Timberwolves agree to deal with Luol Deng as Tom Thibodeau brings in another of his former Bulls
Deng played in just one game last season for the Lakers
According to a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic, the two sides have agreed to a one-year, veteran's minimum deal worth $2.4 million.
Deng accepted the deal without a guarantee of playing time, but with the Timberwolves' depth on the wing pretty thin, Deng should have more than a fair chance to earn some minutes. In fact, considering that his old coach is in charge, Deng might actually have the inside track towards some playing time.
But even if he doesn't see much of the court, this is a great move for Deng. He gets to reunite with his old coach and a bunch of his old teammates on a team that should make the playoffs. Plus, this is essentially a bonus contract on top of his buyout money from the Lakers.
It's from the Wolves perspective where things get a little funny. We haven't seen Deng be a truly effective player for a few seasons now, and the team was in serious need of depth on the wing. Perhaps Deng can still be a contributor, and on the minimum this isn't really a terrible deal. Still, it seems unlikely he's going to play a major role on this team, and instead of looking elsewhere for a younger player who's more likely to contribute, signing Deng seems like a continuation of some strange quest by Thibodeau to recreate the Chicago Bulls from earlier this decade.
With Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Derrick Rose and now Deng on the roster, all they need is Joakim Noah -- also a free agent -- and they can put out an entire lineup of Thibs' former Bulls players. Now, Butler is still a great player, obviously, and Gibson was a good addition, but it's easy to see why this roster overhaul can be frustrating to Wolves fans.
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