Jon Krawczynski: BREAKING: AP Source says Tom Thibodeau…

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Tom Thibodeau always believed he could lure free agents to the Los Angeles Lakers, that the proper structure and vision still makes that franchise the ultimate superstar destination. Thibodeau always had his eyes on the most glamorous job in basketball, but the Lakers hesitated and missed the chance to recruit him.
LaMarcus Aldridge was dying for the Lakers to blow him away in a free-agent presentation on July 1 and left the room deflated over the parade of marketing and partnership suits that sold him on the residual impacts of playing for the Lakers. Had that been a Tom Thibodeau basketball presentation to Aldridge, there are those who believe Aldridge would’ve been swayed to sign there.
Andy Greder: Confirming #Twolves-Tom Thibodeau working on a contract, but doesn't sound like more news is imminent today, a source with knowledge said.
Thibodeau has a strong relationship with Timberwolves' legend Kevin Garnett, who plans to play another season with the team. Garnett has had aspirations of joining the team's ownership group upon retirement. Thibodeau and Garnett were part of Boston's 2008 NBA championship team.
Marc Stein: Sources say Wolves owner Glen Taylor has been eyeing Tom Thibodeau for months and, one week into the offseason, is landing his top target. Have criticized Glen Taylor often for being consistently indecisive ... can only applaud him now for how swiftly the Wolves have moved here.
Thibodeau emerged as the frontrunner in pursuit of the job in recent days, selling owner Glen Taylor on his vision of sustained success and playoff basketball in Minnesota, league sources said. Thibodeau has been drawn to the full control of the organization and the chance to coach a talented young core that includes rookie center Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
Vincent Goodwill: Minny interviewed Mark Jackson yesterday, and there was no mention of him wanting both roles. Token? Checking a box?
KC Johnson: There's the playoff $ on which Bulls missed. This will offset the $4.5M Bulls owe Thibs, who lands premier gig. - RT: Adrian Wojnarowski: Tom Thibodeau is finalizing a five-year deal to become president and coach of the Timberwolves, league sources tell @TheVertical.
Marc Berman: According to Woj, Thibodeau-Scott Layden tandem could happen in Minnesota. Worked together with #Knicks. Layden still has place in Manhattan
Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy says the Minnesota Timberwolves are "very lucky" to be able to interview Jeff Van Gundy and former Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau for their head-coaching vacancy. Stan, who is Jeff's brother and a friend of Thibodeau's, doesn't think the close friends are "competing" against one another for the job. ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein reported Monday that Jeff was expected to meet with the Timberwolves on Monday in regard to being both the coach and "face" of basketball operations. Thibodeau completed a similar interview over the weekend.
For his part, Stan doesn't seem surprised that Jeff hasn't coached a team in a while. Jeff last coached the Houston Rockets during the 2006-07 season. "I'm not surprised, because I talk to him all the time," Stan said. "If I was taking the long view of, say, the media, that doesn't know him and doesn't talk to him all the time, yeah, I probably would be surprised. "But he's got a great job. He has a great job, and it's great for him, it's great for his family. He's happy. So it would take a lot. He misses some things about coaching, but it would take a lot. If he takes a job, it's going to be one that he thinks was just a great, great, great situation. Way too good to turn down. He's not going to take anything marginal, I'll tell you that."
Darren Wolfson: Fascinating chat w/ Sam Mitchell. Podcast posts later. Praise for Dieng was off the charts. He's very open to being an ass't again. Should clarify on Mitchell because my wording might've been goofy: he's open to an ass't job anywhere. Also mentioned coaching in college.
Van Gundy's interview was arranged to be conducted Monday in Cleveland, where he called Sunday's Cavaliers-Pistons playoff game in Cleveland for ESPN.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Wolves completed a similar interview over the weekend with former Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who broke into NBA coaching as a Timberwolves assistant during their expansion season in 1989-90.
Thibodeau wants to have final say on player personnel, organizational philosophy and hirings, league sources said, and that’s only available with the Minnesota opening now.
Taylor is expected to be willing to pay a $7 million-a-year package to an elite candidate, comparable to Stan Van Gundy’s deal with Detroit, league sources said.
Brian Windhorst: Wolves will begin coaching search tomorrow & it won't include Sam Mitchell, sources said. On Wolves list is Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger
Among the five interim jobs, the Knicks (Kurt Rambis), Timberwolves (Sam Mitchell) and Suns (Earl Watson) are expected to give the incumbents strong looks, sources say. Barring something unforeseen, Tony Brown in Brooklyn and J.B. Bickerstaff in Houston will be moving on.
Sam Mitchell has the support of Wolves veteran Kevin Garnett, whose endorsement does have impact with owner Glen Taylor. Garnett is expected to eventually have an ownership stake in the team upon his retirement.
Darren Wolfson: #Twolves owner Glen Taylor is in NYC for an #NBA function. Said many people have come up to him saying how impressed they were last night. Taylor said Sam's future is all his call. But he'll talk to Milt/others. "Sooner the better" on a time-frame for a decision. #twolves
Taylor was asked if it would be difficult to fire the coaching staff and front office that has helped develop those players. “I like my coach [Sam Mitchell], I like my general manager [Milt Newton], they’re really nice people,” Taylor said. “We’re working together. What I told them is in this business of basketball, we’re going to do the whole season first and then at the end of the season we’ll do the evaluation.”
You don't see this every day: Kevin Garnett came over to the media after this morning's shootaround without being requested for an interview because, he said, he had some things to say before tonight's game against the Lakers in Los Angeles. Much of it was to express support for interim head coach and his former teammate, Sam Mitchell, and the direction the 14-35 Wolves are headed. "I feel real good about the progression of this team since Day 1 and I think it needs to be said and needs to be understood that I'm endorsing Sam Mitchell and our coaching staff and this organization," he said. "More importantly, I'm excited about our future. I'm excited about our young players. I feel like we're getting better. These last 10, 15 games, we've gotten better. You see it and I think that needs to be said. I think you all need to understand we're supportive around here."
"Just because I haven't done a lot of interviews and voiced my opinion on a lot of things," he told three of us media members gathered, "I want you guys to understand that not only do I endorse Sam Mitchell, but the other players do, too. We believe not only in him, but the system and what we're trying to do here. I think everybody needs to understand that. The transformation and what we're trying to do here is build something for the future and these are the first steps of that. I don't really come to you guys a lot and say two weeks, but I just want you guys to know that needs to be heard and said."
Mitchell said he can't be concerned with his job status. "It's bigger than me. And I learned that a long time ago," Mitchell said. "It may turn out that I'm here to see it (through). But it may turn out I'm not. The people in this league know there's a certain way we have to do this." The team is 2-3 after a miserable 1-13 stretch, and Mitchell likes what he sees. "There's no other team I'd rather coach right now," Mitchell said. "These young guys are turning into pros before our eyes."
"I talk to the players. I talk to the coaches," Glen Taylor said. "I'm glad that they're frustrated. I'm sure they're trying very hard in practice to improve their skills. I know they want to win. I'm confident that it's just going to be some game that we win against somebody that probably has a better team than us and it just kind of gets us going."
Taylor also said during an interview that Sam Mitchell, appointed as interim coach when Saunders was hospitalized, will direct the team this season. Milt Newton will have expanded duties as the team’s general manager. “Sometimes, positives can happen,” Taylor said. “In this particular case, let’s see what these people do, let’s see what their leadership is. Going through difficult times, maybe we’ll see people bloom into what they might not have been otherwise.”
Andy Greder: #Twolves will have "major announcement" during press conference Friday. Per @Adrian Wojnarowski, it's Sam Mitchell being named interim coach.
Storyline: Minnesota Timberwolves Coach
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July 27, 2021 | 11:06 am EDT Update

Bryn Forbes to decline option with Bucks

Milwaukee Bucks guard Bryn Forbes is declining his player option for the 2021-22 season and will become an unrestricted free agent, sources told ESPN on Tuesday. Forbes played a significant role off the bench as the Bucks delivered the franchise’s first NBA championship in 50 years. He had his most efficient NBA season in several offensive categories, including 3-point percentage and true shooting percentage. Forbes, 28, was fourth in the NBA in 3-point shooting (45.2%) — and third best among players with 200-plus attempts. Forbes averaged 12.2 points on 48% 3-point shooting in February when starting guard Jrue Holiday was sidelined.
Davis suffered a knee sprain in Game 3 but played through the pain in Game 4; however, he took a hard fall in Game 4 and suffered a groin strain. From that moment on, the balance of the firepower tilted towards Phoenix, who ensued to blow out the Lakers in the final games of the series. Though it’ll never be known how things would’ve transpired with a healthy Davis, Metta World Peace believes the Lakers would’ve advanced when discussing his thoughts on the Bucks-Suns matchup and Giannis Antetokounmpo being a great player, via Chris Sheridan of BasketballNews.com: “Now imagine, Giannis, one of the greatest players in the league, doesn’t really have to go up against the greatest team, then you would say Giannis was going to win. Because the Lakers got hurt. The Lakers were going to beat Phoenix before Anthony Davis got hurt.”
The Dallas Mavericks are on the verge of hiring Igor Kokoskov to join Jason Kidd’s coaching staff, sources confirmed to ESPN. Kokoskov, whose two decades of NBA experience includes a one-season stint as the Phoenix Suns’ head coach, has a strong relationship with Mavs superstar Luka Doncic stemming from his time coaching the Slovenian national team. Kokoskov coached Slovenia for two years, culminating with the EuroBasket 2017 title, when Doncic and Goran Dragic led the nation to its first championship in that event.
Storyline: Igor Kokoskov Contract
Ahead of the 2021 NBA draft, projected top overall pick Cade Cunningham has signed a multiyear footwear and apparel endorsement deal with Nike. After a COVID-19-impacted market found a majority of last season’s rookies playing out the 2020-21 season without a sneaker deal, brands are now returning to aggressively sign top players heading into this week’s draft. Nike had its eyes set on Cunningham, who starred at Nike-sponsored Oklahoma State University and has long had an affinity for the brand. “More than anything, they show that athletes are more than just athletes,” Cunningham told ESPN. “They really put the right message out for people to see. That was important to me. … I felt like it was a perfect match for me.”