Even if it’s just his opinion, Windhorst — a respected reporter — had this to say about the opening:
“This is one thing I never thought I would say, and I don’t know if you could ever say again, but I believe it’s true: The Minnesota Timberwolves have the most attractive coaching job in the NBA. More than the Knicks. More than even if the Lakers’ (job) opens up. Their young talent, another high draft pick and salary cap flexibility make this the best job to come onto the open market in years.”
Windhorst mentions Tom Thibodeau as the Wolves’ top target (consistent with this Star Tribune story) and says he could be a great fit as long as he gets some measure of personnel control and has learned from his stint in Chicago not to burn out his top players by using them too much. When asked to reiterate his overall position, Windhorst adds this about the attractiveness of the Wolves’ job:
“It’s not even close. There are coaches who would crawl over glass for this job. There are a lot of coaches who would give up the job they have now to get this job. This is the most exciting young team that we’ve seen with a coaching situation since the Thunder in 2009 when they had an up and coming Westbrook and Durant. And they may eventually even be better and more talented than those teams.”
Those are big and exciting thoughts for Wolves fans to entertain, and it should be noted that while Windhorst might be bringing the strongest take on this at the moment, he’s not alone.
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote recently, “Minnesota has the potential to be the most attractive job opening on the market, largely because of the presence of presumptive Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns and a core of young talent.”
The Washington Post also rates this as the best available job, while our own Jerry Zgoda writes, “The Wolves’ job is the best one that will be out there this spring. Thibodeau is the best coach available, if maybe not the best fit for every team.”
Long story short, the Wolves are beautifully positioned to find the coach and personnel person/people of their dreams. That’s a double-edged sword that cuts at both risk (failure to make the right choice) and reward (choosing wisely), but being in this position at least is uncharted territory for the organization.
And if absolutely nothing else comes of the link between Thibs and the Wolves, at least we have a chance to cast our collective gaze on that wonderful Star Tribune file photo from a quarter century ago when Thibodeau was a Wolves assistant.