Some “cursory contact” has taken place between the Timberwolves and former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, sources tell Brian Windhorst, who made his report in an appearance on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” show (video link). Wolves owner Glen Taylor told interim Wolves coach Sam Mitchell that he would have this season to work with and that he would evaluate him after that, as Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press said to Hoops Rumors in a recent edition of The Beat, so the team faces a decision about its coaching future this spring. Thibodeau has apparently long wanted the Knicks coaching job, and while that appears unlikely, he’s reportedly of interest to the Lakers and Nets and is linked to just about every coaching vacancy that arises.
Nearly half the Wolves roster has expressed concern about Mitchell’s job performance, Krawczynski reported late last month, though he picked up the endorsement of team leader Kevin Garnett. The Timberwolves won their 17th game of the season Wednesday with an upset of the Raptors, surpassing the 16 they won all of last season, but they still have the league’s fifth-worst record. That sets up Minnesota for another high first-round pick, making the job all the more attractive, as Windhorst discusses.
It doesn’t appear as though talks have become serious at all, though Thibodeau is anxious to return to coaching, Sam Smith of Bulls.com wrote recently, adding that he believes the former Coach of the Year would want personnel control. GM Milt Newton, like Mitchell, has no assurances beyond this season. The 58-year-old Thibodeau went 255-139 in the regular season and 23-28 in the playoffs with Chicago, which fired him this past spring.
Which team would be the best fit for Thibs? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.