Wednesday, August 17, 2005


The Timberwolves released Fred Hoiberg under the amnesty clause of the new CBA. That means they are still obligated to pay the remainder of his contract (one year-1.3 million) and he is free to sign with another team. However, that salary does not count against the cap, so the team can sign a free agent to 1.3 million more.

It is a shrewd business move, but one that has the potential to backfire. First, since Hoiberg is recovering from surgery on his heart, he would not be available to play most of this year, if any at all. Since he was in the final year of his contract, that would mean signing him and sitting him. However, he had a fine year for us last year, and shows signs, with more minutes, of becoming a hell of a bench player. Another team could sign him for league minimum and sit him for a year, so they could have him for next season, and for cheap. Since he is already collecting on the final year from the Wolves, that would all be money in the bank.

An added incentive is that if he signs with another team, his medical bills stemming from recovery will be paid for. Since he is not on a team now, that is coming out of his pocket. Anyone who has ever done any outpatient knows how much the bills can add up to.

So the Wolves need to show him some sort of loyalty, by moving him to a bench position coaching job, or they risk losing him for good. That would be a shame and a black amrk on a franchise that prides itself on a family atmosphere.

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