Wolves owner on Thibodeau: 'I have faith in him'

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Oct 18 2018 09:51 AM

Head coach Tom Thibodeau of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts to a call as referee David Guthrie #16 calls a foul during the first quarter in Game Four of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Houston Rockets on April 23, 2018 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Hannah Foslien, Getty Images/AFP

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 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.

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