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Tom Thibodeau: Timberwolves put team first in trading Ricky Rubio

tom thibodeau ricky rubio

The Minnesota Timberwolves have made some major moves this offseason, trading for former Chicago Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler during draft night and making consequent additions of Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson to round out their offseason acquisitions.

Prior to the last two, president/head coach Tom Thibodeau traded point guard Ricky Rubio to the Utah Jazz for a 2018 first-round pick and then utilized Rubio’s $14.1 million salary to sign Teague — a highly sought-after veteran that has been praised for his ability to manage the game and make decisions on the court.

“Ricky did a good job here; we’re happy for him,” Thibodeau told reporters in a conference call, according to Jerry Zgoda of the Minnesota Star Tribune. “We wish him well. He made a number of contributions to our team, our organization and community and we certainly appreciate that. For us where we are now, we have to get out of this hole and we felt we had an opportunity to improve our team, and that’s why we did what we did.

“It’s the tough part of this job. You always have to put the team first, and so that’s what we did. When we had an opportunity to get a guy like Jeff Teague, that’s what we wanted to do.”

Rubio was the product of a team that didn’t play to his best attributes, but is now in a better position with the Jazz, with plenty of snipers with their hands ready and loaded to unleash a barrage of threes.

Thibodeau had a structure in mind, and now reunited with fellow players Butler and Gibson, can start constructing the basketball nirvana he looked forward to making happen when he took the post last offseason.