Cassell a no-show; Wolves sign Griffin
=== Cassell a no-show; Wolves sign Griffin ===
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Minnesota Timberwolves guard Sam Cassell did not show up Tuesday for the first day of training camp. He was also not present on Monday for the annual media day and photo shoots.
Cassell had the best season of his 11-year career in 2003-04 and was named to his first All-Star team. The 6'3" guard averaged a career-high 19.8 points and 7.3 assists in 81 games for the Timberwolves.
In 743 career games with Houston, Phoenix, Dallas, New Jersey, Milwaukee and Minnesota, Cassell has averaged 16.4 points and 6.3 assists.
He was selected by the Rockets in the first round (24th pick overall) of the 1993 NBA Draft. Cassell was traded by the Bucks along with Ervin Johnson to Minnesota in exchange for Joe Smith and Anthony Peeler prior to the start of last season.
Also Tuesday, the Timberwolves announced the signing of forward Eddie Griffin. The 6'10", 232-pounder out of Seton Hall University, has averaged 8.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.63 blocks and 25.2 minutes per game in 150 NBA games over two seasons with the Houston Rockets (2001-02 and 2002-03).
Griffin did not play at all last season. He was suspended indefinitely without pay by the Rockets on October 16 for missing practices and a team flight to Sacramento for a preseason game.
Several weeks later, after Griffin continued to skip workouts, the club declined its option to pick up a fourth year on his contract. Houston was not able to work out an acceptable trade for Griffin, and eventually cut ties with the troubled young man.
Griffin has faced aggravated felony and marijuana charges over the past several years. He also made news when it was reported that he was seeking professional help for "emotional problems."
Griffin has spent time in voluntary substance abuse and depression therapy.
"We are pleased to add Eddie to our team," said GM Jim Stack. "He will be a terrific asset to our front line. He's looking forward to a positive and successful season with our team."
The Philadelphia native was selected by the Nets with the seventh overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft. His draft rights were traded by New Jersey to Houston for the draft rights to Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins and Brandon Armstrong on June 27, 2001.MIN