Timberwolves fire Tom Thibodeau, may want Fred Hoiberg
The Minnesota Timberwolves have decided to fire Tom Thibodeau.
News came out late Sunday that the Timberwolves were firing Thibodeau, who was in the middle of his third season as the team’s head coach and president.
Thibodeau entered the season on the hot seat, which is why he was desperately trying to keep Jimmy Butler rather than trade him. He knew he needed a strong showing this season to keep his job. Instead, the Timberwolves have been below .500 most of the season and ended up dealing Butler to Philadelphia.
Ryan Saunders will serve as the Timberwolves’ interim head coach moving forward, while Scott Layden is the team’s general manager.
What’s surprising is the timing of the move. Why would Minnesota fire Thibodeau now, especially after a promising 22-point win over the Lakers at home? The explanation could be their interest in Fred Hoiberg.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says the Timberwolves have interest in Hoiberg as a potential head coach or GM.
Fred Hoiberg is a serious consideration of Minnesota owner Glen Taylor to become either the GM or head coach in the future, league sources tell ESPN. Hoiberg was an assistant GM in Minnesota prior to Iowa State. Scott Layden remains GM now.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 7, 2019
Hoiberg reportedly is in the mix for the UCLA head coaching job, so it’s possible the Timberwolves made the move to clear a spot for him and get him before the Bruins.
T-Wolves owner Glen Taylor also said that fan interest played a factor in the timing of the move. The team was coming up against a key date for season ticket renewals and wanted to make sure fans were engaged.