ESPN did a reasonably extensive interview with Tom Thibodeau in Las Vegas this week, and while he didn’t say anything particularly revealing, there were some interesting nuggets.
He has clearly been trying to downplay the “his guys” factor with Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson, insisting that their on-court talents are the most important thing, and their leadership and experience will also help, but he clearly doesn’t want to spend a lot of time talking about “Bulls redux.”
He did describe the Butler trade:
So once that started happening we started thinking about the possibilities: "OK, who would we trade that pick for?" And certainly it wasn't going to be anybody but an elite player. So we made [a list] of elite players who we felt we would be interested in. And then you start thinking about the teams that might be going into a rebuild situation. And of course -- our windows matched up. What we were trying to do and what the Bulls were trying to do, it matched up.
He also spoke about the imbalance in the league, players asserting their agency in terms of team creation, Andrew Wiggins’ development, and more.
He also spoke at length about the requirements of doing both the POBO job and the coaching job, and the outlook you have to have:
I think if you have the opportunity to do both it gives you a much better understanding of what the other side is going through. I think the important thing is just to have a process in place for how you're going to deal with everything. And to build strategies for everything that could come up. I think you're relying on a number of people. I think everyone's staff has grown greatly over the last 5-10 years.
Analytics are playing a big part of it. I think having great scouts, having a great management staff, cap people, how you manage the cap, you're not just looking at today. You're looking down the road three, five, seven, 10 years. So those things all play into it, and making good decisions [is] a big part of this.
It’s pretty clear he’s looking forward to this season and expects a major step forward for the Wolves, as we all do.
Not a ton of new ground broken here, but worth a read.
Anything catch your eye?