Northwest Notes: Deng, Abrines, Hernangomez

Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau defended the signing of forward Luol Deng, saying the veteran forward can help his team in a number of ways, Steve Aschburner of reports. “He’s only 33,” the Wolves coach said. “He takes great care of himself. He knows how to prepare for the season. For us, the fact that he can play [multiple spots] and he’s a veteran, it’s a long season, you like to have players like that. And he’s familiar with what we want to do.” Deng signed a one-year, $2.4MM contract with the Timberwolves after reaching a buyout agreement with the Lakers and clearing waivers. Thibodeau has taken criticism for being too partial to ex-Bulls players but he shrugs it off, as told Aschburner. “Whether a guy has played for me before or in a system where (GM) Scott (Layden) had been before or maybe where one of our assistants had been, if you feel like you know a player well and he fits into your system, then why not do it?,” Thibodeau said. “To me, I don’t really care what other people think. I care about what we think.”

We have more from around the Northwest Division:

  • Deng gave up $7.5MM over the next two seasons in his buyout with Lakers, including $3.6MM that was allocated to the upcoming season, salary cap expert Albert Nahmad tweets. He’ll recoup two-thirds of the latter giveback with his Wolves contract, meaning he’ll receive a total of $16.7MM for the season, Nahmad adds.
  • Alex Abrines is just entering his prime at 25 years old and the Thunder swingman could be in line for an expanded role, Nick Gallo of the team’s website writes. Abrines averaged 15.1 MPG in 75 regular-season appearances last season could see some crunch-time minutes this season, Gallo adds. “You can focus on certain points of your game. (I’ll) especially keep improving on defense and then just develop my offensive game,” Abrines said. “Not just being a shooter, trying to put the ball on the floor, playing some big roles and being able to create for my teammates.”
  • Nuggets forward Juan Hernangomez could enjoy a bounce-back season, Christopher Dempsey of the Nuggets’ website opines. Hernangomez appeared in just 25 games last season after seeing action in 62 games the previous campaign, in part due to a bout with mononucleosis, Dempsey notes. Hernangomez could play a bigger role off the bench this season because of his long-range shooting and hustle, Dempsey adds.
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8 thoughts on “Northwest Notes: Deng, Abrines, Hernangomez

  1. cesc

    Can’t wait for Thibs to be gone from Minny. Any other HC would be delighted to be able to coach a talent like KAT, he hardly ever mentions him & with his system the guy hardly touches the ball. Had one of the best sophomore seasons ever & last year his shots dropped drastically, just get rid of the bum.

    • nolanthewild

      I completely agree with you. KAT should be getting 20 shots a game at least. Extending Wiggins was a mistake. Thibs needs to go. The Jimmy Butler experiment is looking like a bust. I’d trade him this season. If a partner could be found for a Wiggins trade, I’d do that as well. They are missing the passing and defense Rubio brought to the table as well….

  2. cesc

    I know here a lot of people likes Lyles in Denver, but I do prefer Juancho, maybe hasn’t got his ceiling but man he hustles, gives it all every night. He is the type of player Denver needs, I wouldn’t mind if Denver traded Lyles & got something in return, having Jokic, Plumlee, Millsap, Hernangomez & MPJ, they could try to get a 3 & D instead.

      • nolanthewild

        They have quietly put together an excellent team. The nuggets could go to the western finals this season.

      • D$!LLKU$H-og

        They do have a lot of young talent but with the WC being so stacked, they will have a tough time getting to the WCF.
        The Nuggets will be somewhere between the Lakers and Blazers. Then add the fact there are also teams like LAC and Dallas that will compete for the 8th seed. Idk they either make the playoffs and end with a 1st round exit or just miss by a game like last season. The foregoing is an opinion.

  3. Pablo

    Working well in the system and winning are different things. Thibs can do well if he actually give players some rest this year. And if he really want people to buy in he can’t just bully them into it. I like a coach that’s hard on players and expects more, but yelling at young players and not holding former bulls accountable isn’t okay. Let rose here it when he runs out the fricken play clock on his own with out ever trying to pass the ball.

    • JD396

      If Thibs rests players more next year, he could do well. And if I had gills, I could be a fish.

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