NBA Trade Rumors: Wolves Targeting Lakers' Luol Deng, Bulls' Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson
The Minnesota Timberwolves are reportedly targeting three veteran players to reinforce their young squad as the NBA's trade season draws near.
Rumors are out that the Wolves will be eyeing the Los Angeles Lakers' Luol Deng and the Chicago Bulls' Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson when the league's restriction to trade newly signed free agents is lifted on Dec. 15.
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Minnesota has not improved their status as one of the league's lowly squads this season even with the hiring of former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau as the club's head coach and president. The Wolves are currently touting a 5-11 record, which is third from the last place in the Western Conference.
Thibodeau is said to be "growing impatient" about the development of his young stars Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Zach LaVine and that he could trade one of them for a proven veteran in midseason, according to Yahoo Sports.
The former NBA Coach of the Year reportedly wants players who are already familiar with his system and those who could help his team win now rather than going on a rebuilding and developmental stage.
The Wolves' fifth overall pick last June, Kris Dunn, has not met expectations in Minnesota, and there are rumors that Thibodeau is not satisfied in the rookie's performance and could also be traded before the deadline. Dunn is averaging only 3.7 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.8 steals in 18.7 minutes per game so far this season.
Deng, Butler, and Gibson are all former players of Thibodeau when he was still at the helm in Chicago from 2010 to 2015.
Inquisitr noted that the more realistic target for the Wolves are Deng and Gibson as Butler is expected to stay in Chicago for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, between Deng and Gibson, the latter is said to be the more practical acquisition as Deng is just beginning the four-year, $72 million contract he signed with the Lakers during the summer.
However, if Thibodeau wants to snatch Deng from the Lakers then he would have to offer a package that would match the Sudanese-British's salary, which could cost him multiple players to pull off.