Minnesota Timberwolves fire coach Ryan Saunders; finalizing deal with Toronto Raptors assistant Chris Finch, sources say


The Minnesota Timberwolves are finalizing a multiyear deal on Monday to make Toronto Raptors assistant Chris Finch the franchise’s new coach, sources told ESPN.

Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas fired Ryan Saunders on Sunday, clearing the way for Minnesota to eschew an interim coach and move quickly toward hiring a full-time replacement.

Rosas informed Saunders of the decision after a 103-99 loss to the New York Knicks that left the Timberwolves at 7-24, the worst record in the NBA.

Rosas kept Saunders as his head coach after getting hired in May of 2019, a process that included interviewing Finch for the job. Rosas and Finch have history back to their days together in the Houston Rockets organization.

Finch is expected to begin the job on Tuesday in Milwaukee with Saunders’ coaching staff in place, including associate head coach David Vanterpool and assistants Bryan Gates and Pablo Prigioni, sources said.

Finch has been an assistant coach with Houston, Denver, New Orleans and Toronto, and won a G-League title with Rio Grande Valley in 2010. Toronto hired Finch in the offseason as Nick Nurse’s top assistant, but wouldn’t stand in his way to accept a head coaching job during the season, sources said.

No assistant coach has moved up to a head coaching job with a new team during the season since Memphis hired Lionel Hollins from Milwaukee in 2009.

Rosas didn’t want to spend the season with an interim coach, sources said, wanting to maximize the development of a veteran core around All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns, Malik Beasley, No. 1 overall pick Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell, who’s out with knee surgery.

Saunders was 43-94 as coach of the Timberwolves in two-plus seasons as coach. He was only able to coach his two All-Star players, Towns and Russell, in five games since the franchise traded for Russell in February of 2019.

Minnesota was hit hard with injuries and COVID-19 issues this season. Russell played 20 games before recently undergoing left knee surgery that’ll sideline him for the next four-to-six weeks. Towns has only played 11 games this season between a wrist injury and contracting COVID-19.



Source link

Get in Touch

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Foot Locker ‘Home Game’ is Bringing BIG Prizes to All-Star Weekend 2021

Foot Locker is spending all day rolling out crazy products and unique experiences to fans in celebration of this historic NBA All-Star Weekend....

Microsoft starts testing Edge Chromium browser on Xbox

Microsoft has started publicly testing its new Edge Chromium-powered browser on Xbox consoles. Xbox testers in the Alpha Skip-Ahead group can...

‘People want to see America change’

Mar 3, 2021Eric WoodyardESPN Earvin "Magic" Johnson is proud of this generation of NBA athletes. They're more versatile on the court and have...

Get in Touch

21,308FansLike
2,507FollowersFollow
17,300SubscribersSubscribe

Latest Posts

Foot Locker ‘Home Game’ is Bringing BIG Prizes to All-Star Weekend 2021

Foot Locker is spending all day rolling out crazy products and unique experiences to fans in celebration of this historic NBA All-Star Weekend....

Microsoft starts testing Edge Chromium browser on Xbox

Microsoft has started publicly testing its new Edge Chromium-powered browser on Xbox consoles. Xbox testers in the Alpha Skip-Ahead group can...

‘People want to see America change’

Mar 3, 2021Eric WoodyardESPN Earvin "Magic" Johnson is proud of this generation of NBA athletes. They're more versatile on the court and have...

Why Nikola Jokic is drawing comparisons to LeBron James and Luka Doncic

TIM CONNELLY SENSED something was off with Nikola Jokic. A year after selecting the center No. 41 overall in the 2014 NBA draft,...

From Jordan to LeBron, our experts pick every NBA franchise’s greatest dunker

A dunk is worth just two points, but the best dunkers in the world always find ways to make it feel like more.From...