Wolves’ Thibodeau: ‘I like the guys we have’
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Timberwolves president and coach Tom Thibodeau said the team will continue to talk to teams about possible trades ahead of Thursday’s deadline, but he didn’t see a deal that makes sense for them “at this point.”
The Timberwolves returned to work on Wednesday evening after the All-Star break in hopes of mounting a push for the playoffs. The Wolves are 13th in the Western Conference, but only 3 1/2 games behind Denver for the eighth seed.
The Wolves have been mentioned frequently in trade rumors this week, with much of the conversation centering around point guard Ricky Rubio. But Thibodeau brushed aside questions about those reports, saying he would not comment on speculation.
“Every team is talking to every team this time of year,” he said. “If there’s something that makes sense that can make you better, then you take a look at it. If not, I’m happy with the team we have. I like the guys we have. I like the approach we have.”
Thibodeau has been working with GM Scott Layden to look at the possibilities out there for them, but Zach LaVine’s knee injury has thrown a wrench into the team’s immediate plans. Complicating any playoff push was the deal made by New Orleans, which is two spots ahead of the Wolves in the West, to acquire DeMarcus Cousins to pair with Anthony Davis.
Thibodeau also said they will continue to evaluate Lance Stephenson, who suffered a sprained ankle while on a 10-day contract that expired this week. The Wolves could sign him to another 10-day deal when the ankle is sufficiently healed.
As for all the rumors circulating, Thibodeau said he had no plans to address them individually with players who were mentioned. He preached focus and work ethic as the Wolves prepare to get back on the court Friday night against Dallas.
“They’re pros. We’re all pros,” Thibodeau said. “Come in every day, do your job. That’s a part of building the habit.
“If you want you can find an excuse every night in this league. There’s always something. You block all that stuff out, just lock into what’s in front of you.”