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Dewayne Dedmon is a perfect fit for Tom Thibodeau and the Wolves

Tom Thibodeau has always had a stud defensive starting center. This guy could be that for Minnesota.
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Last year was only the second in the last two decades that Tom Thibodeau didn't have an elite rim protector on his roster.

So when NBA free agency begins Saturday, who's to say Thibodeau isn't going to do everything he can to find a defensive center for the Wolves?

Not to bully Gorgui Dieng or Karl-Anthony Towns, but they're nowhere near the caliber of defensive bigs the coach has had in his past. Defensive centers have been a staple on his teams from his assistant days with the Knicks (Patrick Ewing, Marcus Camby), Rockets (Yao Ming) and Celtics (Kendrick Perkins) to his head coaching tenure in Chicago (Joakim Noah).

Ming wasn't an elite defender, but at 7-foot-6 he was a big-time presence at the rim.

And that's not to mention all of the defensive-minded power forwards he worked with, like Kevin Garnett and Charles Oakley.

Which brings me to today's point.

Dewayne Dedmon is the perfect fit

The Wolves might have to overpay for a defensive center simply because the summer of '17 isn't loaded with talent at the position. The top two centers expected to hit free agency are 23-year-old Nerlens Noel (restricted) and 27-year-old Dewayne Dedmon (unrestricted).

According to the Dallas Morning News, the Mavericks can match any offer thrown at Noel, but it's not a guarantee they'll do so.

That leaves Dedmon, who is likely leaving San Antonio. And what place would better suit him than Minnesota? With Towns, Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins handling the scoring, Dedmon can focus on wreaking havoc in the paint and at the rim.

According to NBA.com stats, the Spurs led the league in points per 100 possessions (100.9) and were 3 points better than their league-leading average when Dedmon was on the floor.

Dedmon opted out of his $3 million option with San Antonio and is expected to command $8-$10 million as a free agent, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Another potential key factor with Dedmon is that Wolves GM Scott Layden was the assistant GM in San Antonio when Dedmon signed with the Spurs.

Imagine a starting five of Rubio, Wiggins, Butler, Towns and Dedmon, with Dieng and Cole Aldrich providing center depth off the bench. First-round pick Justin Patton could prove to be an option off the bench, too.

Dedmon is a cheaper option than trying to trade Rubio and sign a big fish like Kyle Lowry, who could cost $25+ million a year. Plus it allows more spending flexibility for roster depth and more cohesiveness, considering the majority of Minnesota's roster wouldn't have the learning curve of playing with a new point guard.

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