Column: Tom Thibodeau to coach Minnesota Timberwolves

In this April 5, 2015, file photo, Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau directs his players during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland. A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press Wednesday, April 20, 2016, that the Minnesota Timberwolves have opened negotiations with the former Bulls coach to be the team's new coach and president of basketball operations. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

Despite not making the playoffs, the Minnesota Timberwolves are smiling due to the fact they were able to reel in former Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau on a five-year, $40 million contract Wednesday night.

"I started my NBA career with the Minnesota Timberwolves and it is an incredible opportunity to rejoin the organization at a time when they have what I believe to be the best young roster in the NBA," Thibodeau said in a statement. "Together with a great owner in Glen Taylor and a terrific basketball partner in Scott Layden, I look forward to building a winning culture that Minnesota sports fans can be proud of."

Thibodeau will have full control of basketball operations as he prepares to coach a young star-filled lineup just waiting to explode. Thibodeau has more young raw talent than he could have ever dreamed of in Chicago. To name a few, he will coach Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Zach Levine. Not to mention, Minnesota also has a lottery pick in this year’s draft.

“Anywhere is a good spot for Thibs, he just needs a team,” Thibodeau’s former franchise player Derrick Rose told reporters in New York. “He’s a good coach, a hell of a coach. And I think wherever he goes, he’ll have success. It’s in his DNA.”

Thibodeau was able to beat out former head coach and ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy for the position.

“You know when you work with a guy so long,” Gundy once said during a broadcast. “He was the best coach on our staff, me included, and I always knew that.”

The head coach position of the Timberwolves may mean more to Thibodeau than most people would think. Minnesota was the first team that hired him for an NBA coaching position. He served as an assistant during the 1989-90 season under Bill Musselman.

The Timberwolves were already a team on the rise, even before this hire. However Thibodeau’s joining with several future NBA All-Stars will certainly lure more savvy veterans.

Who knows, maybe Kevin Durant will buy a winter jacket and find himself in Minnesota next fall.


Aaron Esposito is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at aaron.esposito@uconn.edu.