The Timberwolves finished the season with 29 wins, stretching their playoff drought to 12 seasons. That was a 13-win improvement over the 2014/15 season, but owner Glen Taylor dismissed interim coach Sam Mitchell and apparently wants to lure a big-name coach to Minnesota.
Jeff Van Gundy and Tom Thibodeau appear to be the co-favorites for the Timberwolves’ job. Thibodeau was interviewed over the weekend, while Van Gundy met with them on Monday, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst. The Rockets are also keenly interested in hiring Van Gundy.
Among the other names that have been floated around are ex-Thunder coach Scott Brooks and current Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger.
The Timberwolves are reportedly willing to sweeten the pot for these candidates by also offering them the title of president of basketball operations, similar to the setup that that Pistons agreed to when they hired Jeff’s brother Stan Van Gundy.
What makes the Minnesota job enticing, despite its recent history, is its stash of young talent. Big man Karl-Anthony Towns is the surefire Rookie of the Year after living up to his billing as the top pick in last year’s draft. The 2014 No. 1 overall selection, small forward Andrew Wiggins, established himself as a consistent 20-point scorer in his second season.
Gorgui Dieng also developed his game while pairing up with Towns in the frontcourt, and dunk champion Zach LaVine made strides during his second year in the league while playing both guard positions. Shabazz Muhammad had some big games off the bench, including his 35-point outburst in an April victory over the Warriors.
Now, Taylor must decide which high-profile coach will be the right choice to nurture this young core.
This leads us to our question of the day: Which coach should the Timberwolves hire to turn them into a perennial contender?
Please take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the subject. We look forward to what you have to say.