The Minnesota Timberwolves’ season came to an end on Wednesday night with the team’s blindingly bright future on full display in a 144-109 drubbing of the New Orleans Pelicans. Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points and 14 rebounds, while Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine combined for 40 points on 53.3 percent shooting.
The final few weeks of 2015-16 were good to Minnesota. With youngsters like these in place, though, next season and ones to follow should be even better – and the Timberwolves will have a new coach to help deliver on their promise.
After the game, Minnesota issued a statement on its website announcing that interim coach Sam Mitchell was relieved of his duties. The news confirmed a report by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst from earlier Wednesday that said the Timberwolves would focus their summer coaching search on external candidates only.
Names among the list? Former Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, former Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks, and current Memphis Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger. Golden State Warriors assistant Luke Walton and former New York Knicks and Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy will likely be considered, too.
Minnesota’s is one of the most attractive coaching jobs on the open market. The late, great Flip Saunders’ imprint on this club will obviously last forever, but also pay more immediate dividends with the presence of players like Towns and Wiggins – and a coach worthy of their talents.
Get ready, basketball world. The ‘Wolves are coming.