Well what do you know. Timberwolves country club leader Glen Taylor for once, actually made the best, most logical move to fill his coaching and executive ranks. Credit to him for doing it fast and paying up to land what is easily a Top 5 NBA coach in Tom Thibodeau (“Thibs”). With both Coaching and President of Basketball Operations titles (and a 5 year, $40M contract), it will be up to Tom on whether he can mold the young Timberwolves core into bona-fide all stars – build out a roster that complements Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, and allows Ricky Rubio to play to his strengths (and hides his weaknesses).
Could Thibodeau teach the Wolves to play sound team defense? We hope.
Could Thibodeau put a ceiling on the Wolves offense capabilities? Maybe.
Could Thibodeau overplay his star players and burn them out in three years? Perhaps, although this aspect of him is vastly overrated compared to minutes played of other top NBA players.
All we know is within coaching circles he is one of the most respected coaches with a coaching acumen next to none in the league. His X’s and O’x are as sound as anyone and by all accounts over his one year off, perhaps has had time to reflect on striking a better balance of how to handle his team, listen to others, and rid himself of the reputation as someone who will overwork his team.
Whether it’s the Wolves, Twins, Wild or Vikings – its rare for this city to have a team with so much potential that you are able to hire a Top 5 league wide coach – the Wolves had that chance and struck.
As an assistant on Bill Musselman’s inaugural 1989 Timberwolves team, Tom Thibodeau has a chance to mold this team into a playoff contender for years to come. Get your season tickets now, they will be much harder to come by in about two years.