Acquired by the Oklahoma City Thunder in February, noted unrestricted free agent Taj Gibson recently signed a two-year $28 Million deal with division rival Minnesota.
Gibson, 32, reunites with former Chicago Bulls Head Coach and current Timberwolves sideline General Tom Thibodeau, whom he competed under during five of his eight seasons as a Bull. Throughout his Chicago tenure, Gibson ranked among the league’s top reserve frontcourt options, averaging 9.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 1.2 BPG in 562 contests.
As mentioned, Oklahoma City recieved Gibson and Doug McDermott from Chicago at last season’s trade deadline for ineffective former lottery pick Cameron Payne, veteran Anthony Morrow, and F/C Joffrey Lauvergne.
During a brief Thunder stopover, Gibson logged 23 contests, starting 16 after supplanting now departed PF Domantas Sabonis.
While helping OKC secure a seventh post-season berth in eight seasons, the reliable and rugged nine-year-veteran averaged 9 PPG and 4.5 RPG.
Pursuant to Minnesota’s Draft Night trade for perennial All-Star Jimmy Butler, Gibson becomes the latest ex-powerhouse Bulls addition on a revamped Minnesota roster.
Conversely, though landing Paul George on June 30, Oklahoma City might now consider signing an affordable power forward option, unless Andre Roberson is retained which would allow George to secure the four spot.
Meanwhile, by enlisting former Thunder Taj Gibson, and shedding perimeter-shooting liability Ricky Rubio for Jeff Teague, Minnesota is emerging as a potential contender among the Northwest Division’s competitive ranks.