Web Editorial Associate
When Taj Gibson and Jeff Teague were contemplating where they wanted to sign this offseason, they knew they wanted to play for a team that is ready to win.
They feel like they have found just that with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“I’ve been lucky enough to play in some organizations that understand winning,” Gibson said. “You come in here with a coach that understands winning, a franchise that wants to win and a great fan base that sells out the arena.
“I think there is something special here, I really do believe it.”
On Monday afternoon, the Wolves held a press conference at Mayo Clinic Square introducing Gibson and Teague as the newest members of the organization.
“We are excited to have Taj and Jeff join our team,” Wolves head coach Tom Thibodeau said. “The big thing about both these guys is that they have been a part of big playoff games. They are both winners. . . We are thrilled to have them and we are looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
Gibson, who will enter his 10th season, has averaged 9.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in his career so far. Five of those seasons were spent under Thibodeau in Chicago.
“I always had Minnesota circled. I felt there is a lot of talent here, a lot of young guys that are really hungry and it’s a good organization,” Gibson said. “It was no-brainer, I wanted to come here.”
Teague, who is set to play in his ninth NBA season, is coming off of a season with Indiana where he averaged 15.3 points and a career-high 7.8 assists. Over his career, he has averaged 12.6 points and 5.5 assists.
“I wanted to go somewhere where I knew had a potential of winning,” Teague said. “Those two guys (Wiggins and Towns) and adding Jimmy (Butler), myself and Taj, this is an explosive lineup that can do a lot of things on the floor and have a chance to win.”
Along with talent, Gibson and Teague bring a lot of playoff experience. Teague has played in 66 career playoff games, while Gibson has played in 61 playoff games. If you’re keeping count at home, that’s a combined 127 career playoffs games.
“This is another exciting day for our franchise to bring these guys onto our team. We are very, very excited,” Wolves general manager Scott Layden said. “Bringing these two guys to our team is going to add a lot because of their experience and their leadership.”
Gibson and Teague join the already talented core of Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler. And they think they have the potential to become a potent team in the NBA next season.
“Minnesota is just a great fit. A talented team that is on the rise with so many talented players and has the potential to be something great,” Teague said. “I want to be a part of something great.
“We have a good chance to be something special.”