MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Here comes an understatement: It has been quite the offseason for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
On the heels of trades to get Jimmy Butler and part ways with Ricky Rubio, they introduced their first two big free agent signings Monday afternoon — Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson.
And now the makeup of the team looks markedly different.
It’s clear now when the Wolves traded for Butler, they got a lot more than Butler. Teague and Gibson are just the latest in a makeover that makes the Wolves contender-ready.
“You can ask my agent,” Teague said. “When the trade went down, I said, I want to go to Minnesota.”
“With the young group of guys that we have,” Gibson added, “I think it’s something special. We’ve just got a special group of guys, and ready to get the job done.”
The home of the Wolves – Target Center – has been under major renovations all summer, and now the roster has the major renovations to match. Four of the seven expected top rotation players will be newcomers.
“Yeah I think that’s going to be our biggest challenge, is how quickly can we all get onto the same page?” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “And so we’ll bring everyone back right after Labor Day, get to know each other in the fall, before we start training camp. “
“We’ve got a lot of talented guys and some veteran guys who’ve been in some wars,” Teague said. “So hopefully we’ll be OK.”
Keep in mind, this is a franchise that hasn’t been to the playoffs in 14 years. Now in two weeks, they’ve added 234 games of playoff experience in Butler, Teague, Gibson and Jamal Crawford. A team with no playoff experience just added a bunch of it.
“And that’s what we’re looking for,” Thibodeau said. “It’s the winning that matters. And so when you can add those type of veterans, I think that goes a long way.”