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Tom Thibodeau says young guys are the pipeline to building a team

Tom Thibodeau, Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves will soon have to part ways with Jimmy Butler in the near future and while president/head coach Tom Thibodeau has been rather mum about what exactly he desires in return for his star forward, he gave a line of insight into his thinking.

“I think, you know, young guys are your pipeline,” Tom Thibodeau said when asked him if age staggering is the optimal strategy for roster construction prior to the Wolves 124-120 victory over the Lakers on Monday, according to Dane Moore of Zone Coverage. “You want good players that are coming along that can develop. Then you want some that are in the middle. And then you want some good veterans that are there just to help the young guys. That’s the way this league has functioned best when you study teams who have succeeded. That’s ideal — but it has to be the right veterans.”

Tom Thibodeau has been known to heavily favor his starters, playing them heavy minutes, regardless of the stage of the season — an old school coach to the core.

But that strategy has paid little dividends in the win-loss column and halted the development of young players like Tyus Jones, James Nunnally and Keita Bates-Diop; players who have seen small minutes or no playing time at all in Thibodeau’s short rotation.

In any trade package, Tom Thibodeau intends to have a player that can help right away along with the promise of youth and the commitment to unload a messy contract like Gorgui Dieng’s $48 million over the next three seasons.