Saunders Gives Coaching Search Update
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Wolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders said after Sunday’s pre-Draft workout at Target Center that he’ll meet with team owner Glen Taylor this week to go over where the team currently sits with its coaching search.
The Wolves have been officially without a coach since Rick Adelman retired from the bench and accepted a consulting role within the organization on April 21. As it stands, Saunders said there is no timetable on hiring a new coach but said the odds of it happening before the Draft on June 26 are slightly better than not.
“I’d say there’s probably a better chance we would than wouldn’t,” Saunders said. “But you know, as I’ve said we’re not going to put a timeframe or anything.”
Saunders said one Taylor, who is currently the interim chair of the NBA Board of Governors, has been busy working with the NBA regarding league matters. But he's expected to be in Minnesota this week, and Saunders said he’ll be able to go through everything that is going on within the organization with Taylor and discuss exactly where they sit with the coaching search and Draft opportunities.
As far as who might become the Timberwolves’ next coach, Saunders said he and the front office are being selective in which candidates they’ll decide to pursue. It’s not a question of whether or not they can fill this position—the NBA is an exclusive group of 30 teams, and a lot of people want a shot at being a head coach in this league. The challenge is finding someone who fits what the Wolves are looking for, and Saunders has been steadfast in bringing in someone with coaching experience that can do a combination of things: Continue the Wolves’ offensive fire power, add accountability in the locker room and, ideally, improve the team’s efforts on the defensive end.
“I know there is a lot of speculation—half of the speculation is just that, speculation, and not the real facts,” Saunders said. “That’s just something we have to live with, and I know people want to know what’s going on. But we’re not going to let any kind of time frame inhibit us in what we need to do to get our total search. We’ve been patient, we’ve waited. We’ve wanted to see what’s going to develop whether it would be the playoffs or whatever. And that’s why we’ve been patient in what we’ve done.”
Saunders said the Wolves are trying to find who might be the right fit for this team moving forward.
“We want to make sure we go through the process,” Saunders said. “And we’re not going to see what’s going to be best for right now but what’s best for two, three, four years down the road.”
- Saunders also was asked by the media about Kevin Love: “The last I knew, my position hasn’t changed. Last I knew Kevin was under contract with us and I expect to be playing for us next year.”
- We’ll have more coverage of today’s workouts later today, so stay tuned. The Wolves worked out potential second round picks today, including Syracuse’s Jerami Grant, Mizzou’s Jabari Brown, Michigan State’s Keith Appling, Florida’s Scottie Wilbekin, Stanford’s Dwight Powell and Bosnia’s Nedim Buza.