The Minnesota Timberwolves reached a buyout with forward Juwan Howard and made a trade with the San Antonio Spurs to get to the 15-man roster limit before Monday's deadline.
Minnesota sent a protected 2008 second-round pick to San Antonio for cash considerations and point guard Beno Udrih, 25, whom the Timberwolves immediately waived.
The deal helped both teams.
San Antonio was able to avoid the luxury tax and Minnesota got some cash to help them buy out the final two years and $14.2 million of Howard's deal.
Howard, 34, can now sign with any team as a free agent, with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns among those reportedly interested in the 13-year veteran.
The Timberwolves also released forward Wayne Simien, acquired last week in a five-player deal with the Miami Heat.
Seattle SuperSonics rookie Kevin Durant, who sprained his left ankle in an Oct. 23 preseason game, moved fluidly in his first extensive practice since being injured and could start Wednesday's season opener against Denver, the team said. . . . Yi Jianlian, who first resisted signing with the Milwaukee Bucks after they made him the No. 6 pick in the draft, will start at power forward. . . . Though he is suspended for the first two games for a preseason altercation, Dallas Mavericks forward Josh Howard was cleared to practice six days after spraining his left wrist in an exhibition. . . .
The New Jersey Nets opened two roster spots and avoided the luxury tax by trading swingman Bernard Robinson, 26, center Mile Ilic, 23, and cash to the New Orleans Hornets for guard David Wesley, 36, whom they will waive. . . . Seattle may not try to escape its lease at KeyArena through arbitration, Judge Ricardo Martinez said. The team, which failed to win public funding to build a new arena, sought arbitration last month to buy out the final three years of its lease.