While many of you (myself included) were probably sleeping, our good friend Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic was busy breaking news overnight, this time involving one of the last remaining remnants of the Tom Thibodeau era:
Sources: Timberwolves and Scott Layden part ways after 4 seasons https://t.co/Ero8kovYh0— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) December 10, 2020
According to Jon, the two sides “reached an agreement earlier this week, just two weeks before Layden would have started his fifth season as a member of the Wolves front office.” Layden now becomes a front office “free agent,” and considering that he is based in the New York area, it would not surprise me to see him reunite in some capacity with his former friend (and boss) Thomas Joseph Thibodeau, Jr.
As you surely remember, Scott Layden was brought in back in 2016 when Thibs was hired as president of basketball operations. While Layden was technically the General Manager of the team, it was Thibs who was calling all the shots, which left Layden as somewhat of a figure head in the front office. When Thibs was eventually let go back in 2019, Layden stayed on in a reduced scouting capacity, but his tenure in Minnesota was definitely one marked by diminished authority and questionable transactions. Prior to coming over to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Layden worked four years as an assistant to Spurs president R.C. Buford and before that served previously as the GM of the Utah Jazz and New York Knicks (another Thibs connection!)
While not surprising whatsoever, the latest front office transaction is still noteworthy. The team’s current president of basketball operations has made it a priority to not only clean house in the front office, but also strengthen that side of the organization by bringing in people like Dr. Robby Sikka, Aaron Blackshear, and Rockets legend Rudy Tomjanovich. Similar to how he is handling the on-court roster construction, I’d imagine we see even more familiar names be brought into the Wolves front office going forward, as Gers continues to shape the organization to fit his overall vision.
And just like that, one of the last remaining memories of the Tom Thibodeau era is gone, leaving only Josh Okogie as that era’s soul survivor. The beautiful irony of this article’s cover photo (with Thibs, Layden, and Karl-Anthony Towns) is that in the end, it was the only person who actually mattered (KAT) that survived one of the most chaotic (and some could say darkest) periods of this franchise’s dismal history.