Will!

Edit: Will Conroy was indeed released by the team. Darren Wolfson was the first to report his release. Conroy is a class act, and Wolves’ fans wish him well.


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Tags: Dallas Mavericks Josh Howard Minnesota Timberwolves NBA News Utah Jazz

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