Health provisions held up deal
Complicated provisions in the deal regarding Hudson's health -- he missed the playoffs and all but 29 regular-season games with a severely sprained ankle -- were the source of the holdup.
"There were some nervous moments, because it was taking so long," agent Bill Neff said.
The first four years of the deal are guaranteed, and the fifth year is dependent on Hudson playing 65 games in any of the four years. The sixth year is dependent on Hudson reaching certain incentives.
Hudson sprained his ankle in the preseason finale last October, and he had surgery in April after two stints on the injured list. Hudson started running within the past two weeks and should be ready to return to the court in mid-September, Neff said.
Minnesota, which lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference finals, now has 11 players under contract for the upcoming season. Earlier this summer, the Wolves signed guard Fred Hoiberg to a two-year deal and guard Trenton Hassell to a six-year deal. Kevin Garnett, Sam Cassell, Latrell Sprewell, Wally Szczerbiak, Michael Olowokandi, Ervin Johnson, Mark Madsen and Ndudi Ebi were already locked up for 2004-05.
Hudson, a proven 3-point shooter with excellent quickness, gives Minnesota a reliable backup to All-Star Sam Cassell -- something sorely missing in the playoffs when Cassell was hobbled by a bad back and hip.
Entering his eighth NBA season, Hudson joined the Timberwolves in 2002.
"He is a skilled offensive player," vice president Kevin McHale said.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press