Free-agent-to-be Taurean Prince plans to be back with Timberwolves next season
The 28-year-old played in 69 games for the Wolves during the regular season and has appeared in every playoff game
MINNEAPOLIS — Taurean Prince has been a stabilizing force on a Timberwolves team that has needed just that at points this season. The veteran wing was in and out of the rotation at the start of this season as he struggled and adjusted to a new scheme and new teammates after being acquired in an offseason trade that sent Ricky Rubio to Cleveland.
But Prince maintained his professionalism and eventually earned a full-time spot back in the rotation. Prince said he’s had six coaches in his six NBA seasons, so he keeps an open mind when entering any new situation. He has proven adaptable and is always looking to prove himself.
He did that in Minnesota. The 28-year-old played in 69 games for the Wolves during the regular season and has appeared in every playoff game. His sound defense and ability to both hit threes and attack closeouts have helped patch up some of Minnesota’s weaknesses.
But now is the time of year when every game could be Prince’s last in a Timberwolves uniform. The Wolves were facing elimination in Friday’s Game 6 of the opening round of the NBA playoffs against Memphis, and Prince is a free-agent this offseason.
“It is what it is when it comes to that type of time. I’m not worried about that,” Prince said. “Honestly, me personally, I plan to return. So, it’s nothing that I’m putting attention to with myself or people around me right now. I’m just focused on winning.”
Prince said the camaraderie of the group has been a major positive for him. The Timberwolves have had 10 to 15 players all season who have constantly been on the same page and hanging out away from the floor.
“You don’t get that (in the NBA). I really haven’t felt that since college,” Prince said. “That’s a big step.”
And then there’s Prince’s relationship with Timberwolves coach Chris Finch, who he likened to current Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer — who Prince played for in Atlanta.
“Similar type of style of play which benefits myself and everybody who plays for those type of coaches,” Prince said. “So, that’s a big reason, obviously, just to continue to play basketball.”
Now the question is if the Timberwolves share Prince’s interest in bringing him back this offseason.
“I would hope so,” Prince said.
Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported that the Timberwolves held a players-only meeting Wednesday, a day after their Game 5 collapse in Memphis. Haynes reported the Wolves players stayed back after their traditional film study with coaches to watch extra film amongst themselves.
That was news to Karl-Anthony Towns.
“We had a film session, just as a team. OK. What happened there? See, this is why I don’t look at Twitter. … Y’all be making up (stuff) at any time, bro,” Towns said. “I don’t know what the hell happened. Alright, yeah, we watched film, we had practice (Thursday). I guess that’s a players-only meeting. Yeah, we had practice.”
Taurean Prince did note players watch film with one another sans coaches all the time.