The Minnesota Timberwolves introduced the firing of president and coach Tom Thibodeau on Sunday, clearing the best way for possession to revamp the team’s basketball operations, league sources advised ESPN.
The transfer got here simply hours after the Wolves’ emphatic 108-86 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers improved their document to 19-21, together with 14-6 at house. They’re 11th within the Western Convention standings.
Minnesota CEO Ethan Casson, accompanied by common supervisor Scott Layden, walked into Thibodeau’s workplace and fired him after the victory over the Lakers, league sources advised ESPN. Thibodeau was stunned on the timing and had no thought his ouster was imminent, in accordance to sources.
Layden will stay in place for now however his future stays unsure, sources mentioned. Former Chicago Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg in addition to ESPN analyst Chauncey Billups have been mentioned as attainable candidates for GM or head coach, sources mentioned, however the group has but to attain out to both.
Hoiberg is a favourite of proprietor Glen Taylor, although there’s concern inside the group that it may lose him as a candidate ought to UCLA aggressively pursue and rent him for its head teaching opening, sources mentioned. Hoiberg prefers to keep within the NBA as a coach than return to school basketball, a supply mentioned.
The Timberwolves plan to separate the powers of GM and coach, which would depart the San Antonio Spurs as the one franchise the place the coach, Gregg Popovich, holds ultimate say over basketball operations selections.
Assistant coach Ryan Saunders, 32, will take over as Minnesota’s interim coach. He is the son of the late Flip Saunders, who had two stints as Timberwolves’ coach.
Minnesota additionally dismissed assistant coach Andy Greer, who had an in depth affiliation with Thibodeau, sources mentioned.
Thibodeau had anticipated that he would possibly end the season as coach, sources mentioned. He didn’t have a powerful relationship with Casson, who has lobbied for a coach who labored higher with the enterprise aspect of the group and impressed fewer issues with public relations.
Thibodeau led the Timberwolves to the franchise’s first playoff look in 14 years in 2017-18. He ends his tenure with a 97-107 document. His win complete is tied with Rick Adelman for the second-most in team historical past.
The beginning of Thibodeau’s third season in cost was sophisticated by the departure of Butler, who pressured a commerce to the Philadelphia 76ers in November. Because the commerce went by means of, sources advised ESPN that Thibodeau had determined his team may now not perform with the four-time All-Star. Minnesota has gone 15-12 for the reason that commerce, after opening the season Four-9 with Butler.
“We wish to thank Tom for his efforts and want him all the most effective,” Taylor mentioned in an announcement. “These selections are by no means simple to make, however we felt them essential to transfer our group ahead.”
Hoiberg was fired because the Bulls coach in December, lower than three seasons after changing Thibodeau there. Hoiberg, who performed his ultimate two NBA seasons with Minnesota, served as an assistant GM till returning to his alma mater, Iowa State, to coach in 2010.
Billups performed two seasons with the Timberwolves from 2000 to 2002 earlier than signing with Detroit in free company.