NBA Rumors began swirling this week that Minnesota Timberwolves head coach and general manager Tom Thibodeau would be open to a trade for one of his “young stars” in exchange for a player he’s familiar with, according to multiple reports.
A Yahoo! Sports report identifies the top three young athletes that Minnesota could look to trade for a veteran this season: Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, or Rick Rubio. All three players currently lead the 5-10 Timberwolves in at least one statistical category through the young season.
The NBA rumor surrounding the Minnesota Timberwolves trio of young athletes initiated from Bleacher Report‘s Ric Bucher. The insider noted that a young star — such as Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, or Ricky Rubio — could be traded for other players that Tom Thibodeau has coached in his system already, according to the tweet.
“Tom Thibodeau is not exactly a paragon of patience which is why league sources expect that he is only a few more losses away from dealing one of his young stars for a veteran that can help him win now. His first look will be for a player he already knows and trusts because he’s already had that player in his system. Would the Lakers consider advancing their youth movement and deal former Bull Luol Deng? Would the Bulls consider parting with Jimmy Butler or Taj Gibson? Where Thibs looks is not certain, nor is who he’d be willing to move. But those in the league who know his hunger to win and win now are convinced he will begin calling around soon if he hasn’t already.”
Acquiring Jimmy Butler would arguably require the steepest price as the player has made Chicago his team this season, according to Fox Sports. Jimmy Butler is in line for MVP consideration, guiding the Bulls to a 10-6 record. While Minnesota has good young talent in Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Ricky Rubio, the Timberwolves would be stretched to send enough of their talent and future draft picks to make a deal for Jimmy Butler after a failed run this past offseason.
Luol Deng may be just as hard to pry away from the Los Angeles Lakers for the Minnesota Timberwolves for other reasons. The Los Angeles Times reported that the Lakers are relying on Luol for both his scoring and rebounding presence on the court and his mentoring ability off the court, the reason Deng commanded a four-year, $72 million contract this offseason. Jimmy Butler recently credited the forward with his development in his league, making Luol Deng an enticing choice for the Minnesota Timberwolves to chase.
Of the three players Ric Bucher named, Taj Gibson may be the most available player for Tom Thibodeau and the Minnesota Timberwolves. There’s also a higher value for the veteran as Taj Gibson is currently scoring 11.8 points and grabbing 7.9 rebounds each night, statistics that are better than Luol Deng’s 6.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per outing. Taj Gibson would also offer the same mentoring abilities as Luol Deng, according to a recent Chicago Tribune article.
Regardless of which veteran the Minnesota Timberwolves targets, the team will have to replace a valuable offensive component that Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Ricky Rubio bring to the table. Andrew Wiggins is the team’s leading scorer, averaging 24 points a night, while Karl-Anthony Towns has an average of three of his team-leading 9.4 rebounds on the offensive end. Ricky Rubio keys the offensive push with his 6.7 assists per outing.
A New York Knicks Fansided website brought even more former players into the picture for the Minnesota Timberwolves current head coach’s consideration. When he was the Chicago Bulls head coach, Tom Thibodeau coached the New York Knicks’ recently acquired Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose. New York Knicks President of Basketball Operations Phil Jackson may look at young athletes such as Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, or Ricky Rubio as players to build around Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis for the long term.
What do you think of the NBA rumors suggesting the Minnesota Timberwolves would consider trading Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, or Ricky Rubio this season? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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