The Minnesota Timberwolves lost to the New york city Knicks on Sunday to fall to a league-worst 7-24 this season. That defeat turned out to be the final stroke for management, and the team announced shortly after the game that they have actually fired coach Ryan Saunders.
What’s more, they currently have a replacement lined up. Toronto Raptors assistant Chris Finch is expected to be named their new coach, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The Wolves’ press release indicated a formal statement should arrive on Monday.
The child of the late Flip Saunders, Ryan got his start in the NBA as an assistant with the Washington Wizards and was on the bench in D.C. from 2009-2014 He then took an assistant task with the Timberwolves and was ultimately called interim coach after Tom Thibodeau was fired in2019 After that season, he signed an offer to take the job on a long-term basis, and at 33 years old was the youngest head coach in the league.
In a little less than two full seasons worth of games, the Timberwolves went 43-94 under Saunders. They completed with the third-worst record in the league last season– eventually winning the lotto and taking Anthony Edwards with the No. 1 total choice in the 2020 NBA Draft– and had the worst record up until now this season prior to his shooting.
On some level, Saunders was stuck in an impossible circumstance. There was almost total roster upheaval during his period, and more games lost to injury than you can count. When Karl-Anthony Towns has just played 45 games in the last two seasons combined, there’s only so much you can do. Still, with outcomes like that, there’s little surprise that the front office ultimately chose to go in a different direction.
They’ll now rely on Finch, the extremely related to Raptors assistant who was a frontrunner for numerous tasks this offseason. Finch started his coaching career overseas in 1997 and has actually been on an NBA bench because 2011 when he was hired by the Houston Firecrackers. The president of basketball operations in Houston at that time was Gersson Rosas, who is now running the Wolves’ front workplace.
Finch is extremely related to for his deal with the offending side of the ball, and Raptors coach Nick Nurse has actually called him “among the best offensive minds in the NBA.” In an interview with The Athletic in 2015, Finch noted his affinity for playing quick and attempting to be unforeseeable.
It will be interesting to see what he’s able to do with a Wolves team that has a great deal of skill however hasn’t been able to put things together. Clearly, injuries are a major caveat here, however they’re ranked No. 28 in offense this season, scoring just 105.7 points per 100 belongings.