Reserves are headed the Wolves’ way.
The team announced today that they’ve signed both F/C Chris Johnson and G/F Mickael Gelabale to 10-day contracts, following the expiration of Lazar Hayward’s 10-day contract and a hardship exception granted by the NBA to allow a 16th member of the roster on a 10-day contract. Here are the press releases for both:
The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed forward Mickael Gelabale to a 10-day contract.
Gelabale, 29, spent two seasons (2006-07, 2007-08) in the NBA with the Seattle SuperSonics, and averaged 4.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 15.6 minutes per game in 109 contests. Gelabale was drafted in the second round (48th overall) of the 2005 NBA Draft by Seattle.
Gelabale, 6-7, began this season playing in Croatia for Cedevita Zagreb in the EuroLeague and Adriatic League. In 10 EuroLeague games, Gelabale averaged 12.8 points on 60.5 percent shooting, including 42.1 percent from beyond the arc. Gelabale signed with Valencia BC in Spain in December and played in five games in the EuroCup and Spanish League, averaging 10.8 points on 51.6 percent shooting from the floor. Gelabale has also spent time playing professionally in France, Belgium and Russia.
Gelabale played for the French National Team in the 2012 Summer Olympics, averaging 7.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists in six contests, all starts.
The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed center Chris Johnson to a 10-day contract. The Timberwolves were granted an NBA hardship exception for a 16th roster spot due to having four players out for a minimum of two weeks due to injury.
Johnson was playing with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA D-League where he was averaging 10.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 25.6 minutes in 14 games. He is the 16th GATORADE Call-Up from the NBA D-League to the NBA this season.
Johnson, 27, was a free agent invitee at the Wolves training camp this past fall. He appeared in three preseason games for Minnesota, and averaged 2.0 points and 1.0 rebounds in 5.0 minutes per game. Johnson was waived on Oct. 27, 2012.
The 6-11 center has played parts of two NBA seasons with Boston, Portland and New Orleans. He started the 2011-12 season with Portland, averaging 1.6 points and 0.9 rebounds in 20 contests. Johnson finished the 2011-12 season in New Orleans where he averaged 3.3 points and 3.1 rebounds in seven contests. In 41 career games, he holds averages of 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds.
Johnson averaged 16.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks during the 2010-11 season for the Dakota Wizards and was named the 2011 NBA D-League Defensive Player of the Year. Spent his collegiate years at Louisiana State University and went undrafted in the 2009 NBA Draft.
Gelabale was allowed out of his contract with Valencia in Europe if he could find an NBA deal this month. He cleared the FIBA vetting process for letting players go to the NBA. Gelabale is occasionally a 3-point threat and a solid defender. As long as he isn’t trying to create his shot too much, he should be a decent addition during this stretch.
Chris Johnson is skinny and tall with a huge wingspan. He’s a great alley-oop target and can block shots, although his defensive rotations when he was with the Blazers and Celtics weren’t fantastic. But he’s a big body for this team to use as they try to get past even more injuries.
One of these guys will stick on past their 10-day deals, and possibly both if the NBA allows a second hardship exception when the Wolves reevaluate the injury situation 10 days from now.