Nuggets Expected To Hire Ryan Saunders As Assistant Coach

The Nuggets are expected to hire former Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders as an assistant on Michael Malone‘s staff, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Saunders spent time with Minnesota from 2014-21.

While Saunders was with the Wolves for eight years, he didn’t start as the team’s head coach. He joined the franchise as an assistant after serving in the same role with Washington from 2009-14. Minnesota then promoted him to head coach after Tom Thibodeau was fired in 2019. Saunders was dismissed as Timberwolves coach in February of 2021 after leading the team to a 7-24 record to start that season.

Saunders is the son of longtime head coach Flip Saunders, who held stints with Minnesota, Detroit and Washington across his career and passed away in 2015.

Saunders is expected to replace Jordi Fernandez on Malone’s staff — Fernandez recently accepted an associate head coach role with the Kings.

The Nuggets are coming off a season in which they finished 48-34. They expect to have Michael Porter Jr. (back surgery) and Jamal Murray (torn ACL) back next season and hope to contend for a title.

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