Timberwolves exercise option, retain Dante Cunningham

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Timberwolves’ 2012-13 injury woes afforded Dante Cunningham an opportunity, one he’s parlayed into at least one more year with the organization.

The Timberwolves exercised their $2.2 million option on the forward Friday, an expected move following a season where he tallied a career-high 8.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. The four-year pro averaged more than 25 minutes an outing — mostly due to power forward Kevin Love being sidelined for 64 contests — exhibiting his capabilities as an off-the-bench threat that president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said was important to retain.

“We all saw last year how he fits in really well with Coach Adelman’s style and system,” Saunders said in a press release. “His versatility, energy and ability to knock down the open jumper are all reasons we feel he is an invaluable piece to our team. We are excited to have Dante back for next season.”

Minnesota owes the 6-foot-8, 226-pound Villanova graduate $2,180,000 next season, according to rotoworld.com. After that, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent.

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