Lakers Rumors: LeBron James' Camp Pursued Tom Thibodeau as Assistant Coach

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2019

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 30:  Head coach Tom Thibodeau of the Minnesota Timberwolves looks on against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on December 30, 2018 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

LeBron James' camp has reached out to former Minnesota Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau to gauge his interest in joining the Los Angeles Lakers as a top assistant coach, according to The Athletic's Frank Isola.

Isola noted Monday, though, there are a variety of factors that may keep Thibodeau from accepting an assistant job in L.A.:

"Thibodeau, however, is owed a lot of money from the Minnesota Timberwolves and the feeling is that he would prefer a head coaching job. Thibodeau has the resume and income to be patient. Plus, after dealing with an unstable management group in Minnesota, Thibodeau may be taking a wait-and-see approach with the 'new-look' Lakers."

Per Isola, James' camp let Thibodeau know that he would be a "huge asset to have on the bench." The four-time league MVP reportedly has the "utmost respect" for the defensive-minded coach.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported Monday that the Lakers and former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue were working towards a deal. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski (h/t Showtime Forum) reported Lue was interested in adding Thibodeau to his potential staff.

Thibodeau spent nearly two decades the NBA as an assistant coach before getting his first head coaching opportunity in 2010 with the Chicago Bulls. He led Chicago to the playoffs in each of his five years on the job, guiding them to 62 wins and the Eastern Conference Finals while being named the 2010-11 NBA Coach of the Year.

The Timberwolves hired Thibodeau in 2016 as head coach and president of basketball operations. In 2017-18, he helped the franchise snap a 13-year playoff drought. 

He was fired in January following a 19-21 start to the season, which was plagued by the early-season Jimmy Butler trade saga.

The 61-year-old Thibodeau has a career 352-246 record in seven-plus seasons as a head coach.

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