Mike James agrees to deal with TIMBERWOLVES
According to Espn radio mike james just signed with the Twolves.
Updated: July 11, 2006, 5:03 PM ET
Ex-Raptor James agrees to deal with WolvesBy Marc Stein
The Minnesota Timberwolves' willingness to make a four-year commitment to Mike James has landed them the best point guard still available on the free-agent market.
NBA front-office sources told ESPN.com that James on Tuesday agreed to sign a four-year contract with the Wolves worth an estimated $25 million. Wednesday is the first day free agents can officially sign contracts.
James had narrowed his choice down to Minnesota, Dallas and Houston -- where he maintains an offseason home -- and indicated over the weekend that the Mavericks had a slight edge, largely because of his relationship with Mavs coach Avery Johnson and their recent trip to the NBA Finals.
But the Mavericks and Rockets, according to sources, wouldn't commit to more than a three-year offer to the 31-year-old.
Minnesota's four-year pitch and the chance to team with Kevin Garnett won it for the Wolves, who have injected their backcourt with plenty of scoring potential by signing James and acquiring rookie Randy Foye on draft night.
Signing James alleviates Minnesota's need to start Foye as a rookie. James would likely team with Ricky Davis as the Wolves' starters in the backcourt, with defensive stopper Trenton Hassell at small forward and Foye coming off the bench.
If Foye can make an immediate impact and James can approach his production from last season's breakout performance in Toronto -- 20.3 points and 5.8 assists per game, as well as 44.2 percent shooting from 3-point range -- Garnett figures to be pleased.
The Wolves have resisted all trade interest in Garnett, vowing to take one more stab at building around their 30-year-old franchise player by finding scorers to play off him.
Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here.