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Minnesota Timberwolves president Flip Saunders will be the new coach of the team. A news conference has been scheduled for Friday.
The Timberwolves search for a new coach began after Rick Adelman retired after last season. There were a couple of candidates for the job, including Memphis Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger, former Toronto Raptor coach Sam Mitchell and former Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro, according to USA Today. Saunders will continue to work in the front office with GM Milt Newton while also handling the coaching duties.
Saunders decision to coach the Timberwolves himself could have an impact of whether Kevin Love stays or goes. Love, an All-Star forward, hasn’t made the playoffs in his six years in the NBA. He will be a free agent next summer and wants to be out of Minnesota. The Timberwolves were 40-42 this season and finished in 10th place in the West.
This isn’t the first time that Saunders has coached. He has been the coach for the Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards and the Timberwolves. He coached the Timberwolves from 1995 to 2005. He won 411 games and led the team to eight playoff appearances, including the Western Conference Finals in 2004, during that time, according to the Associated Press, which first reported the news. Saunders has a 638-526 career record as an NBA coach in 16 seasons.
It is unknown how long Saunders will be the coach. He could hire assistants to his coaching staff who would at some point take over.