With the NBA draft coming up, Minnesota Timberwolves Head Coach Tom Thibodeau was asked about what the teams needs were.
New Minnesota Timberwolves Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations Tom Thibodeau has a lot on his plate after being hired with the NBA Draft and Free Agency coming up quick. Having the final say on all roster moves and draft picks for the first time, Thibodeau’s roster moves will be telling of what he thinks of the current roster.
There have been many stories linking the Timberwolves to Providence point guard Kris Dunn, due to people not having faith in current point guard Ricky Rubio and Dunn’s amazing defensive ability. Thibodeau is known to be a great defensive coach. Another main link is that the agency that represents Dunn also represents Thibodeau and Karl-Anthony Towns.
The team’s biggest need coming out of last season was outside shooting, as they ranked second to last in the league from all statistics beyond the arc. Watching the NBA Finals, it is easy to see this is a huge part of the modern NBA and the league seems to be trending in that direction. There are multiple prospects who could help fill that need and also would not be a reach at the five spot.
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In an interview with the Star Tribune yesterday, Thibodeau was asked what he thought the team needs were.
"I think we need size, we need toughness, and we need shooting. We’re obviously going to have to get much better defensively. We’re going to study the draft and we have free agency, so we’re preparing for both and doing them simultaneously. We’ll see how it unfolds and then we have to work on developing our own players. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to improve."
Thibodeau mentions that the team needs shooting, yet also mentions they need to get better defensively. Thibodeau seems like Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer in the sense that he will probably never be satisfied with the team’s defensive play.
Thibodeau also had this to say about the trends in the NBA game today.
"But the game is in a great place, and I think when you’re watching the way Golden State plays, it’s unique, it’s different, it’s exciting. But then you turn and see Cleveland and they play a little bit differently but they’re exciting, as well. When you look at the versatility of Golden State, their ability to start big, go small, go both ways, a lot of guys that are 6-7, 6-8, the game seems to be trending that way. But size is very important. You look at Golden State or OKC, they’re all very big. The size, the shooting, I think there’s probably more of a premium on shooting then there’s been in the last 10 years. You see more teams shooting a lot of threes, getting up to that 30 mark, you can never have enough shooting. I think that how you surround your best players is really important. When you study these teams that have made it to the conference finals and the [NBA] Finals, you see how important shooting is."
The premium for shooters is higher than ever and the Timberwolves need one they can rely on. Is this Thibodeau admitting that the team’s biggest need is a shooter, or just a smoke screen prior to the draft to throw some teams off? Since taking the position with the team, he has been pretty tight-lipped about things all though this is the second occasion he has mentioned the need for shooters.
We will have to wait and see how things shake out, as the draft is less than two weeks away. There will be more links and rumors about who the Timberwolves will draft but anything is possible.