FEBRUARY 7: The Timberwolves are set to sign Lance Stephenson to a 10-day contract, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical. Minnesota had been carrying 14 players, so the club won’t need to make a corresponding move to create an opening on its 15-man roster.
Stephenson, 26, was one of several veteran free agents to participate in a workout last week for the Cavaliers, but his deal with Minnesota will ensure that he’s not an option for Cleveland — at least for the next 10 days.
After signing a one-year contract with the Pelicans last summer, Stephenson got off to a solid start for the club, averaging 9.7 PPG and 4.8 APG in his first six games this season. However, a groin injury sidelined him in November, at which point he underwent surgery and was waived by New Orleans, since the team needed to use his roster spot to add reinforcements.
Now healthy following that procedure on his groin, Stephenson will provide the Timberwolves with some depth at the wing position. Minnesota saw Zach LaVine suffer a torn ACL on Friday, which will keep him out of action for the remainder of the 2016/17 campaign.
While Stephenson’s signing will bring Minnesota’s roster to 15, the team will retain some roster flexibility. Stephenson’s deal will be a 10-day pact, so the Wolves could opt to let him go after February 16 if they want to go in another direction. Additionally, the Wolves have the option of pursuing medical retirement for Nikola Pekovic and opening up another roster spot. Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link) hears that the club continues to monitor other available options.