NBA Trade Rumors: Minnesota Timberwolves Targeting Chicago Bulls’ Taj Gibson?

All is not going well for the Minnesota Timberwolves. After starting the season 4-10, the Timberwolves are involved in NBA trade rumors, pondering changes or additions. Timberwolves’ head coach and team president Tom Thibodeau would like to get the team going in a positive direction. He will either have to be patient or acquire a veteran player. Whatever Thibodeau decides to do will either jumpstart the Timberwolves or send them spiraling down the NBA standings.

One of the NBA trade rumors floating around has the Minnesota Timberwolves interested in acquiring a veteran player. At the top of that list is possibly Chicago Bulls power forward Taj Gibson.

NBC Sports is reporting that Tom Thibodeau is interested in acquiring his former power forward of five seasons. Gibson is among a few other players who the Timberwolves could be interested in. He is also one of three players list who Tom Thibodeau coached on the Chicago Bulls.

Jimmy Butler of the Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers’ Luol Deng were also mentioned in the report. How Butler is playing right now there is no way that the Bulls trade him without getting a top 10-caliber player in return. The Timberwolves and Bulls were close to making a trade in the summer, but Minnesota’s reluctance to include Kris Dunn in the deal stopped anything from taking place.

As for Deng, unless the Timberwolves are willing to part with one of their young rotational players such as Zach LaVine or Gorgui Dieng, nothing is going to happen. They are all much better players than Luol Deng at this point. Minnesota will not move one of them for him, which leaves the Timberwolves calling the Bulls about Gibson as the most realistic option.

Thibodeau coached the Chicago Bulls to five playoff appearances, including one appearance in the Eastern Conference finals. During that run, Thibodeau had Gibson to help anchor his patented defense. With Thibodeau at the helm, the Bulls always made the postseason. Thibodeau wants to get the Timberwolves to the playoffs, and he could reach out to the Bulls for help doing so.

The Minnesota Timberwolves having an interest in the Chicago Bulls’ power forward is not a surprise. Taj Gibson could help the Timberwolves, along with several other teams. Because there is plenty of familiarity between Thibodeau and Gibson, the fit is perfect.

Looking at the Minnesota Timberwolves roster from top to bottom, there is a void of veteran players who have postseason experience. The Timberwolves are filled with young players still learning the NBA game. The will to win is present, but the knowledge of how to win is absent.

Tom Thibodeau has a talented roster, but he never had the penchant for playing young players and allowing them to learn on the fly. Patience is his challenge, but that does not mean he should not work the phones for some veteran help. Targeting the Bulls’ Taj Gibson is a good place to start. A trade between the Timberwolves and Bulls would work for both teams.

Despite being in the thick of the Eastern Conference race near the top, the Bulls are not a perfect team. Unlike the Timberwolves, the Bulls have a few veterans in place to teach the younger players how to play winning brand of NBA basketball. The Bulls need a low post player to come off the bench and provide interior defense, rebounding, and some occasional scoring. The Minnesota Timberwolves have two such players who can do that.

Power forward Gorgui Dieng or center Nikola Pekovic could be sent to the Bulls in a trade for Taj Gibson.

The Timberwolves would do this trade to receive a player with a proven track record. Gibson also has an abundance of playoff experience, which could prove invaluable to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Another thing that Gibson brings to the table is an astute knowledge of Tom Thibodeau’s system. Gibson’s ability to be where he is supposed to be on defense would help the Timberwolves’ young core, especially Karl-Anthony Towns. Where to be, when to switch, and what angles to take are all things that must be learned by the young Timberwolves.

The Chicago Bulls would do it to either get younger at power forward or to add a more traditional center for the second unit. The latter is more realistic than the former. That would mean that Pekovic is likely who the Timberwolves would offer the Bulls if the trade was an exchange of frontcourt players.

Do not count out Donatas Motiejunas as a potential target of the Minnesota Timberwolves if he becomes an unrestricted free agent. [Image by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]

A trade between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Chicago Bulls will likely not take place. Judging from the way Tom Thibodeau’s tenure with the Bulls ended, the two teams will not be dealing with each other anytime soon. Taj Gibson moving to the Timberwolves is a great thought, but it’s one that will not take place — at least not right now. If the Timberwolves are willing to give up Dieng for the Bulls’ Gibson, that would change.

The Bulls had an interest in Gorgui Dieng when he was entering the NBA draft in 2013. Dieng has the makings of becoming what Gibson is now. The Bulls, not confused as a championship contender, would take on a younger version of Taj Gibson. This will play itself out, but it is not the only option the Timberwolves are considering.

Keep an eye on Donatas Motiejunas, as the Minnesota Timberwolves could be one of the teams interested if the Houston Rockets decide to let him be an unrestricted free agent. The two sides are far apart with contract negotiations. The Rockets reportedly pulled an offer (courtesy of ESPN) submitted to Motiejunas off the table. If the power forward does land on the market, the Timberwolves are one of a handful of teams with enough cap space to sign him.

By going after Motiejunas, the Minnesota Timberwolves would not have to give up a valued player. Things are about to get interesting for the Timberwolves. Do not expect the Timberwolves to stand pat.

[Featured Image by Michael Reaves/Getty Images]

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