Dear Mr. Thibodeau,
As one of your biggest supporters of your recent hiring as Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves, I would like to tell you how alarmed I am to be hearing some chatter that Andrew Wiggins’ and to an extent, Zach LaVine’s names popping up in rampant trade rumors.
More than once this offseason, the NBA media and fans have been made aware of your interest to obtain Chicago Bulls wing, Jimmy Butler. The player you helped develop into an All-Star, into a leader, and who just signed a five-year $95 million dollar contract last season.
It’s understandable you would want to be reunited with the player you helped mold, someone you can trust to understand and to help teach your coaching system to a young team, desperate for discipline. A player who is considered one of the best at his position on defense, and a valuable offensive threat as well— someone with a proven track record of working tirelessly to climb to the top of the pecking order, not only within the Bulls organization, but within the league as well. It’s not always easy finding head-strong players who can take criticism, and feed off that to become great.
I get it, every team in the league would love to have a player of Jimmy Butler’s caliber starting at the wing and anchoring a defense, but for the Timberwolves, with strong playoff aspirations, this move would be wrong for the organization right now.
With your reputation as being one of the better coaches in the league, I would advise you to stick with Flip Saunders’ original plan, and grow a dynasty (potentially) with the home-grown players drafted to this organization.
It is well-known that you are someone who is able to get the most out of your players. For example, with Derrick Rose injured for a few seasons under your tenure, players such as DJ Augustine, Kirk Hinrich, and Nate Robinson were able to step-up and provide valuable minutes at the point guard position to still help lead your teams to the playoffs.
It is without a doubt that Wiggins and LaVine have the athleticism, skillset, and mental demeanor to handle whatever you throw at them. Under your tutelage, and watchful-eye, these two will definitely make the jump into all-star caliber level players.
You just need to be patient a little bit longer. I know that Coach Thibodeau might want to win now, and accelerate the playoff process by acquiring Butler, but President of Basketball Operations Thibodeau needs to step in and make an executive order to stick with the plan. Develop from within the organization, and show trust in the trio of Karl-Anthony Towns, Wiggins, and LaVine.
The blueprint is set, think Oklahoma City style. There is a chance, if developed properly, this team can be really good for a long time. These guys will compete at a high level, and you don’t even need to pay them huge contracts yet. Wiggins, LaVine, and Towns are still a few years away from max contracts—just surround them with better bench depth for now, and let this team continue to build off the chemistry that they have clearly developed.
If you are in dire need of Butler’s services, it is on you to get creative to get him without breaking up the core trio. Get a third team involved, hell, a four-team-trade would be epic. As I’ve exhausted throughout this letter, it would be ideal to let Towns, Wiggins, and LaVine grow together, and let them win together.
Of course obtaining Butler would accelerate the Wolves playoff chances, ending a 12-year-drought and finally bringing some respectability back to the organization. But the Timberwolves have a chance to build a dynasty the right way, without giving up valuable assets to do so. I believe the Wolves will make the playoffs regardless this season, with or without Butler, the seeding just may vary.
On another note, with the rumors of you trying to obtain Kenneth Faried from the Denver Nuggets, I fully support that notion. He would fit in very well starting with Towns, and he definitely brings in high-energy, and a strong defensive presence. I don’t believe he is worth the fifth pick, so if players must be traded for him, like with Butler, please don’t break up the core trio to get him.
I’ve made my points, and I hope you already have the mindset to keep our core together. As a huge fan of this team, I am excited for the new Thibodeau era with the Minnesota Timberwolves. I also look forward to a new age of playoff basketball, and hopefully we can see some championship runs. The future is bright, and I believe the fans here are very excited as well.
Good luck with the draft tonight,