Did the Lakers just miss out on Tom Thibodeau?
Thibodeau agreed to a $40 million deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, though he also had interest in joining the Lakers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski from The Vertical.
Wojnarowski says that Thibs “always had his eyes on the most glamorous job in basketball, but the Lakers hesitated and missed the chance to recruit him.”
The Lakers do not currently have a coaching position available, though they are said to be “deliberating” over Byron Scott’s future as we speak.
However, even if Scott had already been fired by the Lakers, would they be a legitimate landing spot for Thibodeau?
Going by Wojnarowski’s article and other reports that have surfaced in recent days, the answer is probably no.
In agreeing to coach the Timberwolves, Thibs was also given “total control” over the team’s basketball operations, and it certainly seems like he was seeking this kind of power with the Lakers, too.
Wojnarowski says that Thibodeau “always believed he could lure free agents to the Los Angeles Lakers, that the proper structure and vision still makes that franchise the ultimate superstar destination.”
Doesn’t that sound like a man who wants to be more than just a coach?
Here’s another excerpt from Woj’s article:
Nevertheless, the Buss family is too fractured to turn power over to one person – never mind an outsider – and maybe Thibodeau and the Lakers were never made to work.
Again, it really doesn’t sound like Thibodeau was willing to join the Lakers as just a plain old coach.
Additionally, Eric Pincus from the L.A. Times reported just a few days ago that Thibs had apparently crossed the Lakers off his list seeing as there were no basketball operations powers to be had there.
If no other team was willing to offer Thibodeau total control then perhaps the Lakers would’ve had a shot at landing him solely as a coach.
But when the Timberwolves are begging you to sign a $40 million contract and hand over the keys to the franchise? It was clearly a no-brainer for Thibodeau.