Still, the Timberwolves are just 10th in the West. Even with its improved play, Minnesota could miss the playoffs in that loaded conference.
So, names potential replacements for Thibodeau are already swirling – like Fred Hoiberg, whom the Bulls fired this week.
A league source close to the situation told NBC Sports that Hoiberg could be a candidate to take over in Minnesota where he’d be reunited with owner Glen Taylor.
“Glen loves Fred,” the source told NBC Sports.
Hoiberg played for the Timberwolves and worked in their front office. He was reportedly a candidate to become their coach a few years ago.
Though Hoiberg wasn’t close to the biggest problem in Chicago, I wouldn’t rush to hire him. While with the Bulls, he never showed much reason to believe he’s a good NBA coach. Maybe he’d be fine in a different environment, but I would have liked to see more signs of quality coaching. NBA coaches must be more adaptable with their schemes, as it’s rarely feasible to get only players who fit well, and NBA coaches must communicate better with their players.
Plus, if the Timberwolves fire Thibodeau, they’ll also need a new front-office head. That person should have a say in picking the coach.
Still, I could see Minnesota hiring Hoiberg. The owner’s voice matters most. And when a team fires its coach, it tends to hire a replacement with a different style. The mild-mannered Hoiberg different considerably from the harsh Thibodeau.
That probably has something to do with the Bulls hiring Hoiberg to succeed Thibodeau – but look where that got them.