Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said Tuesday he expects to examine soon the terms of the contract that will be offered to fourth-year forward Al Jefferson, the centerpiece in July's five-player, two-draft pick trade for Kevin Garnett.
The Wolves have until Oct. 31 to sign Jefferson to a contract extension. After that, Jefferson, selected by Boston 15th overall in the 2004 draft, cannot be signed until next summer, when the Wolves still would retain the right to match any other team's offer.
"We will try," Taylor said. "It will be a good offer, a real offer, not a low-ball offer. But I don't know what his agent's expectations are."
A footnote, an afterthought to July's Kevin Garnett trade, new Timberwolves center Theo Ratliff has demonstrated across Europe and the American South recently that his surgically repaired back has healed and, at age 34, he still possesses the instincts that twice made him the NBA's blocked-shot leader.
"Theo gives us a presence we haven't had in there," coach Randy Wittman said Tuesday before Minnesota's 103-77 loss at Atlanta, a game in which Ratliff didn't play. "He's going to have the ability to block shots, as well as Al. That's something we really haven't had here in a number of years."
Ratliff has impressed Wittman so far in the exhibition season since being acquired from Boston in July as part of the Garnett trade. If he continues to play like he has, he could get significant minutes this season at center, maybe even start at times.
Forward Mark Madsen, who has been sidelined since August because of surgery on his right shoulder and pectoral muscle, said his "progress is going very well and very steady." He didn't want to put a time frame on his return, but he's expected back in mid-November.