It appears that familial history and ties to the franchise were not enough to continue Ryan Saunders’ tenure as head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Saunders, who is the son of the late, great and highly regarded coach Flip Saunders was shown the door by the franchise Sunday, after the team stumbled to a 7-24 record this season.
From Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The Minnesota Timberwolves have fired coach Ryan Saunders, the team announced Sunday night.
The Timberwolves will name an interim head coach on Monday.
Minnesota has dropped 24 of 31 games to start the season, leaving it with the worst record in the NBA. The Timberwolves have lost eight of their past nine games, including a 103-99 loss to the New York Knicks on Sunday night.
“We would like to thank Ryan for his time and commitment to the Timberwolves organization and wish him the best in the future,” President of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said in a statement. “These are difficult decisions to make, however this change is in the best interest of the organization’s short and long-term goals.”
Saunders was 43-95 as coach of the Timberwolves in two-plus seasons.
Minnesota travels to play Milwaukee on Tuesday night.
Apparently Minnesota is not wasting anytime deal with a rebound, err, interim coach as according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadiums , the Timberwolves are bringing in Toronto Raptors assistant Chris Finch as their née head coach. The wolves have doubled down on their commitment to Finch by offering him a multi year deal.
Finch was head man of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League from 2009-11, going 67-33 in his two seasons , winning the league championship and Coach of the Year in 2010. Since then he has spent time with the Houston Rockets (2011-16), Denver Nuggets (2016-17), New Orleans Pelicans (2017-20) and the Toronto Raptors (2020-21).