The Timberwolves landed the most sought-after coach on the market Wednesday, hiring Tom Thibodeau and giving him player personnel control to boot. The move wasn’t a shock, since Minnesota quickly zeroed in on Thibs and appeared to pursue him with an unmatched fervor. Here’s a sampling of the reaction to Minnesota’s coup:
- The Thibodeau hire demonstrates that the Wolves are more stable and promising than they ever have been, contends Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune. That Thibodeau would choose Minnesota speaks to just how intriguing the roster is, and it also shows the franchise has its priorities in order, Souhan believes. Thibodeau, in a statement Wednesday, said the Wolves have the best young roster in the NBA, as USA Today’s Sam Amick relays (Twitter link).
- Thibodeau had long eyed the Lakers, convinced that he could attract elite free agents to play for him in L.A., writes Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, who takes the Lakers to task for not deciding Byron Scott‘s fate sooner and missing the chance to offer the job to Thibodeau. The ex-Bulls coach found it too risky to wait around for teams that haven’t decided whether to create coaching opportunities, tweets Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.
- Still, many owners and executives around the league question whether Thibodeau can handle serving as coach and president of basketball operations at the same time, Wojnarowski writes in the same piece.
- The Timberwolves took an approach opposite to that of the Lakers, quickly cutting ties with Sam Mitchell and reversing course on apparent plans to let former GM Milt Newton run the front office this summer, observes Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report. The team’s statement that the search would focus exclusively on candidates outside the organization was a stunner, given Taylor’s reputation for loyalty, Ding notes.