Taylor repeatedly had said McHale himself would decide whether he returns, ever since Taylor sent his personnel decision-maker from the front office to the coach's bench in early December.
He reversed course last week, telling the Star Tribune the new boss won't be obligated to retain McHale.
After studying the front-office operations of several top NBA teams, Taylor said he has decided upon a "more traditional" structure in which final decisions will be made by one person rather than the current committee of General Manager Jim Stack and assistant general managers Fred Hoiberg, Rob Babcock and Zarko Durisic.
He said he has interviewed and psychologically tested candidates both inside and outside the organization after asking other NBA teams for permission to talk to a number of people he would not specify. He said he has one more candidate to interview.
He said he hasn't decided if the new hire will inherit McHale's old job title or be given a different one.
"We're well into this thing," he said. "I'm meeting people who I only knew their names before."
Randy Wittman's coaching job is safe, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said.
"If I worried about the short term, and I looked at the economy and all my companies, if I based things on that, then I'd fire all my presidents because they had a bad month," Taylor said. "I've been through ups and downs. You've got to be patient. I think Randy has prepared (the players) well. We've just got to get them some confidence. They're still young."
"I thought we would probably have a better record. We played really good in every game for three quarters; we've just struggled in fourth quarters. We've done some really good things this year. The turnovers have been down, but when we've had them, they've been at critical times in the fourth quarter."
Wittman has this season and next season remaining on a contract worth nearly $5 million. No shakeups are planned, Taylor said.
"Because they've done some really good things," Taylor said. "It's just been that fourth quarter. Is it just unlucky, or why do we do turnovers late in the game?"