In need of more size, the Wolves are signing Serbian Center Miroslav Raduljica to a contract for the rest of the season. To make room, they are waiving Jeff Adrien, whose contract would have become guaranteed through the end of the year had he remained with the team through Saturday.
Raduljica spent last season with the Milwaukee Bucks, playing sparingly but showing some ability when he did play--an ability to convert around the basket and at the free thrown line, as well as a nose for offensive rebounds. With Gorgui Dieng the only other player on the roster remotely center-sized, another big body was something the Wolves desperately needed.
Unfortunately, it comes at the cost of Jeff Adrien, who was originally signed earlier this year when the Wolves were granted an injury exception by the league. Adrien has been a hard working interior player for the Wolves who has used his strength and energy to try to shore up the Wolves' woeful interior defense and defensive rebounding. Key Dae wrote eloquently about why the Wolves needed to keep Adrien the other day, and I agree.
The Wolves, however, did not, and have chosen to waive Adrien, who had the only non-guaranteed contract on the roster. While at 5-28 moves like this around the margins are not particularly relevant one way or another, and when your season is toast, I guess saving a few bucks has some value, it's a bit frustrating that one of the few guys showing consistent aggressiveness on the floor--the only guy who, in Jim Pete's words, makes himself "tough to play against" is now gone.
I would have preferred to see them waive Glenn Robinson III, who is not under contract beyond this season and has no clear path to playing time. The Wolves seemed on the verge of collecting a reasonable group of guys to occupy the 9th-12th spots on the roster, and Adrien was a part of that. I hope he catches on somewhere else.
Still, Raduljica is someone to root for. It's always fun to see new players, and there are ways he could help. The Wolves have not announced the signing, though they have announced the release of Adrien.
In related news, apparently Nikola Pekovic is undergoing an MRI on his ankle today, something the team claims is to clear the way for his return, though it seems like an odd thing to be happening after seven weeks off the court...