Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Sports | By Juana Wells

"New captain" Saunders has Wolves' trust in interim role


Karl-Anthony Towns and the Timberwolves will be playing for interim coach Ryan Saunders presumably for the rest of the season. He registered a 97-107 record in two-plus seasons with the Timberwolves and led them to a playoff berth in 2017-18. "I think (Saunders) is going to be great". Team owner Glen Taylor said: "We would like to thank Tom for his efforts and wish him all the best". Simply put: There's hardly a member of the Timberwolves organization who carries more respect than Ryan Saunders. I think he's going to do a great job, especially because you can talk to him. "There's been a lot of changes, but I trust him". Instead, the Timberwolves have been below.500 most of the season and ended up dealing Butler to Philadelphia.

"We've got so much talent on this team", Saunders said. Towns and Andrew Wiggins were notified of Thibodeau's firing by phone. Just ready to go, ready for a new start.

Saunders said he had meetings with each player individually Monday, making clear what he hopes to see going forward and trying to get a feel about where each player stands concerning the transition. For the time being, assistant coach Ryan Saunders will take over for Thibodeau on an interim basis.

On the other hand, Billups, a former All-Star point guard and current game analyst, has been in rumoured coaching candidacies since last season. Former Timberwolves player and assistant general manager Fred Hoiberg, who replaced Thibodeau in Chicago, will be available, having been fired last month.

Taylor said he was "just looking at the results". "I don't know if you can classify anybody as necessarily a "Thibs guy" or 'Chicago guy.' Everybody has been in this organization to try and help this organization become better, and that's everyone's main focus".

The pace of the offense in practice Monday was faster, Rose said, hinting at one potential difference that could be on display.

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