Taylor also noted that GM Milt Newton and interim coach Sam Mitchell have the authority going forward to make trades and player personnel decisions in Saunders’ absence, Zgoda adds. “We haven’t put anything on hold,” Taylor said. “Milt’s handling it just the way I’d expect him to. He tells me what he thinks, and we talk about things, just the same as I did with Flip. Milt’s just stepped in. Sam has to be his own coach. He won’t do things exactly as Flip does, and I wouldn’t expect him to.”
Here’s more from the Northwest Division:
- Taylor was re-elected as the chairman of the NBA Board of Governors, commissioner Adam Silver announced at a press conference on Friday (h/t Tim Bontemps of The New York Post via Twitter).
- The Nuggets have in the past asked for either two first-round picks or a first-rounder and a young player in exchange for Wilson Chandler, league sources told Grantland’s Zach Lowe, and while Lowe thinks it’s conceivable that price comes down, he still doesn’t believe a Chandler trade is likely. Meanwhile, the chatter surrounding the idea of a Kenneth Faried trade that’s been going on for the past two years hasn’t stopped, Lowe adds.
- The Jazz intend to utilize their wing players as playmakers this season, which will influence a number of the team’s roster decisions, Aaron Falk of The salt Lake Tribune writes. “I think we’ve got good ball handlers on the wings, and you get to a point where you have to make tough decisions,” coach Quin Snyder said. “… We have Joe Ingles. We have Alec Burks. We have Rodney Hood and Gordon Hayward. Those guys can all handle the ball and make plays.”
- Mitchell and Newton indicated that the Wolves still intend to continue with the youth movement put in place by Saunders, who is on a leave of absence while he battles Hodgkins’ Lymphoma, writes Michael Rand of The Star Tribune. “Most definitely the vision is still to develop our young players. We’d love to make the playoffs, but we’re not going to circumvent the process that it’s going to take to be a perennial playoff team,” Newton said. “You have to win to learn how to win, but overall the vision is to develop that young core we have to become that perennial playoff team.”
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.