In a Sunday morning report from Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, free agent power forward Taj Gibson has signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The former Chicago Bull leaves Oklahoma City to reunite with coach Tom Thibodeau and teammate Jimmy Butler on a Timberwolves squad that is growing more formidable by the second. Gibson’s deal is reportedly $28 million over the next two seasons.
Gibson was acquired by the Thunder at last season’s trade deadline, and eventually assumed the starting job at power forward when Domantas Sabonis was moved to the bench. Gibson averaged 9 points and 4.5 rebounds for the Thunder in the regular season, making 16 starts in a total of 23 games. He had postseason numbers of 9.8 points and 3.6 rebounds during the five-game series with Houston, playing in just 23.6 minutes per contest.
While it was considered unlikely that Gibson return to Oklahoma City, the Thunder has lost its top two power forwards in the last 48 hours. Sabonis was dealt to the Indiana Pacers on Friday night, and after Gibson’s move to Minnesota, Jerami Grant would assume to be the starter if the season began today. However if other reports are believed to be true, Presti and the Thunder may be close to rectifying this situation.
Free agent Rudy Gay visited Oklahoma City on Saturday, and would likely man the 4-spot if he signs with the Thunder. The organization has also shown interest in free agent Zach Randolph, although there has been little movement on that front since the initial reports popped up on Friday night. Power forward is a big question mark at the moment, but I would expect Sam Presti to move quickly on trying to shore up the position.