Both the Associated Press and ESPN are reporting that Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders has picked … Flip Saunders to coach the team next season. He’ll remain in the front office, as well.
Saunders will continue to have final say in the front office and work closely with GM Milt Newton on that side of things.— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) June 5, 2014
Saunders previously coached the Timberwolves from 1995 to 2005, leading Minnesota to its only Western Conference finals appearance in 2004. He then coached the Detroit Pistons for three seasons and then led the Washington Wizards for two seasons before being fired after 17 games (15 of them losses) in 2011. He returned to Minnesota last season to head up its front office.
Saunders’s first order of business will be figuring out what to do with Kevin Love, the second-team all-NBA selection who can opt out of his contract after next season and seems poised to do so. The Timberwolves may try to trade him in order to receive at least something in return, or they could keep him next season in hopes that he has a change of heart. Saunders told the AP last week that he expects Love to play in Minnesota next season.
Love made waves last weekend after he was photographed enjoying the sights during what Saunders described as “a vacation” in Boston, leading many to believe he wants to play for the Celtics. Jackie McMullan of ESPN Boston is reporting, however, that “the Timberwolves are less than enamored with what Boston can offer them” for Love and that they “privately maintain they already have fielded better offers from other teams, among them the Chicago Bulls.”