MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Timberwolves have suddenly become one of the "it" destinations for NBA free agents.
Potential and reputation are beating out palm trees and postseason history.
After finalizing contracts Monday with power forward Taj Gibson and point guard Jeff Teague, two complementary additions to a roster that has undergone a significant enrichment and pruning over the last three weeks, the Wolves introduced the pair of 2009 first-round draft picks during an introductory news conference.
Gibson (two years, $28 million ) and Teague (three years, $57 million ) agreed to terms earlier this month before they were allowed to sign their deals.
"They look at the teams and the players that they have, and then they see how they fit into that, and I think it's very attractive to players in the league," said president and coach Tom Thibodeau.
When Gibson and Teague jumped at the chance to join them, they were driven by more than just the tantalizing trio of newcomer Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. They willingly sought the demanding and intense coaching they'll get from Thibodeau and his staff, too.
"He really helped turn my career. He believed in me when a lot of people really didn't," Gibson said (see full story).
Knicks: Hardaway ready for 2nd chance in New York
NEW YORK -- Tim Hardaway Jr. thought that with Phil Jackson gone, maybe there was a chance someday he could come back to New York.
Even he was surprised it was this soon.
With Jackson and his triangle offense gone, the Knicks reached back to their past to sign Hardaway, a former first-round pick who didn't fit under Jackson but they hope can flourish without him.
"I definitely left with a bad taste in my mouth and just to have that opportunity to come back here is very rare, so you've got to make the most of that," Hardaway said Monday.
Jackson and the Knicks parted ways last month after three dismal seasons and were quiet at the start of free agency until signing Hardaway to an offer sheet for a four-year, $71 contract. When the Atlanta Hawks decided not to match the offer for the restricted free agent, Hardaway was officially a Knick again on Saturday.
"You play here for two years and then you're gone and then two years after you get a phone call and it's like, `Wow, I wouldn't expect it coming from them,'" Hardaway said (see full story).
Kings: Team officially signs 40-year-old Carter
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento Kings have signed guard Vince Carter, the team announced Monday.
Carter, who entered the league with the Toronto Raptors in 1998, is joining his seventh team. He played the last three seasons in Memphis, where he averaged 8 points and 1.8 assists per game last season.
The 40-year-old Carter ranks 27th all-time in points scored (24,555), fifth in 3-pointers (2,049) and 13th in games played (1,347).
Carter set records for a player 40 and over last season, passing Michael Jordan as the oldest to score 20 points off the bench at 39 years and 287 days against Denver on Nov. 8, only to surpass the mark six days later with 20 points at Utah.
Bulls: Justin Holiday signs contract
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bulls say they have signed guard Justin Holiday.
The team did not announce the terms of the deal on Monday, though the Associated Press reported last week he agreed to a $9 million, two-year contract.
Holiday averaged 6.5 points in 27 games for the Bulls two years ago. He played in all 82 games for the New York Knicks last season, averaging 7.7 points, Holiday has averaged 5.7 points over four seasons with Philadelphia, Golden State, Atlanta, Chicago and New York.
The Bulls made the playoffs on a tiebreaker and lost to Boston in the first round.