MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota point guard Troy Hudson has opted out of the final year of his contract with the Timberwolves to test free agency, his agent
said Thursday night.
Bill Neff said he informed 'Wolves general manager and vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale of the expected decision Wednesday.
"It doesn't preclude us from going back (to Minnesota)," Neff said.
Hudson, who missed most of the season with a severely sprained right ankle, had a player option to stay with the team and make $2.1 million next
season. At the end of the regular season, he decided to have surgery and missed the playoffs.
The journeyman point guard had a breakout year with the 'Wolves in 2002-03, his first season in Minnesota. He averaged a career-high 14.2 points a
game as a starter.
But the 'Wolves traded for starting point guard Sam Cassell during the offseason and Hudson injured his ankle in Minnesota's final preseason game.
Hudson played in only 29 games this season because of the injury. Neff said Hudson is wearing a protective boot and could begin rehabilitation soon.
Despite the injury, Neff said Hudson should command a higher salary than the $2.1 million he was scheduled to make. Asked whether Hudson wants to stay
with the 'Wolves, Neff said: "It really depends on the offer."
A Timberwolves spokesman said team officials weren't available for comment.
"If they're aggressive with him, they have a shot," Neff said.
Minnesota's unrestricted free agents include Gary Trent, Oliver Miller, Fred Hoiberg and Darrick Martin. Trenton Hassell is a restricted free agent.
[Edited on 6/4/2004 by Ben]