ESPN.com is reporting that the Houston Rockets have agreed to send power forward Juwan Howard to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for point guard Mike James. The teams have been speaking of a deal like this for most of the season, but did not decide on a straight Howard-for-James swap until recently.
James signed a four-year $23.4 million contract with the Timberwolves before last season after being swayed to sign by Kevin Garnett. James was also considering the Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks at the time, but was convinced to head to Minnesota by Garnett. It was an interesting signing at the time, as the team had just drafted Villanova guard Randy Foye with the seventh overall pick in the draft. With Foye, Trenton Hassell, Rashad McCants, Marco Jaric and Troy Hudson already in the backcourt, James became expendable. Houston will be James’ seventh NBA team.
Howard’s contract is one year shorter than James’, with two seasons remaining for $14.3 million. Initially signed before the 2004-05 season, Howard finished last year averaging 9.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.