Minnesota Timberwolves Hire Tom Thibodeau; Agree on a 5-Year Deal
The Timberwolves have chosen former ChicagoBulls’ head coach and the Minnesota Timberwolves hire Tom Thibodeau to become their next coach and basketball operations boss. The Wolves also will hire San Antonio assistant general manager Scott Layden as their new general manager who will report to Thibodeau.
Behind No. 1 overall picks Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, the leaders of a core of young talent as promising as any NBA team can boast, the Timberwolves boosted hopes for the future by finishing this season strong. Now, with the addition of the top coach on the market, Minnesota looks poised to return to the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade.
Minnesota showed promise down the stretch — including upsetting Golden State in Oakland for the Warriors’ final loss of a 73-9 regular season — but still finished 12-16 after the break because of a leaky defense. Since Thibodeau seems likely to improve the defense and shift the offense toward higher-value shots, the Timberwolves have an excellent shot at reaching .500. That’s something they haven’t done since 2004-05 — the first year of the team’s 12-year playoff drought, the longest one in the NBA.
With the salary cap exploding, Thibodeau and the rest of his front office must carefully manage their cap space to avoid being stuck with bad contracts as Minnesota’s young stars begin getting more expensive contract extensions.
Protecting the development of Towns and Wiggins is more important for the Timberwolves than whether they make the playoffs next season. Hopefully, the long-term security of a massive contract and a dual role will help Thibodeau focus on the bigger picture. If so, Minnesota could enjoy years of prosperity under his coaching.
Minnesota Gets a Proven Winner in Tom Thibodeau
Thibodeau is a good NBA coach. There’s no denying this. He is a brilliant defensive mind and gets the most out of teams that are put in his care. Thibodeau’s time ended in Chicago after clashes with management forced him to leave the team. He’d been nothing but successful with the Bulls, but friction with team vice president John Paxson doomed him and led to his exit in Chicago.
Some of the critiques were unfounded, but many of the knocks on Thibodeau had merit. He did have a habit of only trusting a few players, especially in big games, and had a habit of playing those players a lot of minutes. This was especially true of plus wing defenders that Thibodeau trusted — Luol Deng led the league in minutes per game in 2011-12 and 2012-13 and Jimmy Butler was tied for the league lead in minutes per game in 2013-14.
I’m sure everything Tom Thibodeau learned from his experience in Chicago with management will set him up for success.
(Minnesota Timberwolves Hire Tom Thibodeau)