After the Minnesota Timberwolves announced their coaching staff and front office for the 2016-17 season on Monday, one might have expected the personnel changes to slow down for a bit. However, it seems Tom Thibodeau had one more name up his sleeve to investigate before he was done building.
Ed Pinckney is at Timberwolves training camp as a guest, for now. He is expected to be officially added to the staff by end of this week— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) September 28, 2016
Pinckney was most recently with Denver. Has close ties to Thibs. Very well thought of throughout the league.— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) September 28, 2016
Seems pretty simple, right? There may be a little more to it, which is why the hire hasn’t been announced yet. Pinckney resigned from the Nuggets in July, but Thibodeau’s potential interest in Pinckney, one of his assistants from his time in Chicago, was at least speculated at as soon as he was hired in Minnesota. His parting with Denver later in the summer, therefore, may not have been on the best terms, and there may still be lingering contract issues to deal with, preventing Pinckney’s official signing with the team.
Before his time with Denver and Chicago, Pinckney was actually an assistant coach with the Wolves from 2007-10, the glory years of Wittman, McHale and Rambis. He’s regarded as a defensive specialist coach, high on the list of people who helped Thibodeau’s Bulls become an elite defensive team, and would become another voice on the sideline emphasizing the Wolves’ improvement on that side of the floor.
One hopes that there are no disputes between teams about Pinckney’s apparent decision to join the Wolves’ coaching staff, and that as Krawczynski says, he’ll be added to the staff by the end of the week and likely really, truly complete the coaching staff.