Ryan Saunders Planning NBA Return

Former Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders is planning a return to the NBA next season, according to Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Saunders has been out of the league since February 2021, when he was fired and replaced by Chris Finch. Saunders became Minnesota’s head coach during the 2018/19 season after Tom Thibodeau was let go. He compiled a 43-94 record before losing his job.

Saunders said he had offers to be an assistant coach this season but chose to take some time off to spend more time with his wife and two young children.

“I’ll be back on an NBA staff next season,” Saunders said. “And I’m going to be ready.”

Saunders continues to break down film of NBA games and look for plays that intrigue him. There hasn’t been any buzz about Saunders being a head coaching candidate but he shouldn’t have too much trouble landing an assistant gig.

He’s been teaching a sports leadership class twice a week at the University of Northwestern in Roseville. He’s also been closely following his former team and taking pride in their run to the playoffs.

“We spent a lot of time on development, and when I see Jordan McLaughlin, Naz Reid, Jaylen Nowell when he’s in there, and others … I’m proud of that work,” Saunders said.

View Comments (4)