The Minnesota Timberwolves decided to add some solid depth to their frontcourt this summer when they agreed to sign veteran and NBA journeyman Ronny Turiaf to a two-year, $3 million contract. Even though the plan was always to re-sign restricted free-agent Nikola Pekovic, adding Turiaf for insurance and depth purposes was a solid move by the Wolves.
Turiaf hasn’t had a great deal of success over his eight seasons in the league, averaging just 4.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 16.8 minutes per game for his career. He’s a decent player, but doesn’t exactly appear to be a key contributor in the Wolves’ plans this season. However, he will have value in the locker room.
By all accounts, Turiaf is a fantastic teammate that enjoys bringing fun and light-heartedness to the game. Evidence of that is seen when he’s on the sidelines celebrating with his teammates after one of his teammates on the floor does something positive. He’s also a great character guy.
If you need any evidence of his character and respect for his team and the game of basketball, you need look no further than his most recent comments.
While being officially introduced by Minnesota this week, Turiaf told Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he wouldn’t be wearing number 21, the number he’s worn the most of his career, because of Kevin Garnett and what he meant to the Wolves while wearing that number.
That type of respect is admirable, but even more admirable is the fact that Turiaf will wear number 32 in honor of Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, a man Turiaf has bonded with over the years as the two men both underwent the same heart surgery close to ten years ago.
Turiaf may not be a guy that comes off of the bench and dramatically changes the complexion of games for the Wolves, but if his actions and his reputation are any indication, he’s definitely a guy the Wolves are lucky to have on their roster.
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