NBA Rumors: Minnesota Timberwolves Signing Luol Deng From Miami Heat

NBA rumors are swirling around Luol Deng. The veteran forward becomes a free agent this summer. Since he is still quite the productive player, there should be plenty of interest from teams in the National Basketball Association. According to Sporting News, one of the teams that should come calling is the Minnesota Timberwolves. Tom Thibodeau has taken over as head coach and general manager. He’s quite familiar with Deng because of their time together with the Chicago Bulls.

It’s no secret that Tom Thibodeau is a big fan of defense. Every NBA fan that has followed his career knows that. While working as an assistant underneath Doc Rivers, Thibodeau utilized his defensive brilliance to help Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics win an NBA Championship. He parlayed that success into his first opportunity as a head coach with the Chicago Bulls. There, his team was quite known for their defense.

Minnesota Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau Tom Thibodeau [Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]If there was a team in the NBA that needed a defensive upgrade, it’s the Minnesota Timberwolves. That’s why they are being widely praised for hiring Tom Thibodeau. Not only was he one of the hottest candidates available, he’s also someone that will help improve your defense because he puts quite the emphasis on it. The Timberwolves are ranked in the bottom third of the National Basketball Association when it comes to defense, so Thibodeau is going to have his work cut out for him.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have one of the youngest rosters in the NBA, and Tom Thibodeau has a reputation as a coach that does not like relying on younger players. He prefers experienced guys because they are more likely to do as they are told. Some younger players have a tendency to focus more on offense than defense because it is much more glamorous to be on highlight reels.

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins Andrew Wiggins [Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]Since they’re all so athletic, the younger players on the Minnesota Timberwolves roster have the potential to become really good defenders. Zach Lavine, Andrew Wiggins, and Karl Anthony Towns can become standouts on the defensive side of the ball. They simply need a coach that will teach them to become stoppers. Tom Thibodeau has a history of benching players who miss defensive assignments, so it’ll be interesting to see how Lavine, Wiggins, and Anthony Towns react to that.

When you have a young roster, the smart move is to add a couple of veterans who are not afraid to lead and be vocal. Luol Deng fits the bill. Even on a roster filled with veterans, Deng is still a leader for the Miami Heat. He does it with words and with his play on the court. With the Minnesota Timberwolves, he would be the unquestioned leader until Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony Towns grow into that role.

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl Anthony Towns Karl Anthony Towns [Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]While the two of them have a connection and bond, it’s going to take some convincing by Tom Thibodeau to get Luol Deng to leave the Miami Heat. It’s a pretty good situation for the former Duke Blue Devils star. Deng is on a contending team that has a chance to come out of the Eastern Conference for the next couple of years.

Luol Deng is going to have plenty of options when he becomes a free agent this summer. He can stay with the Miami Heat and continue to help Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh try to win an NBA Championship without LeBron James. Deng can also decide to reunite with Tom Thibodeau and help his former head coach build something special with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Then again, the veteran might even end up on another team besides the Heat or the Timberwolves.

[Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]