The Minnesota Timberwolves are a team that a lot of people expect to be very good in the near future. With their young stars and the hiring of Tom Thibodeau as head coach, people could see them being a playoff team as soon as next year.
The Timberwolves are a rarity in that they don't have much maneuvering to their roster that needs to be done this offseason. Their core is in place, and that core is young with endless potential. What the Wolves do need to do this offseason is find ancillary pieces, preferably veterans, that can help the young kids out while also producing on the court.
This past season, the Timberwolves had a nice mix of young players and older players, but the issue was that the older players didn't provide much on the court. Kevin Garnett missed more than half of their games with injury, Tayshaun Prince was ineffective, and Andre Miller was bought out. Going into next season, getting a veteran that can provide a lot on the court would be great for them, and a possible target is Joakim Noah.
Noah will be a free agent after spending nine seasons with the Chicago Bulls and would seem to be a perfect fit for Minnesota. Noah is coming off of a season-ending shoulder injury, so his price tag shouldn't be too high and he is not a guy that needs the ball in his hands to be effective. The 31-year-old center would provide leadership, a good passer and solid defense while playing alongside Karl-Anthony Towns.
Noah was moved to a bench role with the Bulls this year in Fred Hoiberg's first season at the helm. Noah was not happy with that role at all, and because of that, it seemed like the two sides were headed for a breakup this offseason. The Bulls have since changed their tune, though, as they now hope to re-sign Noah and they plan to sit down and talk with him and his agent about a potential return.
If the Bulls make him a competitive offer and give him assurances of a bigger role, it is hard to see Noah leaving. But if they don't, the Timberwolves have a lot of things working for them. First is the fact that Noah played under Thibodeau, and the two have a mutual respect for one another. Another thing going for Minnesota is the fact that Noah has the same agent as Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine. So, if he does choose to leave Chicago, Minnesota seems like a realistic destination.
The Timberwolves have some uncertainty in their frontcourt heading into next season with Garnett potentially retiring, so they may have a starting spot open for Noah. Either way, Noah would likely have a big role with the team considering Thibodeau loves defense and that's what Noah provides. The former Florida Gator won't be the most coveted free agent on the market, but he will certainly be an interesting player to watch this offseason.