Tom Thibodeau, the former Chicago Bulls coach, wants complete control of the Minnesota Timberwolves organization – which includes basketball operations and the head coaching job – according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Chris Mannix of The Vertical.
The Timberwolves have set up meetings with Thibodeau and former New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy on Monday and are expected to move quickly in making an offer. According to league sources, Thibodeau will only accept the job if granted complete control over “final say on player personnel, organizational philosophy and hirings.”
Coaching + Basketball operations…
Currently, Doc Rivers (Los Angeles Clippers), Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs) and Stan Van Gundy (Detroit Pistons) are the only three head coaches with control over basketball operations. According to Wojnarowski, Thibodeau would “still consider coaching jobs without full control, but his preference is clearly to have it.”
The Minnesota squad boasts of the most exciting young quartet in the league which includes the previous two No.1 overall picks, Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, promising big man Gorgui Dieng and athletic phenom Zach LaVine. Which coach wouldn’t want to help that group reach the next level?
Rockets and Wizards pursue Tom Thibodeau, too…
The Vertical further revealed that Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards are also in pursuit of Thibodeau but are unwilling to give him control over basketball operations. Minnesota, however, is open to the idea, a year after the untimely passing of former team president Flip Saunders. “Thibodeau’s appetite for organizational power has been unmistakable to Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor in the process, league sources said.”
Meanwhile, the Rockets are also considering bringing back Van Gundy, who “is intrigued with the structure that his brother, Stan, employs in Detroit, but that hasn’t been a driving factor in his desire to return to coaching.”
According to the Vertical, Van Gundy is looking only for a coaching stint in which “he can have a strong working relationship and shared vision with a potential team’s current GM and owner.” Remember, Van Gundy resigned as Rockets coach in 2007 after four seasons and still lives in Houston. Also, the ESPN commentator is reportedly a big admirer or Rockets superstar James Harden.
Will Timberwolves hand the reigns of the franchise to Tom Thibodeau? Going by Thibodeau’s track record in Chicago Bulls, it would be a very wise thing to do. Under Thibodeau, the Bulls were consistently an elite team in the East and perhaps the best defensive unit in the entire league.