Timberwolves hire Thibodeau as head coach, president of basketball operations


Tom Thibodeau is returning to Minnesota after being appointed head coach and president of basketball operations of the Timberwolves.

The Timberwolves announced on Wednesday they had agreed to terms with Thibodeau, with Scott Layden serving as the general manager.

Terms of the agreements were not released but it is a five-year pact in the $10million range annually, according to ESPN.

"We are extremely excited to welcome Tom Thibodeau back to the Timberwolves," said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor in a statement.

"Through this process we quickly identified Tom as the best leader to shape our talented team and help them realise 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."

After beginning his career in Minnesota as an assistant under Bill Musselman in 1989, Thibodeau bounced around the league as an assistant before taking over the Chicago Bulls in 2010 and leading them to five straight play-off appearances.

He was fired after the 2014-15 season following consistent disagreements with the front office regarding his coaching style.

Thibodeau, 58, will replace Sam Mitchell, who coached the Timberwolves last season after his predecessor Flip Saunders stepped away for treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Saunders died on October 25, three days before the season opener.

Layden will have plenty of options for success next season with close to $20m in cap space, a lottery pick in the NBA Draft, and the development of young stars of Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns.

"Scott Layden brings over 30 years of experience in the NBA to his new role within our organisation, including several years in basketball operations leadership positions with Utah, New York and most recently San Antonio," Taylor said. 

"His decades of front office experience will be integral as we head into an extremely exciting time for our organisation.

"In getting to know Scott, he has impressed me with his not only his basketball acumen, but also his character and integrity. Tom and Scott will work in concert together in shaping our roster moving forward.

"We are confident this partnership gives us the best chance possible of winning an NBA title."