The Timberwolves may have found a new starting power forward.
The Vertical's Shams Charania reports Minnesota agreed to a two-year, $28 million deal with Taj Gibson.
Gibson is 32 years old and played more than seven years with the Bulls before being traded to Oklahoma City midway through this past season. For five of those Bulls seasons, he played under current Wolves head coach Tom Thibodeau, used mostly as a key bench player.
Gibson has a reputation as a reliable defensive presence and is capable offensively, putting up 9.4 points per game on average in about 25 minutes. He also grabs about 6.3 rebounds.
But for Wolves fans clamoring for more shooting – Gibson won't do much for you. He's not a stretch 4, having attempted about 34 3-pointers over his entire eight-year career. (And he's only hit four of them.)
Gibson could come off the bench in favor of a KAT-Gorgui Dieng starting frontcourt. But we're going to guess Gibson slots into the starting 5:
Still off the bench, the Wolves would have have Tyus Jones, Gorgui Dieng, Cole Aldrich, Nemanja Bjelica and rookie Justin Patton.
So no Millsap then?
The signing likely puts an end to any Timberwolves-Paul Millsap rumors. Millsap, a free agent from the Atlanta Hawks, had reportedly lined up a visit with Minnesota. But he'll command $25 million a year, if not more, and Minnesota is already tight on cap space.
Canis Hoopus broke it down recently: After the Teague signing, the Wolves were at about $7.25 million in cap space. Renouncing free agent Shabazz Muhammad's rights would open up another $7.6 million – so that might get them to the $14 million per year needed for Gibson.
Two other ways Minnesota could get more room to operate? Trade Aldrich ($7.3 million contract) or Dieng ($14.1 million contract).