In a close race in the Western Conference standings, one factor that wasn’t in the Minnesota Timberwolves’ favor this season was injury luck. They’ve dealt with injuries from a multitude of rotation players and consistency has been difficult to build.
With Karl-Anthony Towns still sidelined with his calf injury and Rudy Gobert also missing a few games recently, the Wolves are few and far between. There is no doubt that Tim Connelly and the front office are keeping their eyes and ears open for potential free agents.
Be it a player just serving as an injury substitute or someone who may have a long-term role on the team, there are a few options for Minnesota in the free agent market. A new name recently emerged that may intrigue Timberwolves fans.
The latest name on the NBA buyout market could be significant for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Shams recently announced that Serge Ibaka would not be staying with the Milwaukee Bucks and that the organization had agreed to find him a new home. The 14-year league veteran may not be in his prime, but he could still be very useful for a team like the Minnesota Timberwolves.
One thing is certain about Ibaka: His career was marked by victories in basketball. Ibaka, who has played alongside the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, knows the habits of a champion and has been an elite role player on multiple NBA Finals teams.
Serge would be a valuable leader for this Timberwolves team even if he were only there for the last three months of the season. With a $2.9 million one-year veteran minimum contract for Milwaukee in 2022-23, Minnesota would not take a significant financial burden to bring in Ibaka.
Minnesota could be the new home Serge Ibaka needs.
Though he may not look like the player he was at Toronto a few seasons ago, Ibaka is still only 33 years old. Injuries have limited him in recent seasons and he’s found it difficult to remain a rotation player, but a change of scenery and lower expectations may be just what the doctor ordered to prolong his career.
Still, the Timberwolves should be reluctant to make any trades for Serge Ibaka. You shouldn’t be willing to give up much for the 14-year-old veteran. If Milwaukee can’t find applicants before the deadline and ends up having to buy out Ibaka, the optimal situation for Minnesota would be to give him free rein.