On Thursday, the Minnesota Timberwolves and president Flip Saunders finally found their new head coach… Flip Saunders.
This will be Suanders’ second stint with the Timberwolves. He coached the team from 1995-2005 and has since coached the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards, posting a career-record of 638-526 in the regular season and 47-51 in the postseason.
The hiring was quickly followed by a report that Love was still poised to become a free agent after next season.
In fact, according to Sam Amick of The USA Today, it wouldn’t have mattered if the Timberwolves named Phil Jackson head coach, it would not save Love.
Only Love knows his true intent, but the move was seen by some in Minnesota as a passive-aggressive way of reminding his bosses that it’s time for him to start a new chapter. A quick trip to Boston (of all places) was salt in the fans’ still-open Garnett wound, a cold and calculated move that they’ll surely share their view on in the off chance that he’s still in town by the time next season rolls around.
As one person close to the situation said on Thursday, even if the Timberwolves had brought in Phil Jackson as coach, Love still would want out. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
The trade offers are expected to keep getting better leading up to draft night on June 26, and Saunders must now decide how much more of this he can stand.
Love averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game last season while shooting 45.7% from the field, 37.6% from three and 82.1% from the charity stripe.