MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Free agent center Michael Olowokandi agreed Tuesday night to join the Minnesota Timberwolves and replace Rasho Nesterovic, who hours earlier reached a deal with San Antonio.
Olowokandi's move was expected to be announced Wednesday, said agent Bill Duffy, who represents both Olowokandi and Nesterovic.
The 7-foot, 270-pound Olowokandi, the first overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 1998 draft, reportedly agreed to a three-year deal worth $16.2 million. Wednesday is the first day NBA teams can sign free agents to contracts.
News of Olowokandi's addition capped what had been a disappointing 48 hours for Minnesota, which lost out to Orlando for power forward Juwan Howard and had made re-signing Nesterovic a top priority.
Nesterovic instead agreed to a six-year, $42-million deal with the Spurs.
He had reportedly been considering a seven-year, $50-million offer to stay with the Timberwolves, his team for his first five NBA seasons.
"Though we were hopeful that Rasho would re-sign with our team, we have been preparing for this scenario," general manager Kevin McHale said in a statement.
But adding Olowokandi, who will join All-Star forward Kevin Garnett in the frontcourt, helps ease the pain.
"They landed on their feet," Duffy said of the Timberwolves.
Duffy said Wolves owner Glen Taylor, coach Flip Saunders and McHale flew to California on Tuesday for negotiations.
In Olowokandi, the Wolves get an athletic, able defender and rebounder who averaged 9.9 points and 8.0 rebounds in his first five seasons.
The Clippers, meanwhile, stand to lose at least half their roster if they don't re-sign any of their free agents.
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