MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -The Minnesota Timberwolves did some wheeling and dealing on Monday, reaching a buyout with veteran Juwan Howard and making a trade with San Antonio to get to the 15-man roster limit before the deadline.
The Timberwolves sent a protected 2008 second-round pick to the Spurs for cash considerations and guard Beno Udrih, whom the Wolves immediately waived.
The deal helped both teams.
San Antonio was able to avoid taking a luxury tax hit, while the Wolves were able to get some cash to help them buy out the final two years of Howard's deal.
Howard was initially ecstatic when the Rockets traded him to Minnesota for guard Mike James in June. He had wanted to play with Kevin Garnett for some time and spoke about regretting choosing Orlando over Minnesota the last time he was a free agent.
But when the Wolves shipped Garnett to Boston at the end of July, Howard made it clear he was not interested in being part of a youth movement in Minnesota. He requested a trade, but the Wolves found no takers for a 13-year veteran who was owed $6.88 million this year and $7.38 million next year.
So the Timberwolves reached a buyout agreement on Monday, and now Howard is free to try and land with a team that is closer to contending for a championship, something that has eluded him in his career.
To get to the 15-man limit, the Timberwolves released forward Wayne Simien, who was acquired from Miami last week along with Antoine Walker and Michael Doleac in a trade for Ricky Davis and Mark Blount.
Monday's transactions ended a whirlwind preseason for vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale, who made the difficult decision to part ways with Garnett after 12 seasons in Minnesota and start from scratch.
McHale acquired five players and two draft picks for Garnett, got rid of James' and Blount's bad contracts and Davis' bad attitude and bought out Howard and guard Troy Hudson to completely reshape the roster.
Just five players - Marko Jaric, Mark Madsen, Randy Foye, Craig Smith and Rashad McCants - remain from last year's team that missed the playoffs for the third straight year.
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