Report: Tom Thibodeau ‘aggressively pursuing’ Timberwolves job

AP Photo/Jim Mone
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The Timberwolves’ top two coaching candidates are Tom Thibodeau and Jeff Van Gundy, and Minnesota interviewed Thibodeau last weekend.

With Van Gundy reportedly set to interview today, Thibodeau has made his desire for the job known.

Adrian Wojnarowski and Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports:

Tom Thibodeau is aggressively pursuing the Minnesota Timberwolves’ president of basketball operations and coaching job because of his determination to have full control of an organization, league sources told The Vertical.

Thibodeau wants to have final say on player personnel, organizational philosophy and hirings, league sources said, and that’s only available with the Minnesota opening now.

Thibodeau’s appetite for organizational power has been unmistakable to Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor in the process, league sources said.

Several teams with openings have interest in Thibodeau as a coach, including Washington and Houston, but those organizations aren’t offering full control, sources said. The Sacramento coaching job is open, but Thibodeau has no interest in the Kings’ organization, sources said.

Taylor is expected to be willing to pay a $7 million-a-year package to an elite candidate, comparable to Stan Van Gundy’s deal with Detroit, league sources said.

This job checks every box:

  • Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins give the Timberwolves a bright future. Ricky Rubio is another bright young piece. Zach LaVine came into his own late in the season. This team has talent to win big over the next several years.
  • The salary looks right.
  • It would come with full organization control, which Thibodeau understandably wants after his experience with the Bulls. It’d be ideal if Thibodeau could better communicate with the front office, but from his perspective, running the front office himself is a great solution.

Thibodeau has had time to assess his options. It’s no surprise he’s honing in on this opportunity.

He’ll have to beat Jeff Van Gundy, who also values full control. And if he gets the job, Thibodeau will have to adjust his approach. The way he coached Chicago, the hard-driving Thibodeau could use a check on his relentless approach for himself and everyone around him.

But Thibodeau is also a highly successful coach, an elite defensive schemer and motivator. It’d be hard for Minnesota to turn him down.

This might be the perfect match of the most highly coveted coach on the market and the best job available.