After a rocky preseason that included sparring for control with coach Tom Thibodeau, Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor extended an olive branch.
Taylor said Thibodeau has his full support and his job is not on the line this season.
Taylor and Thibodeau disagreed over whether to trade disgruntled star Jimmy Butler, with Thibodeau trying to reconcile with Butler and Taylor demanding to trade him. In a wide-ranging interview Tuesday with the Star-Tribune in Minneapolis, which Taylor also owns, he cleared the air about Thibodeau.
The Timberwolves have yet to find a trading partner for Butler, though efforts are continuing. Taylor was asked how he thought Thibodeau had dealt with the situation.
“Well, I’m OK with it,” Taylor said. “Initially, when Butler told [Thibodeau] he wanted to leave, you know Tom did everything he could to try to keep Jimmy here and I understand that. They have a close relationship.
“Thibs brought him here so that he would stay here. But eventually I think that in listening to Jimmy, Thibs and I are lined up on this. We need to be looking at a trade.”
The Timberwolves open the season tonight at San Antonio, and Taylor said that’s where the focus should be for Thibodeau. who has three years remaining on a five-year contract worth about $40 million he signed in April 2016. He said he has no regrets.
“He is a good coach and I have faith in him,” Taylor said.
In Thibodeau’s first two seasons, the Timberwolves finished 31-51 in 2016-17 and 47-35 last season. As the No. 8 seed in the playoffs, the Timberwolves lost to Houston in the first round of the NBA playoffs.