By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Minnesota Timberwolves fired head coach and President of Basketball Operations Tom Thibodeau on Sunday. The move happened shortly after the Wolves defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 108-86.
The win improved the Wolves record to 19-21. The win over the Lakers improved their home record 14-6.
One year after making the playoffs, the Wolves are presently 11th in the Western Conference. Thibodeau was fired by Minnesota CEO Ethan Casson and GM Scott Layden.
“We would like to thank Tom for his efforts and wish him all the best,” said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. “These decisions are never easy to make, but we felt them necessary to move our organization forward.”
This move is expected to help reshape their basketball operations staff. Layden will remain the general manager; however, according to sources, his future is murky at best.
Thibodeau clashed with one of the team’s stars, before Jimmy Butler was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in November. The Wolves did not receive equal value when Butler was moved.
But because Butler was not happy with the team, they had to move him and get something instead of letting the situation continue to drag out. Minnesota received Jerryd Bayless, Robert Covington, Dario Šarić, and a 2022 second-round pick for Butler and Justin Patton.
Assistant Coach Ryan Saunders will take over for the remainder of the season as Interim Head Coach. The 32-year-old Saunders, who is the son of the late Wolves Head Coach Flip Saunders, receives his first NBA Head Coaching opportunity.
Besides Thibodeau, the team also fired assistant coach Andy Greer.
Saunders was an assistant coach with the Wolves from 2014 through 2019 before his promotion. The Medina, Minnesota native also served as a Washington Wizards assistant coach from 20009 through 2014.
According to ESPN, Taylor has serious interest in hiring Fred Hoiberg as Head Coach. Hoiberg was fired earlier this season by the Chicago Bulls.