Tom Thibodeau was fired by the Timberwolves in January after a tumultuous first half highlighted by the Jimmy Butler trade and a 19-21 record.
Thibs didn’t exactly click with fans during his 2.5-year tenure, even though it included the franchise’s first postseason berth since 2004 last season.
When he was hired as head coach and president of basketball operations in 2016, Thibodeau was perhaps the most highly sought after candidate taking the most attractive job.
Given how things ended, though, it’s fair to wonder if Thibodeau, 61, will get another chance as an NBA head coach.
If you want to get a head start on the speculation — and put a little money on things — Betonline.ag has set odds on who will be coaching the Lakers (and presumably LeBron James) for the first game of the 2019-20 season.
Tyronn Lue — LeBron’s coach during three finals appearances and one championship in Cleveland — tops the list at 2 to 1. Mark Jackson (3 to 1) and Juwan Howard (6 to 1) are next, followed by current coach Luke Walton (10 to 1, sorry Luke).
And then at 12 to 1 there is a cluster of three coaches. And one of them is Thibodeau.
That makes him a relative long shot, though it is worth noting there are a whopping 36 coaches on the betting list. So he’s much closer to the top than the bottom.
The thought of Thibs coaching LeBron is … interesting? I’m trying to picture it, and it’s not quite working.
By the way, you can also bet on whether Ryan Saunders will be the Wolves coach next season. His odds? 1 to 4. You’d have to bet $400 on “yes” just to win $100. So this betting market clearly expects Saunders will stick around and get the permanent job.
The Wolves, by the way, are probably rooting for Thibs to get hired by anyone. I haven’t seen his contract, but many coaching deals have “offset” provisions whereby if they are hired by another team while the team that fired them is still paying them, the amount they are owed decreases.
As it stands, the Wolves are on the hook for $8 million each of the next two seasons for Thibodeau.