MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The Minnesota Timberwolves announced Wednesday they've agreed on a deal to make Tom Thibodeau head coach and president of basketball operations. Thibodeau and Wolves owner Glen Taylor are reportedly working to finalize a 5-year, $10 million annual deal, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported.
The club also announced San Antonio Spurs assistant general manager Scott Layden will Thibodeau as his GM in Minnesota, replacing Milt Newton. They did not disclose the terms of the deal.
Taylor has been conducting interviews with assistance from executive search firm Korn Ferry. The Wolves fired interim head coach Sam Mitchell immediately after the last game of the season, and shortly thereafter he learned he wouldn’t be considered for the position. He coached the team to a 29-53 record after Flip Saunders passed away in October, a 13-game improvement over the 2014-15 Wolves.
Other teams, including the Houston Rockets, were reportedly interested Thibodeau as a coach, but he was pushing for control on the court and in the front office. That makes the other reported top Wolves candidate, Jeff Van Gundy, a prime option in Houston along with Scotty Brooks. Thibodeau began his coaching career with the Wolves during the 1989-90 expansion season under Bill Musselman. The Chicago Bulls fired him last May after alleged tension with the front office. He coached the Bulls to the playoffs in each of his five years with the team.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Tom Thibodeau back to the Timberwolves,” said Taylor. “Through this process we quickly identified Tom as the best leader to shape our talented team and help them realize their full potential. Tom’s resume speaks for itself. He is a proven winner, leader and one of the most well-respected NBA head coaches over the last decade. His teams have annually been among the league leaders in defense and we are excited about the approach and mentality he will bring to that side of the ball. The future of the Minnesota Timberwolves has never been brighter and we are very pleased to have Tom as our basketball operations leader moving forward."
NBA sources say Tom Thibodeau is closing in on a five-year pact in the $10 million range annually to become coach/president of the Wolves.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) April 20, 2016
Spurs assistant GM Scott Layden is working on a deal to join Thibodeau as his GM in Minnesota, league sources said.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) April 20, 2016