Report: Timberwolves finalizing five-year contract with Tom Thibodeau as president-coach
The Timberwolves were in advancing in talks with Tom Thibodeau and Scott Layden.
That escalated quickly.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
NBA sources say Tom Thibodeau is closing in on a five-year pact in the $10 million range annually to become coach/president of the Wolves.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) April 20, 2016
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Spurs assistant GM Scott Layden is working on a deal to join Thibodeau as his GM in Minnesota, league sources said.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 20, 2016
The Timberwolves leveraged the best roster among teams with coaching vacancies – Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine – into the best available coach for winning games quickly. They just had to hand their franchise over to someone whose outlook has been strikingly short-term as a coach, let alone as an executive.
Will Thibodeau adjust to his new role? Will he see the bigger picture? Will Scott Layden keep enough front-office work off Thibodeau’s plate?
These questions will determine whether this grand experiment works, but there’s little question that Minnesota just became much better.
The Timberwolves, given their youth, were bound to improve next season regardless. Thibodeau accelerates the progress. He schemes and implements tremendous defenses, and he motivates players to compete. Minnesota will be the trendy pick for a team to move from the lottery to the playoffs.
But it’ll take far longer to assess the long-term ramifications of empowering Thibodeau – how he builds the roster, manages player health and avoids burnout. It might be a bet worth taking for the Timberwolves, who’ve been lousy far too long and finally have a chance to become a major player in the NBA landscape. Nonetheless, it is a gamble.