The Minnesota Timberwolves agreed to terms on Saturday with center Cole Aldrich. ESPN reported that the deal is worth $22 million over three years.
Aldrich, 27, is a Minnesota native and grew up rooting for the Wolves.
In the Minneapolis Star Tribune, he said “you always kind of think it’s a possibility,” but you never know. I’m just excited about the opportunity to be back home.’’
He played at Bloomington Jefferson High School and spent three seasons at Kansas University before making it to the NBA.
Since he was drafted in 2010 (11th overall), he has played for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks and this past season with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Aldrich is not a scorer, but he can play defense and rebound. He will also bring in good depth behind Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng.
He told the Star Tribune, “I’m a guy who likes to get down in the paint, defend and rebound,’’ set screens, do whatever I can to help the team win.’’
New Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau is known for his excellent defensive mind, which should also help Aldrich become a good addition.
ESPN analytics expert Kevin Pelton mentioned that according to Basketball-Reference, Aldrich and Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside were the only two players in the NBA to average more than 12 points per 36 minutes (14.8), 12 rebounds per 36 minutes (13.0) and three blocks per 36 minutes (3.1)
In 60 games last season he averaged 5.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 13.3 minutes as a backup to DeAndre Jordan.
Aldrich is the Wolves first free agent addition. They also showed interest in Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and Pau Gasol to name a few. All three played for Thibodeau in Chicago.
Ali Siddiqui @asiddiqui15
Spark Sports Analyst