The Minnesota Timberwolves have had arguably the best off-season thus far. Though successful, one can’t help but notice the players targeted all have one thing in common. Most are former players of the Chicago Bulls.
Tom Thibodeau is the current head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. As most of you know, before moving out West, he was the head coach for the Chicago Bulls.
Now, there’s surely a method to the madness. Thibodeau is familiar with certain players, was successful in Chicago, and the Timberwolves needed a dramatic revamp.
Getting the band back together is no easy task, but this former Chicago head coach has packed the van and all but booked their first gig.
A look at the Timberwolves most recent acquisitions:
This was the most surprising of all, as the Timberwolves shocked the world on draft night. In exchange for Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, and the 7th overall pick, the Chicago Bulls sent franchise player Jimmy Butler.
Sources: Chicago and Minnesota have completed trade of Jimmy Butler to Wolves for Zach LaVine, No. 7 and Kris Dunn.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 22, 2017
Thibodeau’s has coveted Butler since the 2011 NBA Draft. He had previously scouted Butler as an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics. Once made head coach for the Chicago Bulls, Butler was Tom’s second draft selection ever.
Disagreements between the front office and head coach found him out of a job following the 2014-2015 season. Realizing the coaching genius he rightfully is, the Timberwolves hired Thibodeau on for the next season.
Now, they’ve put it all on the table and made the blockbuster trade of the 2017 NBA Draft. One sure to be remembered.
was the most recent player signed to Minnesota, and is as well, a former Chicago Bull.
Free agent Taj Gibson has agreed to a two-year, $28M deal with Minnesota, league sources tell The Vertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 2, 2017
Gibson was drafted by the Bulls in 2009, just a couple seasons before Thibodeau’s arrival. After playing eight seasons in Chicago, he was traded at the deadline to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
It’s worth noting Gibson had the best season of his career under Thibodeau when he averaged 13 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game in 2013-2014.
Though he came up big for the Thunder in the post-season, a chance to reunite with his former head coach and good friend Jimmy Butler was all the incentive to sign in Minnesota.
It was reported Sunday morning that the Bulls had taken an interest in shooting guard/small forward Justin Holiday. What’s that got to do with this? You guessed it; he’s a former Chicago Bull.
Sources: Minnesota Timberwolves have expressed interest in Justin Holiday. Worth noting he played with Jimmy Butler on the Chicago Bulls.
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) July 2, 2017
Though he didn’t play under Thibodeau as a coach, he did play one season next to Gibson and Butler. In his one year with the Chicago Bulls, Holiday averaged 6.5 points, and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 41 percent from behind the arc.
Tom Thibodeau has given this franchise the boost it so desperately needed. In addition to those mentioned above, the Timberwolves also signed point guard Jeff Teague to a three-year deal.
Whether it’s the band getting back together, or just smart basketball at work; the Timberwolves will be playoff bound next season, I’d bet my concert ticket on that.