Wolves waive Greg Stiemsma and Mickael Gelabale
JUL 07, 2013 5:07p ET
The decision, which doesn't come as much of a surprise, frees up at least $3.6 million. The organization had until July 17 to make a decision on Stiemsma before his $2.7 million for next year became guaranteed and would've owed Gelabale at minimum $915,852.
But that cash now can go toward meeting Minnesota's two biggest remaining offseason needs: retain restricted free agent center Nikola Pekovic and pick up a defense-oriented wing, either off the free agent market or via a trade.
Stiemsma's departure puts even more of a premium on the former goal, which was one the Timberwolves' foremost priorities well before the previous season came to a close. According to multiple reports, they offered over the weekend a four-year contract to Pekovic that could be worth as much as $12 million annually.
With Pekovic, power forward Kevin Love and others missing substantial time with injury, Stiemsma saw action in all but six of Minnesota's games last season. A free-agent get who began his NBA career in Boston, the 6-foot-11 Wisconsin product averaged 15.9 minutes, four points and 3.4 rebounds.
Gelabale returned to the NBA after one season in the NBA D-League and three more spent overseas. The 6-7 Guadeloupe native was signed to a pair of 10-day contracts this past January then inked for the remainder of the 2012-13 season.
He, too, saw ample playing time -- 17.9 minutes per contest that yielded averages of five points and 2.8 rebounds.