This TimberBulls thing is really getting out of control.
Luol Deng became the latest member of the 2012 Bulls to join the Minnesota Timberwolves, agreeing to a one-year deal on Monday.
He joins a roster that's simply littered with former Bulls, beginning with head coach Tom Thibodeau. That list from the 2012 Bulls also includes Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson, and it wouldn't surprise anyone if Joakim Noah eventually latches on if/when he's bought out by the New York Knicks.
There would be some serious irony if this Timberwolves team, which also features Karl-Anthony Towns, matched up against against LeBron James - who is now in the Western Conference for the first time in his career as a member of the Lakers - in the postseason. James ended Thibodeau's Bulls season three times.
It was announced on Saturday morning, that Omer Asik will be out indefinitely.
Asik had an arthritis flare up over the summer, and that is the key to his current diagnosis. The Bulls acquired Asik last season in the Nikola Mirotic trade with the New Orleans Pelicans.
He has two years and north of $22 million left on his contract (including this current season).
The Bulls never expected Asik to play heavy minutes, and this injury puts his 2018-19 season in jeopardy,
This is Asik's second stint with the Bulls, as he played with Chicago in the first two seasons of his career.
In a report released Friday morning, Chicago Sun-Times reporter Joe Cowley stated that sources close to Jimmy Butler's camp think that "ownership mouthpieces" have "manufactured" rumors that Butler's number one concern in demanding a trade was money.
In response, the Butler camp has stated that Butler's reasons for wanting to leave are about having a serious shot at competing:
According to the source, this is about a philosophy in making an impact in the Western Conference, and in Butler’s mind you can’t run down a dynasty like Golden State when two of the so-called dogs in the pack are in fact kittens.
-Chicago Sun-Times reporter Joe Cowley
With the nature of public trade demands, it is tough to sort out what is true. And with Butler helping Minnesota end the NBA's longest playoff drought, it is clear that the Timberwolves have enough talent to be a playoff contender.
None of the team's on Butler's list of preferred destinations would have a serious shot at taking down the Warriors, or even making an Eastern Conference playoff run.
From the outside, it would appear that reported friction between Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns is the true reason the rift has become this big of an issue. But Butler maintains that this is not the case.
If Butler is not moved by Monday's media day in Minnesota, things could get (even more) messy.
With the ongoing public feuds between Andrew Wiggins and Stephen Jackson, the Butler camp and the TWolves organization, and the Towns contract extension situation, more drama is the last thing Minnesota needs.