After news last week that the Timberwolves were going to ramp up their pursuit of the recently waived Luol Deng, the Wolves are finalizing a deal today to add Deng to their bench unit.
Free agent Luol Deng has reached agreement on a one-year, $2.4M deal with Minnesota, pending physical, per league sources.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 10, 2018
Wolves Twitter seems less than pleased with this development. But if you look at it, minus the history these two have going back to Chicago, adding a veteran wing with strong locker room presence makes a ton of sense for this roster.
There will plenty of jokes about the Timberwolves steadily continuing toward being the 2011 Bulls by signing Luol Deng. But despite the issues in Los Angeles last season, I think Deng can, and will, be a positive addition for the Wolves this season.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) September 10, 2018
I like the Luol Deng addition in Minnesota based on the veteran filling a need. The Timberwolves bench depth at the wings were thin with Josh Okogie (rookie) James Nunnally (26 total games), CJ Williams (2 way), Keita Bates-Diop (rookie) and Jared Terrell (2 way).
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) September 10, 2018
Jimmy Butler consistently credited Luol Deng (and Adrian Griffin) for helping him through tough rookie season. Deng consistently credited Tom Thibodeau for helping him reach All-Star potential. Now, save for Griffin, they’re reunited, with Rose and Taj to boot.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) September 10, 2018
Here are some highlights from Deng’s career stats:
-Deng is a career 33% shooter from 3. Including 35% and 34% his 2 most recent seasons as a full-time starter.
-Deng has averaged 1 steal per game throughout his career. This speaks to his ability defensively which will help the Wolves when he is in the game.
-Deng has averaged 6.1 rebounds per game throughout his career. He’s active on the glass, can defend well, and can hit some shots from 3.
In addition to helping this Wolves team on the court, Deng can mentor both Keita Bates-Diop and Josh Okogie as they begin their first seasons in the NBA. So yes, the Wolves added another former Bull to the roster. But even if he hadn’t been a former Bulls player, the move still would have made a ton of sense. So yes, more “TimberBulls” but also more good (or at least helpful) bench options.
Seth Toupal @sethtoups
Minnesota Sports Fan