Source: Richard 'Rip' Hamilton an option for Wolves' final roster spot
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Timberwolves have until Oct. 28 before they must have their opening day roster set, cut down from their current 18-man preseason squad to the magic number of 15.
Guards A.J. Price, Othyus Jeffers, rookie Lorenzo Brown and forward Robbie Hummel are among the players fighting for one of the Wolves' last roster spots.
But the Wolves' quest to fill out their roster may not be limited to the players who have spent the last two weeks locked into training camp.
As coach Rick Adelman hinted at after practice Wednesday, Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders continues to browse the free agent and trade markets, as well as the waiver wire, for possible options.
"We're looking at all the players we have and where are they going to fit in," Adelman said. "It's not just the guys who are here. Flip is constantly talking to people around the league who are evaluating everything. I think it's something that is a process that you go through, and you make that decision sometime next week."
One such option that has been floated among the Wolves front office personnel is 14-year NBA veteran and current free agent Richard Hamilton, a league source told 1500ESPN.com contributor Darren Wolfson.
Hamilton, who averaged 9.8 points and started 45 games for the Chicago Bulls last season, has ties to Saunders, having played under the former coach for three years with the Detroit Pistons (2005-08).
The 35-year-old Hamilton would fit the Wolves' desire to add depth on the wing, especially with swingman Chase Budinger out for at least the first month of the season after undergoing surgery Sept. 30 to remove a quarter of his left meniscus.
Adelman admitted to sorting through the possible scenarios at the wing is a major focus for the Wolves in the week ahead.
"I think we need to keep looking at our wings and see who is going to play," Adelman said. "Losing Chase like we did before camp left us shorthanded."
Adelman does not expect to make any roster cuts before the Wolves' next preseason game, Sunday in Montreal against Boston, but said he should have a fairly solid idea about what his opening day crew will look like by mid-next week.
Under the current circumstances, forward Chris Johnson does not appear likely to survive the cut. If the Wolves decide to take that route, they would owe Johnson $916,000 in order to buy out his contract. Brown and Hummel are prime candidates for a move to the Wolves' D-League affiliate, the Iowa Energy.
Those moves would leave Jeffers and Price on the final roster unless Saunders and Co. opt to go after Hamilton or another option.