Jerry Zgoda: Thibs on the Wolves doing about as well as…

Jerry Zgoda: Thibs on the Wolves doing about as well as they could have hoped to do Friday by getting the 20th pick in the June draft. “Yeah, Scott (Layden) was pleased. We’re not thinking about that, we’re thinking about the playoffs.”

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At some point, Wolves coach/pres­i­dent of basket­ball op­er­ations Tom Thib­o­deau, General Man­ag­er Scott Lay­den and, of course, own­er Glen Tay­lor must de­cide how much they can af­ford and with whom they can sur­round three play­ers earn­ing max con­tracts. “We’ve been plan­ning,” Thib­o­deau said. “We’re wor­ried a­bout not only now, but we have to be sure we put the best team on the floor we can. That’s a big part of this. The big­gest thing is ev­er­y­one con­cen­trat­ing on us win­ning. We don’t want to get lost in any­thing but chas­ing ex­cel­lence.”
Jon Krawczynski: Rafer Alston has joined Timberwolves as a scout, league sources tell The Athletic. Skip to My Lou reunites w/Thibs, who coached him in HOU
The latter has since been a consultant for some NBA teams and now has emerged as a serious candidate for the Milwaukee Bucks’ vacant assistant general manager’s position. Newton, who had been Washington’s vice president of player personnel before working in Minnesota, met with Bucks officials earlier this week in Las Vegas. Among the Bucks’ contingent was recently-hired general manager Jon Horst and head coach Jason Kidd. Newton is one of several individuals under consideration for the assistant GM job, which became vacant when the Bucks fired Justin Zanik.
WHEN YOU WENT BACK TO THE TIMBERWOLVES, YOU TALKED ABOUT HAVING A BIGGER ROLE IN THE ORGANIZATION. GETTING A STAKE IN THE TEAM, HAVING A ROLE IN THE FRONT OFFICE, MAYBE EVEN ONE DAY BEING THE MAJORITY OWNER. IS THAT STILL A GOAL OF YOURS? Kevin Garnett: It seemed like it was perfect for how Flip organized and put it together and designed it. Obviously when he left us, Glen saw differently and wanted to go a different way. I’ve always said I wanted to be a part of an organization that is about winning more progressively, in that direction. Minnesota seemed like a perfect fit for that. That has changed. I don’t see myself doing that any time soon, but that still is a goal of mine. I would like to be part of an organization that is part of winning, that I can help the young guys progress. So that’s still a dream but not a priority at this point.
Taylor said that Pekovic, who at one point was one of the more unique and bruising big men in the league, might have played his last game due to long-term injuries. “I don’t think so,” he said when asked if Pekovic would play again. “I mean, that’s for him and his doctors but just listening to what the doctors have told me and what he has said, I’m not expecting it in our plans going ahead. We won’t rely on him.”
The Minnesota Timberwolves begin a new chapter in their franchise history by unveiling a new team logo as part of Fan Appreciation Night at Target Center on Tuesday, April 11. The Wolves will conclude the home portion of their regular season schedule that evening by hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder at 7 p.m. The logo will be unveiled during a special halftime show and all fans in attendance will receive a commemorative t-shirt with the new identity featured.
Chris Haynes: Minnesota hires Noah Croom for assistant GM role, sources tell @clevelanddotcom. Former Vancouver Grizz exec leaving Goodwin Sports Mgmt.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Minnesota hiring Spurs' Brian Pauga as Player Personnel Director. Pauga worked w/ GM Scott Layden w/ Spurs. Well-regarded riser.
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.
“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.”
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?
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.
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: 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.
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August 6, 2021 | 12:37 am EDT Update

Damian Lillard to give Blazers another chance?

Goodwill made mention of the New York Knicks’ calculated moves, in how they coallign with a potential Lillard deal, should his relationship with the Blazer go awry. In providing his own outlook on the situation, Haynes had this to say. “I expect Damian Lillard to go and play for the Portland Trail Blazers. I expect him to try out this roster. I believe he wants to give Chauncey Billups a chance. And I think he’s going to go there, give the roster a shot. And Portland’s probably still not done. You know, I’m hearing Paul Millsap, a guy they’re looking at. I’m hearing Kelly Oubre, who’s still on the market, a guy that they’re looking at, so they’re still not done. But I expect Dame to go out there next season, play, see how things materialize, and go from there.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 165 more rumors
And then you Damian Lillard, who’s been as public as he’s ever been in stating his dissatisfaction with the way things are going with the team and the roster construction. And then you bring on these players, who I’m not saying, you know, Norman Powell they had to re-sign. Five years, they had to. You couldn’t let him go. But outside of that, there wasn’t much done that I think moves the needle. And you brought up that New York angle, you know, from all accounts of what we’re hearing, definitely, the Knicks have an eye on Damian Lillard, so we’ll see what happens from there.”
August 6, 2021 | 12:27 am EDT Update
NBA Top Shot will sell highlights from the upcoming Summer League basketball competition as non-fungible tokens for the first time, it said on Tuesday. The NFTs will feature outstanding play “moments” from three days of games at the NBA Summer League meet in Las Vegas, those on August 8-10. Fans will be able to pre-order the $5 moments from a kiosk at the venue. “For the first time ever, NBA Top Shot fans will have the ability to purchase a moment in an arena, and receive a moment from a game they saw in-person,” the company said in its statement.