Northwest Notes: Saunders, Jazz, Thunder

Wolves owner Glen Taylor expects Flip Saunders to return as coach next season, reports Charley Walters of The St. Paul Pioneer Press. Saunders, who also serves as president of basketball operations, led the team to a 16-66 record this year, which was the worst mark in the league and helped Minnesota land the top pick in the draft. However, the Wolves were hampered by injuries all season. “I think he worked so hard last year with all those problems that he wants an opportunity to see if we are healthy, if we really have the team he thought he had,” Taylor said. Saunders expects to hold pre-draft workouts with at least five players, including Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Duke’s Jahlil Okafor.

There’s more news from the Northwest Division:

  • The Jazz will bring in six more players for pre-draft workouts Sunday [Twitter link]. The players are Andrew Harrison of Kentucky, Terry Rozier of Louisville, Vince Hunter of Texas-El Paso, J.P. Tokoto of North Carolina, Terran Petteway of Nebraska and Aaron White of Iowa.
  • Re-signing free agents Enes Kanter and Kyle Singler is as much a business decision as a basketball decision for the Thunder, writes Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman. The columnist questions the wisdom of giving an eight-figure salary to a defensive liability like Kanter, but concedes that Oklahoma City has few options to replace the two players if they sign elsewhere.
  • Anthony Morrow was the best free agent signing in Thunder history, Mayberry contends in a separate story. Morrow inked a three-year, $10MM deal last summer and gave Oklahoma City the outside shooting threat it needed. He connected on 43.4% of his shots from downtown and managed to lead the team in games played.

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