(CBS) Former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has landed the most coveted open job on the market.
Thibodeau’s finalized a deal to Wednesday afternoon to become the Timberwolves’ coach and president of basketball operations, the Associated Press reported. The deal was expected to be for five years, The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier in the day. Thibodeau will have final say in all basketball matters, which was one point of contention for why his five-year run in Chicago unraveled and he was fired after the 2014-’15 season.
Thibodeau, 58, inherits a team with a bright future and two burgeoning stars in Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, as well as a talented young group around them. Minnesota was 29-53 this past season, letting interim coach Sam Mitchell go at the end of it. Mitchell had filled in after the tragic death of coach/president Flip Saunders last October.
Thibodeau broke into the NBA coaching ranks as an assistant with the Timberwolves in 1989-’90, working for two season in Minnesota.
Spurs assistant general manager Scott Layden is expected to become the Timberwolves’ new GM, as he’ll handle the day-to-day executive duties and work under Thibodeau.
The NBA Coach of the Year in 2010-’11, Thibodeau led the Bulls to the playoffs in each of his five seasons and compiled a .647 winning percentage. He spent the past year traveling and visiting many friends in the coaching business, learning as much as he could and studying different philosophies.