After arriving in Oklahoma City via a trade with Chicago back in February, Taj Gibson is on his way to Minnesota where he has signed a 2-year $28 million contract with the Timberwolves. Gibson played 23 games with the Thunder, where he started 16 of them, and while his time was short, his impact was great.
Free agent Taj Gibson has agreed to a two-year, $28M deal with Minnesota, league sources tell The Vertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 2, 2017
Gibson only played 21.2 minutes per game, but he put up an effective 9.0 points and 4.5 rebounds. He brought some veteran leadership to a young frontcourt, but he simply was too valuable of a player for the Thunder to be able to afford him for another season.
With Gibson now gone and Domantas Sabonis being traded to Indiana just a few days ago, the Thunder needs a starting power forward. Enes Kanter has been a force at times coming off the bench for Oklahoma City, but pairing him up with starting center Steven Adams creates a lineup that is often too big and slow to compete with teams who are continually moving to a smaller, faster-paced style of basketball. The seemingly obvious choice is for youngster Jerami Grant to step in the starting lineup, and while he would be undersized at 6-foot-8, his ability to stretch the floor with his speed and shooting ability could be just what the Thunder offense needs.
With Gibson leaving, it indicates OKC is heading in a new direction at the 4. Grant as a hybrid, McDermott as a stretch, Kanter as a big.
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) July 2, 2017
Regardless of what happens, it is very clear that Sam Presti is working to put together a roster that will contend in the Western Conference, so be on the lookout for more roster updates in the next few days.
Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.