• Two sources have now surfaced expressing the Wolves’ interest in free agent forward Luol Deng.

    Marc Stein of the New York Times was first to report on the team’s interest in Deng, stating that they’ve “launched their planned pursuit” earlier today.

    Shams Charania of the Athletic later added that the two sides will meet “within the next week” and discuss a potential deal.

    President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Tom Thibodeau hasn’t been coy about his desire for veteran leadership and he’s typically gone back to his Chicago days for answers.

    Deng was waived and eventually bought-out by the Lakers two years into a four-year $72 million contract. He played in 57 games during his stint in Los Angeles, including just one lone game last season. A double-figure scorer for 12 consecutive seasons to begin his career, he averaged just 7.5 the last two years.

    Deng was at his peak when playing under Thibs, which included his two All-Star appearances, but that was four years ago. Now at age 33 it’s fair to wonder just how much is left in the tank after a number of grinding seasons in Chicago. Before Jimmy Butler became Thibodeau’s horse, it was Deng that held the honor.

    The two sides showing interest in one another isn’t shocking. Among all of Deng’s possible options on the market, his rapport with Thibs and path to playing time may be easier to see in Minnesota. He still has a strong desire to play too, as seen by the $7.5 million he agreed to gave back to the Lakers when he could have just rode out the final two years of his contract on the bench (Ramona Shelburne of ESPN outlines his buyout here). It’s likely just a matter of filing paperwork at this point.


    UPDATE:

    After first showing mutual interest last week, the two sides have now come to a contract agreement according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

    Shams Charania reports that the deal will be worth $2.4 million over one year. With his buyout from the Lakers, Deng sacrificed more than $5 million to have a chance to play this season, and he gets to do so with his former coach in what should feel like a familiar environment.

    His fit at this time remains unclear. He’s spent the majority of the last two seasons parked on the bench in Los Angeles after some misguided management issues, so perhaps he’s as fresh as he’s ever been, but it remains to be seen what he can still provide on the court. Deng could provide minutes at the three and the four, depending on matchups, allowing the Wolves to have some versatility if they want to play big or a bit smaller. HeĀ could also provide good leadership off the bench and ideally work closely with the young players.

    The player who takes the biggest hit is probably rookie Keita Bates-Diop, although realistically Thibs wasn’t going to give him major minutes anyway. This also could be bad new for sharpshooting wing James Nunnally, who signed a non-guaranteed deal with the Wolves last month. His spot on the roster could be in jeopardy if the Wolves creep over the tax by adding any additional players (Joakim Noah might be out there soon). They are currently $1.36 million under the tax line.

    Make no mistake, Thibs didn’t sign Deng to only act as a second coach and leader. He will get minutes at the expense of the younger players on the roster, at least to open the season, and he’d be first in line should Andrew Wiggins or Jimmy Butler have to miss any time. As of now he’s probably slotted in next to Derrick Rose and Anthony Tolliver (and hopefully Tyus Jones) as the main contributors off the bench.

    The signing is unsurprising, though the fit is still a question mark.


    Update:

    The Timberwolves have confirmed the signing.

Fantasy News

  • Davon Reed - G - Indiana Pacers

    Davon Reed is available for Monday's game after being recalled from the G-League.

    This is just a depth formality with Victor Oladipo out. Reed will likely be with the team until Oladipo returns, then he will be sent back to the G-League.

    Source: Official NBA Injury Report

  • Luc Mbah a Moute - F - Los Angeles Clippers

    Luc Mbah a Moute (knee) has been ruled out for Monday's game.

    Mba a Moute was supposedly close to a return last week but that does not appear to be the case. He's off the fantasy radar right now.

    Source: Official NBA Injury Report

  • Henry Ellenson - F - Detroit Pistons

    Henry Ellenson is listed as probable for Monday's game.

    Ellenson broke his nose on Saturday in the G-League. Despite being probable, he most likely will not play anyways. He's appeared in just one game this season.

    Source: Official NBA Injury Report

  • Furkan Korkmaz - G/F - Philadelphia Sixers

    Furkan Korkmaz (lower back contusion) is listed as questionable for Monday's game vs. Phoenix.

    Korkmaz had a small stretch of good play, but with Jimmy Butler being integrated fully, Korkmaz' minutes have dipped. He's not worth owning unless an injury occurs. If he misses this game, Amir Johnson and Wilson Chandler could see a few extra minutes.

    Source: Official NBA Injury Report

  • Kosta Koufos - C - Sacramento Kings

    Kosta Koufos (right calf strain) has been ruled out for Monday's contest.

    This will be four straight games for Koufos. When he does return, he likely will be out of the rotation seeing as the Kings want to get Marvin Bagley more minutes.

    Source: James Ham on Twitter

  • Alex Abrines - G - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Alex Abrines (illness) was at shootaround and the Thunder will see how he feels before the game to see if he can play.

    He was originally out for this game, but did do shooting and non-contact drills in Sunday's practice. Coach Billy Donavan said that if Abrines is able to play, he will be a candidate to start at shooting guard, along with Hamidou Diallo. His status should be updated closer to game-time.

    Source: Brett Dawson on Twitter

  • Terrance Ferguson - G - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Terrance Ferguson (personal) is out for Monday's game.

    Ferguson was away from the team starting Saturday and we have no timetable for his return. Hamidou Diallo likely starts while Ferguson is out and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot should get extended run off the bench again.

    Source: https://twitter.com/BDawsonWrites/status/1064608740102496256

  • Russell Westbrook - G - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Russell Westbrook (personal) was at shootaround Monday and will be evaluated before Monday's game.

    Westbrook was listed on the injury report as out for personal, not his ankle, but that still is the key to coming back. He just welcomed a pair of twins into the world, but this is also around the time he could return from his ankle injury. He was initially ruled out for this game so we'd still lean that way, but he's looking like a true game-time decision. Watch for updates.

    Source: Brett Dawson on Twitter

  • Davis Bertans - F - San Antonio Spurs

    Davis Bertans (concussion protocol) has been ruled out for Monday's game.

    Bertans was expected to miss this game after missing Sunday's game. There's currently no timetable for him. His absence opens up minutes for Dante Cunningham, who will continue to start. Jakob Poeltl will get more minutes of the bench as he tries to turn around the disastrous start he's had to his San Antonio career.

    Source: Tom Orsborn on Twitter

  • Pau Gasol - C/F - San Antonio Spurs

    Pau Gasol (foot) is out for Monday's contest.

    Gasol was expected to miss all of San Antonio's roadtrip and we have not gotten word on his timetable. Dante Cunningham will continue to start, while Jakob Poeltl will get extra looks off the bench. With Rudy Gay (rest) questionable, the Spurs frontcourt could be in for some heavy lifting against Anthony Davis and co.

    Source: Tom Orsborn on Twitter