With injuries mounting, the Timberwolves continue to explore ways to perhaps add a player to the roster.
"There are still some names out there of people, and that's what we're talking about internally," said David Kahn, Wolves president of basketball operations.
The Wolves entered Wednesday's game with Charlotte at Target Center with only nine players available, with Kevin Love (broken hand) and Ricky Rubio (ACL surgery) still rehabbing longer-term injuries, and Nikola Pekovic (sprained ankle), J.J. Barea (mid-foot sprain) and Brandon Roy (sore right knee) all listed as day-to-day.
More will be known about the availability of Barea, Roy and Pekovic after Thursday's practice, but all could miss Friday's home game with Golden State.
After that, the Wolves have a four-day gap between games.
Among the potential free agents are Mickael Pietrus and Josh Howard. Kahn did not name specific players, other than to say he was looking for someone who could play either small forward or shooting guard.
Kahn essentially said that an injury exception was not an option for the Wolves, and that a trade would be more difficult to pull off than a free-agent signing. Should a player be added to the roster, someone would have to be waived.
"A little of this has been day to day," Kahn said.Seeing positives
Before Wednesday's game, an 89-87 home loss to Charlotte, Kahn said he admired the way the remaining healthy players for the Wolves (5-3) had performed.
"They've played really well together, very hard on the defensive end," he said. "I don't think anybody would have anticipated us having the record we have. But we're not home free. It will continue to be a very difficult next few weeks, especially until Kevin and Ricky come back."
Meanwhile, coach Rick Adelman continued with his gallows humor. He mentioned the ads the team has in the downtown Minneapolis skyway of the players, and noted that most of the players in the ads were hurt.
And he noted how much room there was on the bench these days. "It's a lot more relaxing," he deadpanned.Roy by Friday?
Roy, who missed his third consecutive game Wednesday because of soreness in his knee, plans on taking part in Thursday's practice and hopes to play in Friday's game. But there are no guarantees.
Roy, who was forced into a one-year retirement because of knee issues, admitted that any injury to the knee is distressing. But he said he's been feeling better daily and hopes to be back sooner rather than later.
"That's my goal," he said about Friday's game. "I won't say yes or no. But I would like to get out there Friday."
Both Adelman and Kahn said they expected bumps in the road with Roy, that there would be stretches during his return to the game where he would miss games. Roy, though said he tries not to think about that.
"I just try to prepare and not worry about it too much," he said. "But it seems like maybe they were preparing for some nicks and bumps. That's why they haven't been putting extra pressure on me to get back."Love update
Love will have his broken hand X-rayed Tuesday and have the results sent to his specialist in New York. If it looks good Love could be cleared to start doing strengthening and flexibility exercises. "Then I'll gradually get into dribbling and that sort of stuff,'' he said.
His goal is to return by early December.
Meanwhile, Love is again hosting a winter coat drive. Coats can be donated through Dec. 12 at the Target Center box office as well as seven Comcast office locations around the Twin Cities. Those who donate can get tickets to Wolves games Dec. 15 and 29.