"New captain" Ryan Saunders has Timberwolves' trust in interim role

Timberwolves fire Tom Thibodeau, may want Fred Hoiberg

Former Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg is a "serious" candidate to replace Thibodeau in Minnesota, according to ESPN.

News came out late Sunday that the Timberwolves were firing Thibodeau, who was in the middle of his third season as the team's head coach and president.

"Assistant coach Ryan Saunders will take over as interim coach for the rest of the season, while Scott Layden will remain Minnesota's general manager". Minnesota then tried to fix the problem by shipping Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for young, excellent players in Dario Saric and Robert Covington. "They went 9-3 in the first 12 games after the trade, so things were looking up".

Tom Thibodeau is no longer the coach of the Timberwolves. And everyone involved - players, coaches and staff - know that. Most other acknowledged National Basketball Association coaches who took on the role during their roaring 20s were all former player-coaches like Debusschere.

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Saunders said he hasn't given any thought to changing the starting lineup or rotations or even adding an assistant, instead focusing exclusively on making a smooth transition to head coach and making his players' lives easier.

Minnesota enters Tuesday with a record of 19-21, good for 11th place in the Western Conference standings. Though the Timberwolves ended their 13-year absence from the playoffs last spring, they've by and large underachieved since Thibodeau, who is 60, took over.

The youngest coach in National Basketball Association history is Dave Debusschere, who acted as a player-coach for the Detroit Pistons at just 24-years old in 1964.

Thibodeau was picked for his experience with winning teams and his acumen as a defensive whiz, hired to use his demanding, detailed style to bring out the best in franchise cornerstones Wiggins and Towns. Minnesota hoops fans should close their eyes soon as a possible course-changing rebuild could put the Wolves' current season down the drain.

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