The Associated PressMINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves have suddenly become one of the “it” destinations for NBA free agents.
Potential and reputation are beating out palm trees and postseason history.
After finalizing contracts Monday with power forward Taj Gibson and point guard Jeff Teague, two complementary additions to a roster that has undergone a significant enrichment and pruning over the last three weeks, the Wolves introduced the pair of 2009 first-round draft picks during an introductory news conference.
Gibson (two years, $28 million) and Teague (three years, $57 million) agreed to terms earlier this month before they were allowed to sign their deals.
“They look at the teams and the players that they have, and then they see how they fit into that, and I think it’s very attractive to players in the league,” said president and coach Tom Thibodeau.
When Gibson and Teague jumped at the chance to join them, they were driven by more than just the tantalizing trio of newcomer Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. They willingly sought the demanding and intense coaching they’ll get from Thibodeau and his staff, too.
“He really helped turn my career. He believed in me when a lot of people really didn’t,” Gibson said.
The 32-year-old Gibson played five seasons for Thibodeau in Chicago, before the Bulls fired him. Over the past two years, until Gibson was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in February, the broad-shouldered coach with the deep New England baritone was clearly missed by the players he left behind.
Vin-sanity to don Kings attire
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Sacramento Kings have signed guard Vince Carter, the team announced Monday.
Carter, who entered the league with the Toronto Raptors in 1998, is joining his seventh team. He played the last three seasons in Memphis, where he averaged 8 points and 1.8 assists per game last season.