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Health provisions held up deal

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Timberwolves re-signed point
guard Troy Hudson on Monday, a month after the two sides agreed to
terms on a contract worth up to $37 million over six years.

Complicated provisions in the deal regarding Hudson's health --
he missed the playoffs and all but 29 regular-season games with a
severely sprained ankle -- were the source of the holdup.

"There were some nervous moments, because it was taking so
long," agent Bill Neff said.

The first four years of the deal are guaranteed, and the fifth
year is dependent on Hudson playing 65 games in any of the four
years. The sixth year is dependent on Hudson reaching certain
incentives.

Hudson sprained his ankle in the preseason finale last October,
and he had surgery in April after two stints on the injured list.
Hudson started running within the past two weeks and should be
ready to return to the court in mid-September, Neff said.

Minnesota, which lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western
Conference finals, now has 11 players under contract for the
upcoming season. Earlier this summer, the Wolves signed guard Fred
Hoiberg to a two-year deal and guard Trenton Hassell to a six-year
deal. Kevin Garnett, Sam Cassell, Latrell Sprewell, Wally
Szczerbiak, Michael Olowokandi, Ervin Johnson, Mark Madsen and
Ndudi Ebi were already locked up for 2004-05.

Hudson, a proven 3-point shooter with excellent quickness, gives
Minnesota a reliable backup to All-Star Sam Cassell -- something
sorely missing in the playoffs when Cassell was hobbled by a bad
back and hip.

Entering his eighth NBA season, Hudson joined the Timberwolves
in 2002.

"He is a skilled offensive player," vice president Kevin
McHale said.