Timberwolves Launch Pursuit Of Luol Deng

12:35pm: Deng will meet with the Timberwolves within the next week as the two sides discuss a possible deal, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

12:22pm: With Luol Deng officially a free agent, the Timberwolves have launched their pursuit of the veteran forward, reports Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). While Stein doesn’t offer any specific details, it’s probably safe to assume the Wolves have at least been in touch with Deng and/or his representatives.

Minnesota’s pursuit of Deng comes as no surprise, with a report earlier this week indicating that Timberwolves head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau had interest in both Deng and Joakim Noah, another release candidate. Of course, both players were Bulls during Thibodeau’s time in Chicago and would be reunited with former teammates like Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, and Taj Gibson if they were to join the Wolves.

The Timberwolves, who project to have a couple regular season roster spots up for grabs, have used most of their mid-level exception, but still have their full $3.382MM bi-annual exception available. However, it’s not clear if Deng will command more than the veteran’s minimum, given his infrequent and ineffective minutes over the last two seasons.

[RELATED: Six Possible Landing Spots For Luol Deng]

Deng, 33, appeared in just one game during the 2017/18 campaign for the Lakers, who opted to focus on developing their young players. In his first year in Los Angeles in 2016/17, the veteran had a more regular role, averaging 26.5 minutes per contest in 56 games. He had his worst season as a pro though, posting just 7.6 PPG and 5.3 RPG with a .387/.309/.730 shooting line.

Considering he was willing to give up $7.3MM in his buyout agreement with the Lakers, Deng appears confident that he’ll catch on with another NBA team for the 2018/19 season. It remains to be seen if Minnesota will be that team or if a handful of contenders will compete for his services.

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15 thoughts on “Timberwolves Launch Pursuit Of Luol Deng

  1. CBabs1120

    Enough of chasing former Bulls. It didn’t work then why would it work now?

  2. frankchitown

    Because now those former Bulls can come off the bench and already know the system. Deng is a great teammate and he may have something left in the tank. Chasing Noah is the one that seems silly to me. The guy has no cartilage left in his knees.

  3. Dionis

    For some odd reason I think the Timberwolves might win it all this coming season. It wouldn’t shock me what so ever, all the turmoil with Butler can be fixed like Tom said by winning. Then again Butler is kind of hard to deal with so I don’t know, he wants Towns and Wiggins to work just like he does but not everyone is cut out the same way.

    That said I think the Timberwolves can do something special.

    • PeeWeeHerron618

      win what all ? I hope u talking about the Northwest division & not the NBA Championship because they not winning a ring

      • cubsfan2489

        He’s not a troll, he’s delusional. Someone seriously needs to get him checked for Alzheimer’s.

      • Dionis

        Why can’t they? They have the talent to get it done. If Wiggins and Towns breakthrough no one can stop them in the NBA.

    • Djones246890

      I’m a Bulls fan, and while all of these guys had a great run in Chicago, they ultimately proved to be a team that isn’t capable of winning a Championship.

      I don’t see how adding many years to their age, and injuries to their resume, is going to make them a Championship contender.

      Granted, it’ll be cool to see them play together, and I do like Thibs. But I think these moves are a clear indication that the Bulls getting rid of him was the best move.

      He just plays far too many of these same guys, for far too long, and all it does is wear them down and shorten their careers.

  4. All of those Bull players did fail to do anything in Chicago in their primes, cannot see how can they do anything as older players, in a much tougher western conference… Minny just should get rid of Thibs & most of their problems would be sorted out, just like that.

  5. Chris

    In a league where most are trying to get younger and faster, the Wolves are getting older and slower.

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