Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor was non-committal when he was asked if Flip Saunders would be coaching the team next season. Taylor has long said he would prefer Saunders focus on his role as President of Basketball Operations and the team hire a different coach.
"It's not definite," Taylor told Pro Basketball Talk. "But in my mind, with the effort that he put in this year to bring this team along, it's probably 90 percent. If he sees somebody and he changes his mind, he certainly could convince me. I think eventually I want a different coach, and I want him to be the GM. My guess is that he'll go another year."
The Wolves finished last season with an NBA-worst 16-66 record after the Kevin Love trade and injuries to the team's veterans sent them into rebuilding mode.
Landing the top pick in next month's NBA Draft means they'll add more talent to a young core that includes Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine and Ricky Rubio which could make the coaching job more attractive to Saunders or anyone else the Wolves may turn to.
"I think Flip will change if he sees somebody in the coaching ranks that he really respects, and thinks in the long run that they will be the right guy for this team, then I think he'll make that decision."
One name already connected to the Wolves is Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, who played two seasons with Minnesota, before spending time in the team's front office.
According to WHO TV in Des Moines, Iowa, the Wolves have reached out to Hoiberg.
According to the Des Moines Register, Hoiberg hasn't deflected any of the NBA talk. The Register says the chatter centers mostly on a possible opening in Chicago, but warns Cyclone fans about the Wolves, too.