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.
“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.
“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.