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Flip Saunders to Coach Minnesota Timberwolves
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Flip Saunders to Coach Minnesota Timberwolves

Jun 6 2014, 12:07am CDT | by

Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations and part owner Flip Saunders will also be the team's head coach, per multiple reports.

Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations and part owner Flip Saunders will also be the team's head coach, per multiple reports.  Jerry Zgoda of The Minneapolis Star Tribune...

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20 weeks ago

Flip Saunders to Coach Minnesota Timberwolves

Jun 6 2014, 12:07am CDT | by

Flip Saunders to Coach Minnesota Timberwolves Photo Credit: Getty Images

Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations and part owner Flip Saunders will also be the team's head coach, per multiple reports.

Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations and part owner Flip Saunders will also be the team's head coach, per multiple reports. 

Jerry Zgoda of The Minneapolis Star Tribune confirmed the news in his June 5 update

"Flip Saunders will be the next Timberwolves coach and will be introduced Friday in a Target Center news conference

"He confirmed in a text message this morning that he will coach the team but declined further comment until tomorrow. 

"According to sources close to the situation, there is is no specified length of time that he'll coach, although he has suggested before it would only be a season or two if he did decide to coach.

"When it's all sorted out, Saunders' staff is expected to include former Wolves players Sam Mitchell and Sidney Lowe, although it's not certain yet if either is a coach-in-waiting to take the job next. 

"It's not known if one of Flip's former players, Chauncey Billups, or European coach David Blatt will be added to the staff and possibly could become that future coach-in-waiting. 

"Billups is currently under a player's contract with Detroit and Blatt still is busy coaching his Israeli team. 

"It's also quite possible Saunders' son Ryan -- currently under contract as a Washington assistant -- will eventually join the staff. 

"'I like Flip, he's the best coach the Timberwolves have ever had,' Wolves forward Corey Brewer said about today's news. 'It's all about winning.'

"Saunders has a 638-526 regular-season record in 15-plus years of NBA head coaching, the first 10 seasons of those as the Wolves head coach. 

"He has led teams to the conference finals four times -- once with the Wolves, three times with (the) Detroit (Pistons) -- in those 15-plus seasons. 

"Taylor's agreement with Saunders to coach is open-ended in terms of year. It's possible he could go back in a year or two and see if he can convince either Michigan State's Tom Izzo or Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg to take the job if the timing is then better for either man. 

"According to a source, there was a time during the search that Saunders thought he had convinced Izzo to be the next coach. 

"Kevin Love's uncertain future likely impacted this decision because it left doubt in some candidates' minds."

The St. Paul Pioneer Press' Andy Greder also confirms Saunders will take over as Timberwolves head coach. 

"The only coach with a winning record in Timberwolves history will return to the bench. 

"Flip Saunders will coach the Wolves in the 2014-15 season, he told the Pioneer Press in a text message Thursday. 

"Saunders, the franchise's president of basketball operations, conducted a search that lasted more than six weeks for a replacement to Rick Adelman in the end chose himself."

Minnesota made an announcement on its official website regarding a press conference on June 6 to introduce the team's next coach, but did not specifically identify Saunders. 

"The Minnesota Timberwolves will host a press conference on Friday to introduce the team's new head coach. The press conference will take place at the Target Center and will start at 1 p.m. It will be streamed live on Timberwolves.com." 

Saunders himself confirmed to ESPN's Marc Stein he is taking over the position last held by Rick Adelman, who retired in April. In addition, the ESPN update says Saunders becoming Timberwolves head coach will have no bearing on All-Star forward Kevin Love's desire to opt out of his contract and play for a contender in 2014-15. 

"Sources reiterated to ESPN.com on Thursday that Saunders' move back to the bench will have no impact on Love's determination to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent in 2015

"Saunders and Love have built a good relationship since Saunders replaced David Kahn as Minnesota's lead decision-maker, but sources say Love is determined to play for a contender after missing the playoffs in each of his first six NBA seasons. His concern, sources say, isn't who's coaching but the state of the roster. 

"ESPN.com reported earlier this month that (the) Golden State (warriors ) and (the) Chicago (Bulls) are two potential trade destinations that particularly intrigue Love in his quest to land with a team that can make some noise. The (Houston) Rockets, (Boston) Celtics, (New York) Knicks, (Los Angeles) Lakers and (Phoenix) Suns are among the other teams, sources say, that tried to engage the Wolves in exploratory trade talks."

The Timberwolves were eyeing Memphis Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger, a Minnesota native, to replace Adelman. Minnesota interviewed Joerger two weekends ago but Grizzlies owner Robert Pera tendered a better offer which made his head coach stay, per ESPN. 

Saunders then met with team owner Glen Taylor earlier this week to re-assess their coaching search. They agreed Saunders was the best candidate for the job even though Taylor had previous apprehensions on Saunders performing a dual role of coach and president of basketball operations, Zgoda notes. 

The Minneapolis Star Tribune report quoted Taylor as saying,"You've always got to keep your options open and that's what we did here. For the long run, this is the next step we have to take." 

The 59-year-old Saunders has called the shots for the Timberwolves, Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards in his 16-year NBA head coaching career. He has amassed a 638-526 (.548) win-loss record through June 6, per Basketball-Reference.com.  


14 hours ago

J.J. Barea to Mavericks: Latest Contract Details, Analysis and Reaction

Oct 29 2014 5:13pm CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

In 2011, J.J. Barea's playoff heroics earned him a lucrative four-year deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Finally freed from the frigid north, Barea is headed back to where it all started.    ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon reported Barea has signed a one-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks for the veteran's minimum. The Mavericks have waived Israeli guard Gal Mekel to make room on their 15-man roster.Barea, 30, reac ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report


1 day ago

Minnesota Timberwolves Waive JJ Barea

Oct 28 2014 8:55am CDT | Source: slamonline

What was long expected became official Monday, as the Minnesota Timberwolves a href=”http://www.startribune.com/sports/wolves/280604802.html” target=”_blank”>cut ties with veteran guard JJ Barea. Barea reportedly hopes to re-sign with the Dallas Mavericks once he clears waivers. Per the Star Tribune: It was a decision, Wolves President of Basketball Operations and coach Flip Saunders said, that came down to the direction the tea ...
Source: slamonline   Full article at: slamonline


2 days ago

J.J. Barea Waived by Timberwolves: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Oct 27 2014 3:26pm CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

The Minnesota Timberwolves have set their roster for the upcoming NBA season, and it does not include veteran point guard J.J. Barea.        According to the team's official site, Barea was waived Monday. Head coach Flip Saunders made this statement about the 30-year-old player:We'd like to thank J.J. for his three years in Minnesota. J.J. made our decision incredibly difficult with his play this preseason, highlighted by sparking a 13-point fourth quarter ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report


1 week ago

Bennett, Curry Among Best Performers in Tuesday's NBA Preseason Games

Oct 22 2014 2:35pm CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Tuesday night's NBA action provided fans with six matchups between teams that are beginning to nail down their rotations and give starters quality minutes. Several players took advantage of their time and excelled for their teams. But what does this preseason performance mean for the teams going forward? Pacers at Timberwolves Anthony Bennett: 17 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 7-of-9 FGs The former No. 1 draft pick had a big game to help the Timberwolves to a preseason win while 2014 No. 1 ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report


3 weeks ago

Andrew Wiggins' Preseason Debut Hinted at Fantasy Basketball Value

Oct 9 2014 12:03am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Fantasy basketball owners understand how valuable a player can be if he stuffs the stat sheet with impressive totals in a number of different categories, and that is exactly what No. 1 draft pick Andrew Wiggins did in the Minnesota Timberwolves’ preseason opener against the Indiana Pacers. It was a sign of things to come. While the 103-90 victory for Indiana was likely cathartic for Pacers fans who saw Lance Steph ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report


3 weeks ago

Expectations Should Be Tempered for Andrew Wiggins' Rookie Season

Oct 8 2014 1:23pm CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Feel free to get jacked up about Andrew Wiggins' future. It's OK if you got a little giddy following one of his spin moves, finishes or step-backs during Las Vegas Summer League or his NBA preseason debut.  But when it comes to Wiggins' rookie season and the impact he's expected to make, you might want to relax a little bit.  He'll still put up points—between his athleticism and opportunity alone in Minnesota, I wouldn't be surprised if Wiggins averaged over 15 a ga ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report


3 weeks ago

Andrew Wiggins Will Validate Lofty Trade Value with Rookie of the Year Effort

Oct 7 2014 2:58pm CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Minnesota Timberwolves rookie guard Andrew Wiggins has huge expectations on his shoulders after a wild and unpredictable offseason, but the Kansas product will prove to be the NBA's best newcomer in 2014-15. Wiggins seemed poised to become the face of the Cleveland Cavaliers after they selected him No. 1 overall in June's draft; however, things changed quickly. After the Cavs got LeBron James to return home, they decided to trade Wiggins to Minnesota in a deal that brought ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report


3 weeks ago

Report: Timberwolves Don’t Want to Give Ricky Rubio a Five-Year Deal

Oct 7 2014 8:55am CDT | Source: slamonline

Publicly at least, Ricky Rubio and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ front-office have said all of the right things. Behind closed doors, things are more complicated. Rubio’s camp is pushing for a five-year, max deal, but the T-Wolves aren’t willing to go higher than a four-year, $48 million offer. If an extension isn’t signed by Oct.31, Rubio will be a restricted free agent next summer. Per Sporting News: The exact amount Rubio could get with a max deal won’t be known until next year’s salary cap is ...
Source: slamonline   Full article at: slamonline


4 weeks ago

Rubio ready to take charge with Love gone

Sep 29 2014 8:12pm CDT | Source: Sportsnet.ca

MINNEAPOLIS — Ricky Rubio sat at a table with Kevin Martin to his left, ready to start the first day of the rest of his life without Kevin Love as a teammate in Minnesota. “It’s this guy’s team right here,” Martin said, nodding at the fourth-year point guard. “He makes everything go.” During his first three seasons with the Timberwolves, Rubio usually deferred to Love when leadership was needed. Love was the All-Star. Love was the headliner. ...
Source: Sportsnet.ca   Full article at: Sportsnet.ca


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Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.


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