Ryan Saunders, who replaced Tom Thibodeau as Minnesota’s coach in early January, appears likely to return to the position next season.
Marc Stein of The New York Times (via newsletter, which you can subscribe to here) writes that “all signs” point to the Timberwolves retaining the 33-year-old first-time head coach, citing the strong bond between Saunders and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Towns’ co-sign and improved performance may overshadow the fact that Saunders underperformed from a win-loss perspective during his limited time in the role. The team has gone 14-19 since he took over duties.
Stein adds that there is uncertainty around general manager Scott Layden‘s future. Owner Glen Taylor is fond of Chauncey Billups and has interest in hiring the ESPN analyst for the GM role. However, there’s pessimism within league circles about Taylor being able to put an attractive enough offer together for it to make sense for both sides.
Billups has previously expressed a desire to lead a front office. He’s interviewed with the Hawks and Cavaliers in recent years.
Nuggets executive Calvin Booth should be considered a strong candidate for the position if Taylor dismisses Layden, Stein adds. Booth previously played in the NBA and he worked in Minnesota’s front office before moving on to Denver.