Everything can change in the blink of an eye in the NBA. Teams can fall apart in one offseason and you know what they say: one man's garbage is another man's treasure. No star goes unnoticed in the league and it won't take them long before finding a new home.
The Chicago Bulls didn't know how to make the most of the incredibly talented team they had on 2013-14. Injuries, tough luck, and a poor front office condemned a team that looked poised to be a perennial force in the Eastern Conference.
But, once the Minnesota Timberwolves reached an agreement with Tom Thibodeau, it looked like the former Bulls had found a new home where they could once again flourish and lead a team to Championship contention. Today, we're going to take a look back at the 2018-19 Timberwolves, the 'TimberBulls':
Derrick Rose was the Chicago Bulls' biggest hope since Michael Jordan. He became the youngest MVP in NBA history and was the most entertaining player in the league before injuries got the best of him. He stayed with the Bulls until they traded him away to the New York Knicks in 2015-16.
After a somewhat good end of the season with the Knicks and struggling with the Cavaliers, Rose signed with the Timberwolves until the end of the 2017-18 season. Next year, he averaged 18.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game and even scored a career-high 50 points. He looked aggressive and confident again and is now thriving with the Detroit Pistons.
Trading away Jimmy Butler fueled the Chicago Bulls' rebuilding process. He was clearly disgruntled with the organization's inability to contend so he welcomed the move with open arms, finding his way to the Timberwolves in 2018 to finally put an end to their playoffs drought.
Sadly, Butler and the Timberwolves' young core just weren't on the same page. He thought their young stars didn't want it enough and the team had no choice but to send him to the Philadelphia 76ers. Butler helped the Sixers clinch a playoff berth before signing a multi-year deal with the Miami Heat. During his stint with the Timberwolves, he averaged 22.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 2.0 steals per game.
Luol Deng was one of the most beloved and respected players in the Chicago Bulls' locker room. His impressive work ethic and ability to contribute on both ends of the floor granted him a lot of recognition among players and fans, so it was a huge blow to see them trading him to the Cavaliers.
Deng then bounced around the league a little, joining the Heat and later signing a huge deal with the Lakers, which didn't actually need him at all. Deng would join the Timberwolves for the 2018-19 season, which would be the last on his career. He averaged 7.1 points and 3.3 rebounds.
Taj Gibson was one of Tom Thibodeau's favorite players during his tenure with the Bulls. He impersonated the grittiness, hustle, and physical defense Thibodeau always tried to live by, and he earned the respect and love of Bulls fans when he slid into the starting lineup.
The Bulls eventually traded Gibson to the Thunder in 2017. He stayed there until the end of the season before deciding to rejoin Thibodeau in the Timberwolves on a two-year deal. Gibson averaged a career-high 11.5 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game during his stint there, and is now set to join Thibodeau again in the New York Knicks.
Tom Thibodeau deserved a lot of credit for the 2008 Boston Celtics' title run. His defensive expertise eventually granted him a head coaching job with the Chicago Bulls in 2010 and he quickly turned the team into a perennial championship contender. However, it looked like he wore out the players physically and mentally and his relationship with the front office just wasn't good at the end.
It didn't take him long to find a new home after leaving the Bulls in 2015. He signed a multi-year with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2016 and took the team back to the playoffs for the first time since 2005. Even so, it seemed like he didn't get along with their young players (Karl-Anthony Towns) and was let go in 2019. Now, he's expected to coach the Knicks for the next five years.