Saunders returns to Wolves as team president, minority owner


Flip is back.

Flip Saunders has returned to the Minnesota Timberwolves as president of basketball operations, replacing David Kahn.

He also joins the team as a minority owner.

Team owner Glen Taylor -- who admitted that it was a mistake to fire Saunders as Wolves coach a few years ago -- confirmed that it's a five-year deal, which he hopes "to extend beyond that."

Taylor also says he has decided not to sell the team, and has even decided to expand his ownership role, as he intends to buy out his remaining limited partners.

"I personally will buy them out," Taylor said at a Friday news conference.

"There's no question there's a lot of work ahead with this team," Saunders said. "We have some good, young talent -- but so far they have not reached their potential.

"My goal is for us to become a perennial playoff team and to compete for an NBA championship.

"Success for us is based on getting in the playoffs ... and contending for a championship in the future. I feel I can leave a legacy here in Minnesota."

As for coach Rick Adelman and his plans to return next season: "I have talked to Rick ... I expect him to be back."

Saunders also said he'll start concentrating on the upcoming NBA draft, with the biggest need to "balance" the roster.

"We need to balance the roster and find more players that can fill multiple roles," Saunders said of the days ahead. "It's going to be a whirlwind."

Before the news conference, the Timberwolves issued an official news release official news release, outlining the changes:

The Minnesota Timberwolves today named Phil "Flip" Saunders as the franchise's President of Basketball Operations. Saunders returns to the organization he guided during its most successful years, highlighted by a trip to the 2004 Western Conference Finals. Saunders, who has more than 20 years of professional basketball experience, will be responsible for all decisions made within the Timberwolves basketball operations department. As part of the agreement, Saunders will also assume a role as a Timberwolves minority owner.

Saunders, 58, served as head coach of the Timberwolves from 1995-96 - 2004-05. He led the club to eight consecutive playoff appearances and a Western Conference-best and franchise-best 58-24 record in 2003-04 -- a season that concluded with a berth in the Western Conference Finals.

"I'm excited to be back with the Timberwolves and want to thank Glen Taylor for this opportunity," Saunders said. "My goal is to help the Wolves achieve the success that we experienced during my first tenure with this organization. We have a strong nucleus in place and will look to add assets that will allow us to make the playoffs and eventually compete for an NBA championship."

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-06-21 at 8.38.01 AM

Cities 97.1 is bringing back 'Oake on the Water' this summer

The recently-returned host Brian Oake is bringing back his weekly live music showcase.

Lost peacock

Anyone lose a peacock? One was found roaming in Champlin

If it's yours, Champlin PD would appreciate you let them know.

Screen Shot 2021-06-21 at 7.38.22 AM

Woman killed in Robbinsdale shooting identified, ex-husband the suspect

She was killed four days after she had gotten remarried.

Screen Shot 2021-06-20 at 9.21.00 AM

Updates on Minnesotans bidding for spots at the Summer Olympics

St. Paul's Suni Lee could qualify for the U.S. gymnastics team this week.

golf cart

Federal charges: Minnesota man stole 63 golf carts in 7 states

Nathan Rodney Nelson has been federally charged with transportation of stolen vehicles across state lines.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

1 dead, 1 wounded in separate St. Cloud shootings

Police say the fatal shooting was random, while in a separate incident a series of fights downtown preceded a teen's shooting.

Byron Buxton

Buxton, Kepler lead Twins to weekend sweep over Rangers

Kenta Maeda's solid outing on the mound gave the Twins a 4-2 victory.

storm, severe weather

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for south Minnesota, tornadoes possible

The watch area is just to the south of the Twin Cities.


10 injured when minivans collide, overturn in west-central Minnesota

The incident occurred at the intersection of County Road 1 and County Road 29 in Kandiyohi County.

William Carlson

Nearly 80 years later, Minnesotan honored for WWII heroism

He defended a sinking passenger ship from a U-boat.