Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.

Gelabale, Johnson signed for rest of the season

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Wolves injury report, Wolves management, Wolves players Updated: February 8, 2013 - 12:45 PM

 As expected, the Timberwolves have signed both Mickael Gelabale and Chris Johnson for the rest of the season. That move – both signed pro-rated league-minimum deals – meant the team had to waive Lou Amundson to make room on the roster.

“There are many bad parts of this job, but that’s probably the worst,” Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn said of having to waive Amundson. “ But, given the situation we found ourselves in over the last several weeks, with so few bodies and so much change, this was the right thing to do at the time.”

Johnson gives the Wolves a player who can play above the rim and can defend the basket, qualities the team will need going foward. Gelabale – who will make his second straight start for the team tonight against the Knicks – gives them flexibility at both the big guard and small forward positions.

Kahn said both players will have a chance to prove they belong here long-term.

“I think in both cases there is a pathway to being here next year,” Kahn said. “It’s not a done deal by any means. But there is a pathway. Chris might be in a little bit of a different instance because he’s not going to shrink any time in the next three to four months in terms of height. So I would say he probably especially has a chance to be here.''

Kahn said the decision had a lot to do with keeping some consistency on a team that has had very little of it.

“I just felt that was also a factor, since they’re here and they’ve played well and acquitted themselves well, there was really no reason to shift.”

Of course, both players were thrilled to get the news. In a classic understatement, here’s how Johnson described getting the news: “It’s kind of like a 10-day (contract), but more exciting, I would say,” he said.

Gelabale, a native of France, said he called his mom first, but she didn’t answer. For Gelabale, who came over from  Spain to sign a 10-day contract, it was a case of being rewarded for taking that risk.

“I come here for two 10-days, and now I stay for all the rest of the season,” he said. “I’m really happy.”

 

Here are some other nuggets from this morning:

--Ricky Rubio said he was thrilled to be going to Houston to play in the Rising Stars Challenge. Rubio and Sacramento’s Isaiah Thomas were late commissioner’s picks, announced Thursday night.

Any coincidence that the decision came shortly after commissioner David Stern was in town to take in a game? Perhaps, perhaps not. Kahn said the Wolves lobbied on Rubio’s behalf: “I know we definitely put a word in, or two, or three,” Kahn said. “But it’s not our decision to make.”

Rubio will play on a team with Alexey Shved.

“First when they had the list (of players to be in the game), I wasn’t playing good and being me,” Rubio said. “But now, lately, I’ve been more confident in me. And I’m happy to be there. That means I worked to be there, you know?”

Rubio said he would be able to play in the game and get some rest, too. He said he’s going to go to Houston on Friday, play in the game that night, then return to the Twin Cities Saturday morning. “I’ll get to rest a couple days, because we don’t have a game until Wednesday,” Rubio said. “Saturday morning I’m gone. It’s fun to be there, especially with Alexey there, too. We can have fun.”

 

Meanwhile, Chase Budinger continues his work to get back from Nov. 13 surgery to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee. Budinger has been doing some jump shooting after practice and was doing lateral movement exercises this morning.

Kahn said he expects Budinger back in March. “But not in early March,” Kahn said. “And I wouldn’t hazard anything beyond that. As always is the case when people are in these significant rehab periods, there could always, God forbid, be a setback. He hasn’t had one yet. So he is doing more. I’m hopeful by the end of next week he may even be cleared to run on the court. But let’s see what happens. There is more work to be done. His quadriceps needs to be strengthened more still.”

--Kahn said Brandon Roy, trying to come back from a chronically sore right knee, might start doing some basketball individual workouts this weekend, though that decision will rest with Roy. “My sense is he’s starting to feel a little bit better,” Kahn said. (But) as I said in late December, if it happens it happens, and we’re not planning on it.”

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Houston 1 FINAL
Miami 1
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Minnesota 7
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Detroit 4
Baltimore - WP: T. Wilson 10 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Baker 2
Boston 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Toronto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 8
Atlanta 5 FINAL
Toronto 3
Washington 2 FINAL
NY Mets 10
Chicago Cubs 5 FINAL
Cincinnati 9
San Diego 3 FINAL
Texas 2
San Francisco 9 FINAL
Seattle 8
Colorado 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 18
Cleveland 3 FINAL
Milwaukee 2
Oakland 10 FINAL
Chicago WSox 4
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
LA Angels 4
Kansas City 10 FINAL
Arizona 5
Atlanta 100 FINAL
Charlotte 115
New York 80 FINAL
Chicago 111
Golden State 108 FINAL
Milwaukee 95
Oklahoma City 89 FINAL
Utah 94
Denver 114 FINAL
Portland 120
Nashville 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Arizona 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 2
Anaheim 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 0 FINAL
Detroit 4
New Jersey 1 FINAL
Carolina 3
Florida 2 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 3
Ottawa 3 FINAL(OT)
Toronto 4
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Columbus 4 FINAL
St. Louis 2
Buffalo 3 FINAL
Colorado 5
Dallas 4 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
Arizona 78 FINAL
Wisconsin 85
Canisius 73 FINAL
NJIT 78
Notre Dame 66 FINAL
Kentucky 68
San Jose 1 FINAL
New England 2
Orlando City 2 FINAL
Montreal 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
D.C. 1
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
New York City 0
Red Bull New York 2 FINAL
Columbus 1
Portland 1 FINAL
Vancouver FC 2
Colorado 0 FINAL
Houston 0
Seattle 0 FINAL
FC Dallas 0
Texas 54 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 105
Dayton 82 FINAL
(8) Louisville 66
(16) Duke 55 FINAL
(4) Maryland 65
Gonzaga 69 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 73

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