Taj Gibson is one of several potential free agents on the Minnesota Timberwolves’ roster. Should they consider bringing him back?
Tom Thibodeau brought Taj Gibson to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the same offseason that saw both Jeff Teague and Jimmy Butler end up in Minneapolis. With Thibodeau gone, however, it remains to be seen what Gibson might think about the possibility of returning to the Wolves this summer.
Gibson is currently making the most money he has thus far in his career as he finishes up the second year of a two-year $28 million contract. While the next pay day for the 33-year-old may not have a sum of that amount attached, he is likely to have a number of suitors — some of which will be in a better position to compete for a championship than the Wolves.
While Gibson has spent most of his playing career in Chicago, his most consistent basketball thus far has been played over the last two seasons in Minnesota.
For the Timberwolves, Gibson has averaged 11.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists in just shy of 30 minutes per game, starting 138 of his 140 appearances.
Gibson’s calling card, of course, is his defense, which was ultimately a key reason the Timberwolves were able to get the win over Denver to qualify for the playoffs in Game No. 82 last season.
With Dario Saric and Robert Covington now on the roster, there is arguably less of a need for Gibson on the team, which is a key reason why price will play a big part in how hard the Wolves may or may not pursue Gibson this offseason.
While Saric is still young, he has shown flashes of the huge potential that led to him being a lottery pick not even four years ago. His 10 points and 5.5 rebounds per game have been hindered by an inconsistent role off the bench, and with next season still under his rookie contract, the team should definitely look to see what they have in the young Croatian.
Additionally, Ryan Saunders has gotten ahead of this a bit by inserting Saric into the starting lineup of late, although he’s only had the chance to play alongside Karl-Anthony Towns twice due to KAT’s recent car accident.
Regardless, Gibson would be a major asset to have on the Timberwolves bench. He is already a solid role player for the team, and his minutes per game wouldn’t necessarily have to change too much to accommodate him coming off the bench.
If the Timberwolves find someone to take the inflated Gorgui Dieng contract off their hands, then retaining Gibson becomes even more important, but for now if the Wolves are able to get Gibson for somewhere around $10 million a year then that should be a done deal.
Gibson’s own personal desires to play in Minnesota or elsewhere are completely unknown and will obviously play a huge part in where he decides to sign this offseason, but the Timberwolves should at least make sure their names are in the barrel depending on what that cost ends up being.
Either way, Timberwolves fans still have at least the remainder of this season to see Gibson on the court as the Wolves charge towards a potential playoff appearance, and Gibson will certainly be a huge part of that bid over the last 23 games.