Tom Thibodeau served as the Chicago Bulls head coach from 2010 to 2015. After he was fired at the end of last season, Thibodeau’s name popped up in some head coaching conversations for this season, but nothing materialized. A year later, Thibodeau is looking for a new job, and maybe even more.
According to The Vertical, Thibodeau is interested in not just coaching the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he also wants to run the organization. In short, he wants to be to Minnesota what Bill Belichick is to the New England Patriots.
Thibodeau wants to be able to run everything from the coaching staff to player personnel to organizational philosophy and more. The reason why that makes him interested in the Timberwolves job is out of all the possible openings, Minnesota is the only place where he could truly take over the organization.
The Timberwolves job can be very appealing to someone like Thibodeau who made it to the playoffs all five years he was the head coach in Chicago. With young talent like Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins to work with, if Thibodeau could hire his entire staff to work around them, his vision could truly be implemented. According to The Vertical, ownership wrapped up meetings with Thibodeau and Jeff Van Gundy on Monday and could make an offer soon.
What makes things more interesting is the Timberwolves hired the search firm Korn Ferry to help them with the process. League sources told The Vertical that when Korn Ferry spoke to NBA executives for advice, Thibodeau had support and on top of that, the structure he wants of “coach-as-president” was recommended.
After Korn Ferry helps pick a head coach, the next step is to help the Timberwolves and the new head coach find a General Manager. Possible new GMs include San Antonio Spurs assistant GM Scott Layden and Memphis Grizzlies executive VP of player personnel Ed Stefanski.
The firm has hired a coach-as-president before, and Jeff Van Gundy has close ties to that situation. When Stan Van Gundy, Jeff’s brother, was hired by the Detroit Pistons as the president and coach in 2014, Korn Ferry led the search.
The Vertical reported that if Thibodeau doesn’t get the gig, he will consider other jobs, but right now, Minnesota is at the top of the list. If Thibodeau doesn’t land in Minnesota, the other coaching options sources said he could be interested in are Washington and Houston. Sacramento also has an opening, but the former Bulls head coach is reportedly not interested.