New Timberwolves guard Lance Stephenson joined his team for Wednesday's morning shootaround and he and his new coach both indicated he'll be ready to play some tonight against Toronto at Target Center.
The Wolves officially signed Stephenson to a 10-day contract this morning.
He has played with three NBA teams in the last year and played six games with New Orleans earlier this season before he injured his groin.
"I looked at this group and felt like it was a great opportunity to come in and help," Stephenson said. "They're young guys and I feel like with my experience and how I approach the game, I could really help these guys."
Stephenson was signed to play minutes lost when Zach LaVine sustained a season-ending knee injury last Friday.
Both Stephenson and Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau said they're confident Stephenson is recovered from groin surgery he had after New Orleans cut him in November because of the injury.
Thibodeau said Stevenson's age -- he's seven years in the league, yet remarkably only 26 years old still -- was a determining factor why he was signed rather than other free agents the Wolves considered.'
"I like his age, I think it fits our group," Thibodeau said. "That's part of it. Overall, what he has done in the league. He has been a starter. He has come off the bench. He has done a little of everything. The fact that he's so young, it's a possibility (he can become the player he once was in Indiana). I had that experience with D.J. Augustin in Chicago. He started off playing very well in Charlotte, then bounced around a little bit and played very, very well for us in Chicago."
Toronto coach Dwane Casey seemed wary that Stephenson's first game would be against his team.
"He seems like he has been around a long time," said Casey, the former Wolves coach. "He has an old soul. He's a veteran player. He knows how to play. He's a basketball player. He's not really a 2. He's not really a 3. He just knows how to play. You're shocked to look up and see him coming about the time we're playing them, but he's a talented player who can have an impact on the game."