Report: Minnesota Timberwolves Pursue Tom Thibodeau as Coach and President

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty)

Now that they've relieved interim head coach Sam Mitchell, the Minnesota Timberwolves' search for a new man at the helm of their franchise is under way.

And it apparently starts with the guy at the top of everyone's coaching wish list—Tom Thibodeau.

According to Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, the former Chicago Bulls coach "is pursuing the Minnesota Timberwolves’ president of basketball operations and coaching job because of his determination to have full control of an organization."

It's not hard to imagine why Thibodeau might want control over personnel in addition to his coaching responsibilties. The head coach famously battled the Bulls front office during his time in Chicago, which ultimately led to his being oustered in 2015.

ESPN's Marc Stein claims the whole "handing over team control to a coach" idea was Minnesota's not Thibodeau's.

A coaching change could be the start of big things in Minnesota, who have a deep stock of young but unproven talent in Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Zach LaVine, in addition to lesser-known role players like Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng.

Wiggins was 2014-15's Rookie of the Year, an award all but assured to Towns in 2016 after he swept the NBA's Rookie of the Month awards.

The Timberwolves struggled to a 29-53 record, but showed plenty of potential for growth in the deep Western Conference, including handing the Golden State Warriors one of their nine losses during the regular season.

The biggest strike against Thibodeau is the overuse of his players. While other franchises have made minutes restrictions a priority to keep their players healthy, Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler could routinely be found near the top of the minutes-per-game leaderboards during the coach's tenure in Chicago. Both players have suffered serious knee injuries since.

In addition to Thibodeau, the Wolves are interviewing ESPN analyst and former New York Knicks and Houston Rockets head coach Jeff Van Gundy for the joing coach and president role.


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