Fired by the Bulls in part because of conflicts with management, Thibodeau negotiated the president of basketball operations title into his Wolves deal. “It wasn’t an absolute must, but I’m glad it has worked out that way,” he said. “I just wanted to make sure I had a voice. The person I’m with, I trust Scott. He has great integrity. He’s a great worker and he has great experience.”
When I talked to Thibodeau on the phone Thursday, he verified that he didn’t talk to the search firm hired by Wolves owner Glen Taylor until Wednesday. … He also said he was not going to hire any assistants until he visits with the current Wolves staff. All of the assistant coaches under him in his last year coaching the Bulls got NBA jobs after Thibodeau was fired. His 2014-2015 staff included Adrian Griffin (now with Orlando), Andy Greer (Toronto), Ed Pinckney (Denver) and Mike Wilhelm, the only assistant Fred Hoiberg, Thibodeau’s successor, kept with the Bulls.
The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has agreed to terms with Tom Thibodeau as President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach, and Scott Layden as General Manager. Per team policy, terms of the agreements were not released.
“Scott Layden brings over 30 years of experience in the NBA to his new role within our organization, including several years in basketball operations leadership positions with Utah, New York and most recently San Antonio. His decades of front office experience will be integral as we head into an extremely exciting time for our organization. In getting to know Scott, he has impressed me with his not only his basketball acumen, but also his character and integrity. Tom and Scott will work in concert together in shaping our roster moving forward. We are confident this partnership gives us the best chance possible of winning an NBA title.”
For now, Spurs assistant general manager Scott Layden is the perfect complement for Thibodeau with the Wolves because he’ll do the job of general manager quietly, efficiently and thoroughly. San Antonio president R.C. Buford loved his meticulousness in the scouting and evaluation of players, and Layden has strong relationships and respect throughout the league for the purpose of making deals. He’s done the GM job twice – with Utah and New York – and learned the Spurs’ way the past four years in San Antonio.
Jeff Zillgitt: Feel for Milt Newton, who has family in the Twin Cities area. Could he end up in DC again if Eversley heads to Philly?
Adrian Wojnarowski: Spurs assistant GM Scott Layden is working on a deal to join Tom Thibodeau as his GM in Minnesota, league sources said.
Jeff Zillgitt: Have been/were discussions to keep Milt as GM. Doesn't look like that will happen. - RT: Jabari Young: Milt Newton is the GM in Minny & should remain the GM. Bring in Scott Layden, but as an assistant. Why does he deserve it? #Timberwolves
Sam Amick: This Thibodeau/Layden combo is great for Minny from front office angle. Too much work for a coach/GM on his own. Should keep Milt Newton too.
Marc Berman: According to Woj, Thibodeau-Scott Layden tandem could happen in Minnesota. Worked together with #Knicks. Layden still has place in Manhattan
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.
The growing expectation in coaching circles is that the Wolves will choose either Van Gundy or Thibodeau to take over the team as coach/team president, with the ability to bring in a seasoned front-office executive to assist with day-to-day operations. The Timberwolves fired interim coach Sam Mitchell on April 14. Mitchell, who took over as coach after Flip Saunders died in October, led the team to a 29-53 record.
Korn Ferry has already started to identify possible general manager candidates to pair with a new president and coach in Minnesota, including San Antonio Spurs assistant GM Scott Layden and Memphis Grizzlies executive VP of player personnel Ed Stefanski, league sources said. Layden (Utah and New York) and Stefanski (Philadelphia) each have GM experience in the NBA. Milt Newton is the Timberwolves GM now, and it is unclear how – or if – he would continue in any organizational role if Taylor goes through with the hiring of one of his top two candidates.
Jon Krawczynski: To be clear: The search will be for a new president of basketball ops and coach. Could be the same person, could not be.
Jon Krawczynski: Picking up on Glen Taylor's WCCO interview: Wolves owner tells AP he is keeping GM Milt Newton thru FA and draft to fully evaluate him. Taylor says he will make a definitive decision on Newton as GM after draft, FA. Doesn't think he could fully evaluate this season
Darren Wolfson: #Twolves owner Glen Taylor. He's on with friend Chad Hartman now: "Milt Newton is running the Draft and free agency."
Jon Krawczynski: Glen Taylor told Milt Newton and Sam Mitchell at the beginning of the season that he would give both of them the year in these roles and then re-evaluate it at the end of the season. He wants to see how they both respond to the increased responsibility and the moves they make. Newton did play a major role in shaping the vision of the franchise, assembling the roster and evaluating talent while Flip Saunders was still around. So he’s done a lot of the work already. Now it’s his show. And it’s up to him to show Taylor, and the new minority ownership group that is negotiating to buy 30% of the team, that he is the right man for the job going forward for the foreseeable future. That he’s already had a hand in assembling a lot of the young talent on the roster will certainly work in his favor.
July 30, 2021 | 9:44 pm EDT Update
While he won’t be back as one of their two-way players at this point, Devontae Cacok is still returning to the team he won a championship with in 2020, as he will be playing for the Lakers’ summer league team in Las Vegas, a league source told Silver Screen and Roll.
Alex Kennedy: Jānis Timma will play with the Orlando Magic in Summer League, a source told @basketbllnews. Memphis selected him 60th in the 2013 NBA Draft, then Orlando acquired his draft rights in 2015. The 29-year-old has an impressive overseas résumé, playing for Olympiacos, Khimki, etc.
After going undrafted Thursday night, former Kentucky Wildcat Olivier Sarr has signed a deal to play on the NBA Summer League roster with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Darren Wolfson: #Timberwolves had interest. But he shot the lights out in his Houston workout, looked at as better opportunity with the Rockets.
Moses Moody had two of the Warriors’ top players in attendance for one of his pre-draft workouts, and they reportedly were “impressed” with the eventual No. 14 overall pick. “I talked to Steph and Klay, they were both at one of my workouts, so talked to them a little bit afterwards,” Moody told reporters during his introductory press conference on Friday.