After the Minnesota Timberwolves’ mid-season termination of Tom Thibodeau, the organization has officially replaced him with the hiring of Ryan Saunders. Saunders has been with the Timberwolves since 2014, serving as an assistant, and was named interim head coach after Thibodeau was fired. Saunders is the son of the late Flip Saunders, who spent 20 years in the NBA, some of which was spent with Minnesota.
President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas (who was also recently hired since Thibodeau also served at this position for Minnesota as well) spoke very highly of Saunders. Rosas said, “Ryan is an excellent communicator and has developed open and trusting relationships with our players. I’ve known Ryan for many years and have always respected his approach to the game, work ethic, basketball knowledge, and passion.” Several Timberwolves players recommended Saunders for the position, including the face of the franchise Karl-Anthony Towns.
Saunders, who is currently 33, becomes the NBA’s youngest head coach. Many people are excited about the combination of Rosas and Saunders, while others remain skeptical. The NBA Draft is an event that fans should pay attention to. This will be the first true test that the two will face. Fans will be looking towards Rosas and Saunders to change their fortune in the Draft. If they draft a great player at No. 11, they will be highly praised by fans, but if they draft a bust, many will grow impatient and look for another position change.
Could Sanders become the next Sean McVay, or will he become another bust? Only time will tell.