Image Credit: Chicago Tribune
After defeating the Los Angeles Lakers by 22 points on Sunday, the Minnesota Timberwolves decided to fire President and Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. This news was initially reported by Shams Charania, Jon Krawczynski and Adrian Wojnarowski.
Just 19-21 through the first 40 games of the season, Thibodeau posted a 97-107 record with Minnesota in two-plus seasons. The team made the playoffs last year for the first time since the 2003-04 season, providing plenty of optimism for 2018-19.
Despite Derrick Rose’s career resurgence, the rest of the Timberwolves roster has struggled this season. These issues came to a tipping point during Jimmy Butler’s spat with management at a team practice. The wing was subsequently shipped to Philadelphia in exchange for Robert Covington and Dario Saric, yet Minnesota hasn’t quite vaulted itself back into the Western Conference playoff picture.
15th in the league in offensive rating and 17th in defensive rating, the middle-of-the-pack nature of this year’s Timberwolves squad has not sat well with the front office after what was viewed as a breakthrough 2017 season. The duo of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins hasn’t been quite enough nearly halfway through the campaign.
Holding a 352-246 regular season record as a head coach in the NBA, Thibodeau could latch on with another squad in the near future. It remains to be seen whether that position will be as a coach, executive, or both.
Per Krawczynski, Ryan Saunders will take Thibodeau’s place in the interim. According to Wojnarowski, former Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg is a name current ‘Wolves owner Glen Taylor holds in very high regard in relation to a GM/HC search.
Stay tuned for updates as/if needed.