Flip Saunders is the best coach the Timberwolves have ever had in their history. He has the best record as a head coach and he’s the only coach to ever take the Timberwolves to the playoffs. However, he already is a part owner and President of Basketball Operations for the team, so is it a good idea to have him also be the coach of the team if he already has two positions in the organization?
I say yes, but only for this year. For a coach to come in this year they would have had to deal with all the Kevin Love drama, not to mention they would have to be ready for the exhausting process of dealing with a young team that is in the midst of a rebuild. Saunders knows this team, can deal with the pressure and press from Love’s request to be traded and knows the direction he wants to take this team. Also it didn’t help that the main candidates for the job David Joerger took the head coaching job in Memphis Grizzlies instead of taking the same job with the Timberwolves, which left Saunders with few quality options.
This year I think it does make sense for Saunders to coach the team, as no matter what happens during the season, his position in the organization and relationship with Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, gives him job security that many other coaches wouldn’t have. This is important, as it allows Saunders to focus more on developing the young talent the Timberwolves have instead of trying to make the playoffs.
That’s not to say the Timberwolves organization isn’t trying to make the playoffs this year, just that if things don’t start out well for the team because of poor play from their young players like Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett (assuming the trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers goes through as planned), Zach LaVine and Gorgui Dieng, that they will still get playing time as the Timberwolves work to give them experience in lieu of wins.
However, going forward I am firmly against Saunders staying on as head coach, I just think that when one person dictates all the moves for an organization that the organizations isn’t run as well as it could be. There is value in having multiple opinions in an organizations to weigh in on the big decisions and for the Timberwolves to have success in the next few years there has to be a different voice in the head coaching position next season.