Corey Brewer to Timberwolves officially completed

MINNEAPOLIS — Corey Brewer’s return to what he calls his second home is now a done deal.
The free-agent small forward signed Friday afternoon with the Timberwolves, president of basketball operations Flip Saunders confirmed in a press conference at the Target Center. The three-team sign and trade that brings in Kevin Martin from Oklahoma City and sends Luke Ridnour to Milwaukee allowed Minnesota to sign Brewer using the team’s mid-level salary cap exception, worth about $5 million.
Brewer, whom the Timberwolves drafted seventh overall in 2007 and traded away in 2011, will reportedly receive $15 million over the next three seasons.
“Hello minny feels good to be back at my second home again!” Brewer tweeted from @CoreyBrewer13. “Let’s go wolves get ready to see a new and improved CBrew!”
Brewer didn’t immediately live up to expectations during his first three-plus seasons in the Twin Cities, scoring about six points per game during his first two go-rounds. He broke out in 2009-10, starting all 82 contests and averaging 13 points per contest.
But that also boosted his trade value, and the Timberwolves sent him to New York in a three-team deal in February of 2011. The Knicks waived him a week later, and Dallas picked up him up as a free agent. Brewer spent the first half of the 2011-12 season a Maverick before being traded again, this time to Denver.
With the Nuggets, he proved an energetic perimeter defender and a reliable threat in transition. His 12.1 points per game were his best since leaving Minnesota, though his career 29.8-percent mark from 3-point range raises a red flag.
But Brewer is one of the league’s best from the left corner, shooting 41.2 percent. Whether he comes off the bench for Chase Budinger — also signed Thursday — or starts, Saunders expects Brewer to glean ample opportunities from that spot in Rick Adelman’s motion offense.
Brewer also helps replace Andrei Kirilenko, who opted out of the second year of his contract and signed with the Brooklyn Nets.
“We have great confidence that Corey is a great defender that can get out and run with (point guard Ricky) Rubio, can finish in the open floor,” Saunders said. “Corey was here before, but he’s developed a lot since he left here. It’s always different when you come in with the expectations of a top-10 pick, and you’re counted on to carry a team. He’s not gonna have to carry this team.”
Saunders also announced the Timberwolves have signed first-round draft pick Shabazz Muhammad and are “in the advanced stages of reaching an agreement” with unrestricted free-agent center Ronny Turiaf. They have yet to agree to terms with first-round pick Gorgui Dieng or fellow center Nikola Pekovic, who is a restricted free agent.
Saunders said those talks are progressing.
Budinger, Martin, Brewer and Turiaf are expected to be officially introduced in the next few days.

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