Utilizing an opt-out clause, Mickael Gelabale has signed a 10-day contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, his agent told RealGM.
Gelabale will get a legitimate opportunity to be a contributor in the Timberwolves’ rotation, and barring unforeseen injury or ineffectiveness, he’ll almost assuredly sign a second 10-day deal.
“With his cutting and slashing, he doesn't need the ball in his hands to score,” agent Bill McCandless said. “And he can guard three positions.”
Once the second 10-day contract expires, the Timberwolves will make a decision on whether to sign Gelabale for the rest of the season. Should Minnesota elect to part ways at that point, Gelabale will have 72 hours to sign with another NBA team before having to return to Valencia of the European League.
Gelabale moved to Valencia after his contract expired with Croatian club Cedevita, but he wanted to come back to the NBA ahead of the Jan. 30 expiration of his escape clause. His agency had reached out to all 30 NBA teams in December to gauge the interest in Gelabale and the Timberwolves had long been the frontrunner.
Gelabale was supposed to sign with the Timberwolves on Thursday and then play against the Los Angeles Clippers, but he wasn’t able to receive his letter of clearance in time. He worked out alone, breaking a sweat and putting up shots, at the Timberwolves’ practice facility on Thursday.
The Timberwolves have been decimated by injuries all season long – losing Josh Howard and Malcolm Lee to season-ending surgeries; Kevin Love for two substantial hand ailments and Brandon Roy possibly for the rest of the season. Impressive rookie Alexey Shved rolled his ankle in Thursday's loss as well.
Gelabale, 29, averaged 4.5 points on 45 percent shooting in two seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics after being selected in the second round of the 2005 NBA draft.