The Minnesota Timberwolves ended their coaching staff by announcing that they hired former Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau as their new coach as well as their president of basketball operations. With Thibodeau in charge of basketball operations, he is in control of all roster moves, which means he will draft players and sign free agents. With Thibodeau at the helm, the Timberwolves will have improved online NBA sportsbook odds of making the playoffs next season.
Thibodeau was a hot commodity after the season ended due to the success he had as the head coach of the Chicago Bulls. In his last two seasons in Chicago, fans were calling for his termination because he ran a tight ship and failed to lead the team to the NBA Finals.
A season after firing Thibodeau as head coach, the Bulls failed to make the playoffs, despite having a more talented team this season than they had while Thibodeau was coaching the team.
On Wednesday, the Timberwolves confirmed that they had reached an agreement with Thibodeau to become their new head coach. In addition to Thibodeau, the Timberwolves will also be adding former San Antonio Spurs assistant general manager Scott Layden as their new general manager.
With Thibodeau and Layden running things, the Timberwolves expect to be back in the playoffs very soon.
Timberwolves owner Glenn Taylor said he was very excited to welcome Thibodeau back to the Timberwolves family, where he started his career as an assistant to Bill Musselman in 1989.
After serving as an assistant with Doc Rivers when he coached the Celtics to the NBA title in 2008, Thibodeau took the job as the Bulls head coach and won the coach of the Year award in 2011.
According to a report on NBA.com, the Timberwolves hired Scott Layden as their general manager because he has a great working relationship with Thibodeau when both men worked for the New York Knicks in the 1990s.
Before the Timberwolves hired him, Thibodeau was sought after by a lot of NBA teams looking for a new head coach. He ultimately decided to sign with the Timberwolves because he felt they had the pieces to become contenders in the Western Conference pretty quickly.
Players like Karl-Anthony Towns, who won the Rookie of the Year award, and Andrew Wiggins, who won the award in 2015, showed flashes of brilliance last season. With the right type of coaching, they could become the next great duo in the NBA.
Despite their lack of depth this past season, the Timberwolves were very competitive but didn’t know how to close out games. With time, the young guys will only get better and should be able to lead the Timberwolves back to the playoffs for the first time since Kevin Garnett last did it in 2004.
Another advantage of the Timberwolves signing Thibodeau is the fact that he is a defensive guru, which is just what Minnesota needs because they were one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA last season, allowing opponents to score 106 points per game.
Even if the Timberwolves don’t make the playoffs next season, expect them to be a much disciplined team and to be much improved defensively.