ESPN later reported the firing of Thibodeau as well as interest in former member of the Wolves Fred Hoiberg for the opening.
Scott Layden is now Minnesota's general manager, while Thibodeau was relieved of his duties as president and head coach on Sunday. While the timing was a bit off, the Thibodeau ouster is already around the corner for some time now, given his internal conflicts with the organization.
Ryan Saunders will serve as the team's interim coach while Scott Layden will remain in his role as general manager.
Ultimately Butler was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for forwards Robert Covington and Dario Saric, and only after Taylor stepped in.
And Saunders, the son of the late Timberwolves coaching legend Flip Saunders, will be the leader players look to make that run happen. "They went 9-3 in the first 12 games after the trade, so things were looking up". Several Timberwolves players attended the coach's wedding.
Current ESPN analyst and former five-time All-Star point guard Chauncey Billups has also been discussed internally as a candidate for both positions, sources told Wojnarowski. He was considered for the Detroit Pistons vacancy before the team elected to have Dwane Casey, last year's Coach of the Year awardee. With a 19-21 record, they are two games behind the 8 spot in the stacked Western Conference. When Butler returned to the Timberwolves after holding out in the preseason he orchestrated one of the most infamous practices the league has witnessed, and seemingly did so with Thibodeau's blessing.
Continuity is always hard to replace, and many National Basketball Association teams find it hard to create immediate success following an arrival of a new head coach. These instances reduced Minnesota's leverage in negotiating a deal.
Thibodeau was picked for his experience with winning teams and his acumen as a defensive whiz, hired to use his demanding, detailed style to bring out the best in franchise cornerstones Wiggins and Towns.