Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 11/15/12
MINNEAPOLIS The nine-player Timberwolves are no longer.In the aftermath of four injuries in a week, including one that will keep Chase Budinger out until February or March, the Timberwolves have agreed to contract terms with 32-year-old veteran wing player Josh Howard, pending a physical, according to ESPN.com and Associated Press. He reportedly will sign a veteran's minimum contract, which in his case would be worth 1.23 million. In order to sign Howard, the Timberwolves would have had to cut a player per NBA rules; the team has not yet confirmed the player cut.Howard, a nine-year NBA veteran, has been out of the league this season after spending 2011-12 with Utah, where he averaged 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds. That's down from his career high of 19.9 points and 7.0 rebounds in 2007-08 with Dallas, but if it's the kind of production he brings to the Timberwolves, it should be plenty to fill in for Budinger over the next three or four months as he recovers from a torn meniscus. Howard is a career 33.3 percent shooter from beyond the 3-point arc and a 44.8 percent shooter from the field, but like his production, those numbers have also declined from their high points when he was with the Mavericks in the early years of his career.The 6-7, 210-pound guardforward has been based in Dallas throughout the offseason, which is where the Timberwolves played Monday night. Howard was an NBA All-Star in 2007, but he hasn't been a consistent starter since that career year in Dallas. Since then, he's played in an average of just 32 games per year due mostly to the aftermath of a torn ACL in February 2010. However, he rebounded last season after leaving Washington for Utah, playing 43 games in the lockout-shortened season and starting 18.Howard has been actively seeking a roster spot all fall after his one-year, 2.15 million deal in Utah expired, NBA.com reported in October, and once the final rosters were set, he was poised to step in in the case of an injury like Budinger's. With Budinger out, the Timberwolves will need Howard's scoring off the bench, as he'll likely be a backup for small forward Andrei Kirilenko and shooting guard Brandon Roy when he returns from a sore knee (assuming he's back in the starting lineup).Follow Joan Niesen on Twitter.
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