Johnson, Gelebale made permanent additions to Wolves roster

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 8, 2013 - 11:49 PM
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Chris Johnson (20).

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

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Chris Johnson joked that he finally might have to look for permanent housing. Mickael Gelabale said he's going to have to buy more clothes.

Good problems to have.

Both Johnson and Gelabale, having completed their second 10-day contracts with the Timberwolves, signed with the team for the rest of the season Friday while Lou Amundson was waived.

The moves were driven by a desire for consistency on a roster that has very little of that this season. "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," Wolves President of Basketball Operations David Kahn said.

Gelabale, who came from Spain to play here, realized a five-year dream to return to the NBA. Johnson? Quickly becoming master of the understatement, here's how he described his happiness: "It's kind of a 10-day, but more exciting, I would say."

Neither player scored in Friday's 100-96 loss to New York. But both showed enough to stick, though Gelabale -- who gives the team flexibility because he plays big guard or small forward -- has played more; he made his second consecutive start in place of injured Andrei Kirilenko on Friday. Gelabale has appeared in 11 games, averaging just short of 20 minutes, 5.9 points and 2.8 rebounds. Johnson has appeared in eight games, averaging 6.7 points and 13.5 minutes.

Still, it might be Johnson who has the best chance to stick with the team long term, because of his size (6-11) and jumping ability. "We don't have somebody like that," Kahn said.

Kahn indicated both players would be given the chance to work into the team's future plans. "I think in both cases there is a pathway to being here next year," he said. "It's not a done deal, but there is a pathway. Chris may be in a little bit of a different instance because [of his size]. So I would say he probably especially has a chance."

Wolves coach Rick Adelman made clear that signing the two shouldn't preclude the team from trying to improve the roster more. "We'd better be hoping to do something," he said. "We have to improve this team."

Etc.

• Guard J.J. Barea sprained his left foot midway through the second quarter. It was the same foot that caused him to miss five games earlier this season. He returned to action in the second half and said after the game he didn't think the injury would keep him out of Sunday's game in Memphis.

• Forward Chase Budinger, recovering from Nov. 13 surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee, has begun jump-shooting and was doing lateral movement drills after Friday's morning shootaround. Kahn said Budinger could be cleared to run the court by the end of next week. "I expect him to be back in March, but not in early March," Kahn said.

• Kahn said there is a chance Brandon Roy could start doing some basketball individual workouts this weekend, but the decision will be left up to Roy. "My sense is he's starting to feel a little better," Kahn said. "But as I said in late December, if it happens, it happens, and we're not planning on it."

• Bad weather on the East Coast forced the Knicks to stay in Minneapolis overnight.

• Adelman said Kirilenko (quad contusion) might not play until after next weekend's All-Star break.

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