Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders has asked and received permission to speak with Milt Newton, the Washington Wizards’ vice president of player personnel, about a possible front office position.
Saunders returned to Minnesota in May and has long been rumored to have interest in Newton as a candidate for general manager. They worked together for the 2½ seasons Saunders served as head coach of the Wizards. Saunders told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that Milton would be interviewing for front office position focused on scouting and personnel, which is a role he has served in Washington for the past 10 years.
KSTP radio in Minnesota reported in May that Newton was a “good bet” to be the next general manager of the Timberwolves but Saunders said he wouldn’t look to speak to anyone for the position until after July 1. Saunders contacted the Wizards last week, according to people with knowledge of the situation, but has yet to speak with Newton.
The Wizards have already made changes within the front office this summer. Former director of player personnel Pat Connelly left in June to become assistant general manager with the Phoenix Suns and was replaced by Frank Ross, formerly a scout with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Newton previously helped with the establishment of the NBA Development League as its director of player personnel. He also served as a scout with the Philadelphia 76ers under Larry Brown. He won a national championship as a player at Kansas with Brown in 1988. Newton has also been considered for general manager positions with Cleveland, Portland, New Orleans and Phoenix in recent years.