"New captain" Ryan Saunders has Timberwolves' trust in interim role

Timberwolves fire Tom Thibodeau, may want Fred Hoiberg

And Saunders, the son of the late Timberwolves coaching legend Flip Saunders, will be the leader players look to make that run happen.

Thibodeau finishes with a record of 97-107 in his two-plus seasons in Minnesota.

"My passion is in coaching", Hoiberg said, "and I'm looking forward to what lies ahead". Thibodeau's trademark hard nose coaching style and tendency to play starters extensive minutes eroded his relationship with both players and Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. A highly-regarded player development coach, reports of losing control of the locker room cost him his job in Chicago.

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Ryan Saunders had served as an assistant in Minnesota since 2014. "I think now, (we're) halfway through the season and I don't think we're where we thought we would be or where we think we should be". Everyone believes in him, everyone respects him and trusts him. "He's not too much older than me, so I think we're going to go in the right direction". Instead, the Timberwolves have been below.500 most of the season and ended up dealing Butler to Philadelphia. It will be the first time we get to see how the team's offense, defense and rotations will differ from Thibodeau. Towns and Andrew Wiggins were notified of Thibodeau's firing by phone.

Saunders is younger than three of his players, and he appeared a bit nervous but handled his first news conference smoothly while surrounded by a horde of reporters and cameras on the team's practice court. "Maybe one of those games".

Assistant coach Ryan Saunders will assume the role of the interim head coach for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.

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Current ESPN analyst and former five-time All-Star point guard Chauncey Billups has also been discussed internally as a candidate for both positions, sources told Wojnarowski.

"The results are that I don't think we should've lost against Phoenix or Detroit or New Orleans or Atlanta", Taylor said. "It's just not", Rose said.

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