The Minnesota Timberwolves have removed the interim tag off Ryan Saunders to make him the permanent head coach, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
The two sides have agreed to a multi-year deal keeping Saunders as the youngest head coach in team history.
After the firing of Tom Thibodeau mid-season, Saunders took over the final 42 games of the season going 17-25 during that stretch. Son of the late Flip Saunders, Ryan was a hometown favorite and commanded the respect of the players on the roster.
Minnesota finished eleventh in the Western Conference a year after sneaking into the playoffs as the eight seed. Saunders will look to get his team back in the playoffs now having a full off-season to work with players like Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Josh Okogie. They also possess the No. 11 pick in this year’s draft.
In addition to adding Saunders, the Timberwolves also hired Gianluca Pascucci as the assistant General Manager. Pascucci formerly worked as the global scout director for the Brooklyn Nets.
Saunders will look to accomplish the same success his father had as a coach back in the late 90s/early 2000s when the team reached the playoffs eight straight seasons and their only Western Conference Finals.