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Timberwolves Announce Agreement With Tom Thibodeau

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The deal is done. Tom Thibodeau is the new Wolves coach and president, while Scott Layden will come on board as GM.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Wolves announced the hiring of Tom Thibodeau and Scott Layden in a press release:

Minneapolis/St. Paul - 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.

"We are extremely excited to welcome Tom Thibodeau back to the Timberwolves," said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. "Through this process we quickly identified Tom as the best leader to shape our talented team and help them realize their full potential. Tom's resume speaks for itself. He is a proven winner, leader and one of the most well-respected NBA head coaches over the last decade. His teams have annually been among the league leaders in defense and we are excited about the approach and mentality he will bring to that side of the ball. The future of the Minnesota Timberwolves has never been brighter and we are very pleased to have Tom as our basketball operations leader moving forward.

"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."

A veteran of over 25 seasons as an NBA head coach and assistant coach, Thibodeau's teams have advanced to the postseason in 19 seasons, including three trips to the NBA Finals (1999, 2008, 2010). Most recently Thibodeau was head coach of the Chicago Bulls, leading the Bulls to a 255-139 record over five seasons from 2010-15. Under his tutelage, the Bulls reached the playoffs in all five seasons, including holding the best record in the NBA in both of his first two seasons (2010-12). Thibodeau is one of two coaches in NBA history to win the most games in the league in each of his first two seasons. His .647 winning percentage as head coach ranks seventh in NBA history (min. 200 games).

Layden brings an impressive list of basketball credentials to his general manager position, having held various front office and coaching positions in the NBA since 1981. Layden's previous front office leadership experience includes stints with the Utah Jazz, New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs. Most recently Layden spent the last four seasons with the Spurs as the team's assistant general manager. In his new role as General Manager, Layden will assist President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Tom Thibodeau in the evaluation and acquisition of players and in the overall management of all basketball operations for the Wolves.

The deal has been reported at five years and somewhere around $8M a year for Thibs, while Layden will earn around $2M a year. Thibodeau will have final say on personnel matters, but expect Layden to run the day-to-day operations of the front office. Hopefully it will be a good collaboration, with Layden consulting with Thibs on what he needs and then doing the work find the appropriate players.

Thibodeau released this statement to the press a few minutes ago:

I started my NBA career with the Minnesota Timberwolves and it is an incredible opportunity to rejoin the organization at a time when they have what I believe to be the best young roster in the NBA. Together with a great owner in Glen Taylor and a terrific basketball partner in Scott Layden, I look forward to building a winning culture that Minnesota sports fans can be proud of.

That starts now, as I'm sure Thibs will want to hit the ground running. Hopefully he'll soon be in touch with the current players to discuss summer plans. He also has a staff to build, and then draft prep.  One thing we'll keep an eye on is what assistants he decides to retain and whether he brings anyone new in.

We'll also monitor the future of Arnie Kander, the trainer the Wolves brought in last season who appears to have done a fantastic job in keeping the Wolves healthy.  With any luck Kander stays with the Wolves.

There's been a big and largely positive reaction across the NBA landscape today.  I'd love to see people post their favorite links or tweets in comments.

Today marks a real turning point for the franchise. There are always ways things can go wrong, but the bottom line is the Wolves hired the best coach on the market, a proven difference maker.

Tonight let's enjoy it.