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.

Wolves reach contract terms with Anthony Tolliver

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves players, Wolves news Updated: August 7, 2010 - 12:29 AM

The Wolves have reached contract terms on a two-year fully guaranteed deal with free agent Anthony Tolliver, the now former Golden State power forward who scored 34 points against them in a game at Target Center in April.

The deal is believed to be worth about $4.5 million but with incentive bonuses could reach as much as $4.85 million total.

Tolliver fits the profile of players the Wolves have been collecting this summer as they build a team that can spread the floor while they wait for playmaker Ricky Rubio to arrive from Spain:

Young (25), long arms, plays as many as three positions and can shoot the three for a guy his size.

Think that 34-point game against the Wolves might have impressed Kurt Rambis and David Kahn.

"I think so," Tolliver said by phone this afternoon. "That might have been part of the reason I might have got some attention of their front office. Maybe they said, `We need to take a look at this guy.' "

Tolliver's attention seemingly sets the Wolves frontcourt rotation, with Kevin Love at power forward, Darko Milicic and Nikola Pekovic at center, Michael Beasley at both forward spots.

Tolliver will back up Love at power forward but also can play some small forward and even can be used in a pinch at center, where he started 31 games for the unconventional Warriors.

"I think I'll fit perfectly," Tolliver said. "It's a passing offense and I love to pass the ball. It's one of the favorite parts of my game. I think I can do that well...I'll go wherever coach tells me. I feel like I have the versatility to play all three (frontcourt) positions."

Tolliver said he ultimately chose the Wolves over Golden State because of the opportunity being on such a young team presents and because the attention to detail David Kahn and assistant GM Tony Ronzone displayed in recruiting him.

Kahn flew to New York City to meet with Tolliver's agent, Larry Fox, and talk contract terms. Tolliver visited Minnesota on Sunday, listened to a presentation from Kahn and Ronzone on the team and the area and attended the Twins-Mariners game.

"It just seemed like the better opportunity, not only on the court," Tolliver said. "They showed so much interest. They flew us in. They wined and dined us, took us to a Twins game. They took steps to show they're interested. I like their team and their youth. It's going to be interesting, a very different opportunity for me compared to what I'm used to.

"I think it's super exciting to be on a team that young. I don't think there will be a ton of expectations or weight on everybody shoulders. We have everything to gain and nothing to lose. You never know what's going to happen. You see what Oklahoma City did last year; they challenged the Lakers better than everybody except the Celtics in the playoffs. I don't know how far we can and how much we can do if we all get on the same page and decide individual stuff isn't important."

The 6-9 former Creighton player -- "I'm not worried about the winters, I spent four years in Omaha," he said -- started 29 of 44 games he played for the Warriors last season, his breakthrough NBA year.

Until then, his only previous NBA experience had been two games with Portland that season and 19 games with San Antonio in the 2008-09 season.

Tolliver -- who turned 25 on June 1 -- averaged 12.3 points and 7.3 points in those 44 games with Golden State and shot 33 percent (50 of 151) from the three-point line.

In addition to his career-high scoring game against the Wolves, he scored 29 points in a February game against the Clippers and 30 against the Hornets in March.

He plans to arrive in Minnesota Sunday to practice for a few days with new teammates Beasley, Wes Johnson, Lazar Hayward and free agent and former lottery pick Joe Alexander who also will be in town then.

You can tell the dude's got a sense of humor.

Check out his youtube spoof of LeBron's ESPN fiasco with his own "The Decision, Part Deux" -- that's French, you know -- at http://tinyurl.com/32lg5ut

 

 

 

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