Flip Saunders on coaching the Timberwolves himself: ‘You never know’

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Stan Van Gundy, Tom Izzo, Fred Hoiberg and Billy Donovan have emerged as candidates to fill the Timberwolves’ coaching vacancy.

But what if Minnesota could get a coach with more NBA wins than those four combined?

Timberwolves president Flip Saunders – who previously coached Minnesota, Detroit and Washington – wouldn’t rule out taking the job himself.

Jon Crawkzynski of the Associated Press:

many believe he would like to return to the bench with the Wolves.

“I’m not going to answer that,” Saunders said when asked if he could do both jobs. “You never know. Ideally right now we’re going to do a search. The search isn’t just coming to talk to me. We’ll sit down and put together a list, see the interest those people have and we’ll make decisions based on that.”

Saunders, 59, might just want to move onto the next stage of his life. Coaching is a grind, and it’d be reasonable to put that behind him.

But as team president, Saunders’ No. 1 task is retaining Kevin Love. The best chance Minnesota has of doing that – even if any plan is unlikely – is to put a strong team on the floor next season, and a quality coach would certainly help.

Saunders is a complex offensive thinker, though his defense can be lacking. With the right players, his teams can be pretty good, even if there’s probably a ceiling on his success.

But the Timberwolves shouldn’t be worried about upside. They need to get as good as possible immediately to boost their case for Love.

No doubt, the Timberwolves would be better off landing a better coach who handles one role full-time. It sounds like that’s their first option, too.

But if they can’t get a good coach, Saunders could help as a stop-gap.