MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — With so many baby-faced players on a roster that is in the middle of a massive overhaul, team president David Kahn put a priority on adding some experience to help the young Minnesota Timberwolves grow together.
The first veteran addition didn't come cheap.
The Timberwolves agreed to a four-year, $16 million deal with free agent point guard Luke Ridnour, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been officially announced.
Ridnour averaged 10.4 points and 4.0 assists per game as the backup to Brandon Jennings in Milwaukee last season. The 29-year-old is entering his eighth season in the NBA and will be playing for his third team after starting his career in Seattle and moving to Milwaukee in 2008.
The Wolves were able to swing the deal after shipping Al Jefferson to Utah on Tuesday to create more salary cap room. The move, which also brought two conditional first-round draft picks, essentially amounted to a salary dump of arguably the team's two best players, so Kahn is under pressure to make the most of the ample financial flexibility created by the trade.
His first move with all that extra money was to add Ridnour, yet another point guard to a team that already has second-year pro Jonny Flynn and Ramon Sessions on the roster and hopes to add Ricky Rubio from Spain next season.
The deal likely means that Sessions, who signed a contract nearly identical to Ridnour's last summer, will be traded.
Sessions' agent told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he has heard about discussions with several teams, but a deal has yet to be completed. Sessions averaged 8.2 points and 3.1 assists last year for the 15-win Wolves as the backup to Flynn.
Before Ridnour was brought into the mix, 25-year-old Ryan Hollins was the oldest player on the Timberwolves, who added 21-year-old Michael Beasley in a trade with Miami on Tuesday. Beasley has dealt with several issues off the court, but Kahn said he thinks the former No. 2 overall pick is maturing.
"I think experience really matters, of course, I would never discount that," Kahn said Tuesday night after trading Jefferson. "I think that we have though in the young kids we have on the team, everybody I think is a good person.
"And we talked last night about some of Michael's issues that he had a year ago, but all indications are that Michael is growing. I'm not saying grown, but growing. I'd love to have a couple veterans on the team, there's no question about it."