NEW YORK — The Minnesota Timberwolves are so desperate for bodies they signed a player Thursday based on how quickly he could get to the game.
The Timberwolves signed guard Sean Kilpatrick to a 10-day contract, and he arrived in time to give them the league-mandated eight players in uniform for their game against the New York Knicks.
Listing eight players on their injured list, the Wolves didn’t just need a player. They needed one who wouldn’t take long to get here.
“We had to fulfill our rules, so we had to go find somebody that was within a train ride away,” Wolves coach Flip Saunders said.
Kilpatrick actually drove, arriving in the Wolves’ locker room at Madison Square Garden about 45 minutes before the start. He quickly introduced himself to guard Ricky Rubio, who joined the injured ranks Thursday with a sore right ankle.
The Wolves were already without Kevin Garnett, Nikola Pekovic, Anthony Bennett, Shabazz Muhammad, Gary Neal, Justin Hamilton and Robbie Hummel. Because of the injuries, they were granted an NBA hardship exception for a 16th roster spot.
They couldn’t use it on a player from the Knicks’ D-League team in nearby Westchester County, which would have been easiest, because those players were en route to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for a game Friday.
Kilpatrick, the former University of Cincinnati star whose family is from New York, was close enough.
“We had him in before so we worked him out, so we knew about him and we’ve been following him, but there’s no question that geography helped,” Saunders said. “We had to have a guy here ready to play at 7:30.”
Kilpatrick has averaged 13.6 points in 42 games this season with Delaware and Santa Cruz.
“We’ll be undermanned,” Saunders said before the game, “but guys that have complained in the past about playing time won’t have to worry about it tonight.”
Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press
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