Timberwolves fire head coach Ryan Saunders, Raptors' Chris Finch expected to be successor

Kyle Brown
Updated: February 22, 2021 06:47 AM
Created: February 21, 2021 10:25 PM

The Minnesota Timberwolves have fired head coach Ryan Saunders, the team announced Sunday night.

Saunders joined the Wolves as an assistant coach in 2014 under his father, then-head coach Flip Saunders, and was promoted to interim head coach in the middle of the 2018-19 season following the firing of Tom Thibodeau.

“We would like to thank Ryan for his time and commitment to the Timberwolves organization and wish him the best in the future,” said Gersson Rosas, the team's president of basketball operations. “These are difficult decisions to make, however this change is in the best interest of the organization’s short and long-term goals.”

The team had a 43-94 record (.314) over his tenure as coach and has a league-worst 7-24 record this season. The announcement of his firing came on the heels of a 103-99 loss Sunday to the Thibodeau-helmed New York Knicks.

The Timberwolves are expected to announce Saunders' replacement on Monday. A person with knowledge of the situation said that the Timberwolves were finalizing plans to introduce Toronto assistant Chris Finch as the new coach Monday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Finch’s hiring has not been formally completed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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