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Claudius 07-29-2008 09:00 AM

Ryan Gomes signs

Associated Press

July 28, 2008 at 8:09 PM EDT

MINNEAPOLIS The Minnesota Timberwolves and restricted free agent forward Ryan Gomes have agreed in principle on a five-year contract.

Gomes was one of five players acquired by the Wolves last summer in the big trade with Boston for Kevin Garnett. Gomes played in all 82 games, 74 as a starter, and averaged a career-best 12.6 points and 5.8 rebounds.

The deal was agreed upon Friday, agent Bob Myers said. Gomes was expected to sign the contract on Tuesday.

"He's excited and happy to be back and looking forward to starting with a lot of the new faces they have," Myers said.

The Timberwolves, who went 22-60 last season, have 14 players under contract plus restricted free agent forward Chris Richard. Only five of those players are older than 25, and Gomes who turns 26 on Sept. 1 is the oldest member of the young core.

"I think that around the organization there's a lot of optimism, and I think he feels the same way," Myers said.

Myers declined to divulge financial terms of the deal, but said it includes a player option for the fifth year.

Gomes and Timberwolves vice president Kevin McHale were scheduled to discuss the contract Tuesday during a news conference at a Minneapolis community center, where he recently donated an automated external defibrillator.

Gomes is active in charity work in Minnesota and Connecticut, his home state, and has become a strong supporter of portable defibrillation devices, which are used to restore normal heart rhythm to a person in cardiac arrest.
It's a good signing. I'm a big fan of Gomes and what he brings to the table. Minnesota is lsowly getting their act together (possibly) and at least they weren't stupid enough to deal him.

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