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Timberwolves fire Saunders as coach

Timberwolves fire Saunders as coach

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Timberwolves Knicks Basketball

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders directs his team during the second half of Sunday's game against the New York Knicks.

Ryan Saunders has been fired as head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, ESPN reported Sunday night.

The Timberwolves lost to the New York Knicks 103-99 on Sunday, dropping Minnesota to an NBA-worst 7-24.

“We would like to thank Ryan for his time and commitment to the Timberwolves organization and wish him the best in the future,” Minnesota 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.”

The Athletic reported Sunday night the Timberwolves are hiring Toronto Raptors assistant coach Chris Finch as their new head coach. Finch and Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gerson Rosas worked together when both were with the Houston Rockets. Finch also has spent time as an assistant coach with the New Orleans Pelicans and Denver Nuggets. He also was formerly the head coach of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the G League. 

Saunders was 43-95 in two-plus seasons as Timberwolves' head coach. Saunders replaced Tom Thibodeau after he was fired during the 2019 season. Thibodeau is now head coach of the New York Knicks.

He is the son of former Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders, who coached the team from 1995-2005 and 2014-15. Flip Saunders died of cancer at the age of 60 in 2015.

The Timberwolves' next game is Tuesday in Milwaukee.

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