After a 22 point win over the LA Lakers in Minnesota on Sunday, the Timberwolves decided to part ways with head coach and team president Tom Thibodeau. The former coach of the year who successfully ended Minnesota’s historically long 13 year playoff drought last year has been let go, and the future is murky for the T-Wolves.
Thibodeau was in his third season with the Timberwolves, and had a 96-107 record with the franchise.
Thibodeau had only one losing season in his whole career, his first year with the TImberwolves. The following year, Thibodeau was able make two huge moves, acquiring All-Star Jimmy Butler, and finishing season 47-35, making the playoffs in the west.
At the end of the day, it seemed that Thibodeau’s fate was riding on Jimmy Butler. Thibodeau knew Butler well from his time coaching in Chicago, and gambled on the shooting guard, who brought Minnesota a defensive guard who was talented enough to give a team 20+ points a night.
At the time, Butler seemed like the perfect player to put around the young pieces that Minnesota has stockpiled. When the Butler/Minnesota relationship went sour, Butler was traded to the Philadelphia and it was do or die for Thibodeau.
Now, months later, it’s been confirmed that Thibodeau’s days were numbered, and the team’s up and down trajectory was not enough to convince the front office that he was the man to make this young team click.
Whoever the new head coach will be, they will face an uphill battle to make this team a contender again. After the promise of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, this Minnesota squad is shallow and aging. Young names, such as Tyus Jones, and Josh Okigie are up-and-coming, but not able to contribute on a consistent basis yet. With high minutes being forced on Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson and Jeff Teague, a majority of this roster is over their prime, making it a very difficult team to turn into a contender.