Flip Saunders remains heavily involved in free agency, as agent Mark Bartelstein announced that his client, Ronnie Turiaf, has agreed to a two year deal with the Timberwolves. The deal is reportedly worth $3.2 million over the two years.
Ronnie Turiaf is an eight year veteran who most recently played with the Clippers last season. The Timberwolves will be his seventh team in those eight seasons. While his stats may be unimpressive, Turiaf is a player that knows and accepts his role on a team and is willing to do what is needed of him. Most specifically, that role is play strong defense in the middle and grab a few rebounds, allowing the starting frontcourt to get a breather.
What does this mean for the Timberwolves? Quite honestly, I can’t remember an offseason when they have been so active. Assuming Nikola Pekovic is back and the team can stay relatively healthy over the course of the season, the Wolves are a virtual lock to make the playoffs. The roster has never been this deep before. While the ‘03/’04 team was more talented at the top, this coming season’s roster is stronger from top to bottom in my opinion.
Ronnie Turiaf will come in and play spot minutes here and there. He’ll be able to use his six fouls as necessary and without worry. I would expect to see similar numbers as last year (~2 points and rebounds per game) and not think much of it at all. He isn’t here to be a 10ppg/rpg player. If you are thinking that this is or should be the case, please take a step back. The only legitimate gripe I could see about this signing is the second year on the contract. However, you need guys like this on your roster and it may have taken that second year to get him in Minnesota.
With Andrei Kirilenko likely heading to the Brooklyn Nets (?!?!), it looks like the Timberwolves frontcourt is just about set once Pekovic is resigned.
What do you think of Flip’s offseason so far? For me, it got off to a rocky start with the draft, but he has really redeemed himself at this point.