Minnesota had the most desirable open coaching vacancy on the market this summer.
They just landed the biggest name coach.
As has been rumored for the past 48 hours, Tom Thibodeau is the new coach and head of basketball operations for the Timberwolves. Minnesota-based Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press had it first.
The team has since confirmed it.
Layden is a Spurs assistant GM who will handle the day-to-day duties of being the general manager in Minnesota. Layden is known as a hard worker and is respected around the league. He will have a lot of influence, but Thibodeau will have the ultimate hammer on decisions.
The Timberwolves had the most coveted of coaching vacancies because of their impressive your roster – Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine, and more. What’s more, owner Glen Taylor had been enamored with the coach-as-president model seen in Detroit (Stan Van Gundy) and with the Clippers (Doc Rivers). That combination gave the small-market Timberwolves the clout to get in the conversation with the top available coaches.
Thibodeau is the biggest name of those available (you can make your case for Jeff Van Gundy in the comments if you want, I lean Thibs.
This is a move that comes with risk — will Thibodeau be any good at roster building? He’s a hard-driving coach and a yeller, how will that sit with the young Timberwolves core?
That said, Minnesota was going to get better next season anyway and bringing in Thibodeau accelerates that process — you know their defense is about to get good. This might even be a playoff team in the West next season now.