Timberwolves coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau shook up his coaching staff Monday by cutting ties with three assistants, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reports. The most notable of the cuts is player development coach Vince Legarza, who worked closely with center Karl-Anthony Towns. Shooting coach Peter Patton and assistant video coordinator Wes Bohn are the other coaches who will not return. Towns was not given prior notice of Legarza’s departure, Krawczynski continues. Thibodeau may not replace all of those coaches since he has told some people that he’d like to downsize, Krawczynski adds.
In other notable developments around the Northwest Division:
- Jazz point guard Dante Exum has a strained left hamstring and his status for the remainder of the series against the Rockets is uncertain, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets. Exum underwent an MRI and further evaluation Monday after he suffered the injury in Game 4. Exum and Ricky Rubio, who also has a hamstring injury, will not play in Game 5 on Tuesday, the team tweets.
- There’s no chance guard Rodney Hood will return to the Jazz as a free agent, Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets. Hood will be a restricted free agent if he receives a $3.47MM qualifying offer from the Cavaliers. Otherwise, he’ll be unrestricted.
- The Thunder are willing to pay the steep cost of retaining free agent Paul George, according to Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman. George will likely sign a max contract in free agency this summer. The team wants to remain competitive, even if it means footing the bill for $260MM in salary and luxury-tax penalties, Dawson adds.