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Minnesota Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau won’t apologize for bringing so many players who were with Thibodeau during his run with the Chicago Bulls.
“People are always going to talk about different things,” Thibodeau told NBA.com. “But these aren’t decisions that are just made on a whim.”
People are making jokes and calling Minnesota the TimberBulls. Along with Thibodeau, the list from the contending Bulls teams of earlier this decade includes Jimmy Butler, Luol Deng, Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson. All are now Timberwolves.
Thibodeau is the team’s president of basketball operations, so he is indeed heavily involved in bringing his former Bulls to Minnesota.
“But to me, you look at the players who are available and you ask, ‘Can they make the team better?’” Thibodeau told NBA.com. “From Glen Taylor, the owner, to [GM] Scott Layden, we talk things over. If we feel we can improve the team, we’re gonna do so. Particularly in a case like Luol, that’s why we [kept a roster spot open].”
With the likes of Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins helping to lead the way, the Timberwolves finished 47-35 and made the playoffs last season. Thibodeau seems to believe the former Bulls can help push his current team to greater heights.
“You’re familiar with them. they’re familiar with you,” Thibodeau told NBA.com. “I’m not the only person who has ever coached Luol, coached Derrick, coached Jimmy or coached Taj. All four of those guys have had other suitors. You talk to ‘em and tell ‘em how they’ll fit in, and then they have to make a decision as to whether they want to come or not.”