Timberwolves owner on Flip Saunders: ‘I think eventually I want a different coach’

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NEW YORK — The Timberwolves will have the number one overall pick in this summer’s draft, thanks to the ping pong balls bouncing their way at the NBA Draft Lottery which was held in Midtown Manhattan on Tuesday.

The outcome was largely expected; Minnesota had more chances than any other team to win the lottery, and things went according to the odds.

But something less expected happened afterwards, when Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor was non-committal about whether or not Flip Saunders would be coaching the team next season.

“It’s not definite,” Taylor said, after pausing for a few seconds when asked specifically about Saunders returning as head coach. “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.”

Landing the top pick in the draft may be a nice enticement for Saunders to want to remain in the coaching position, but Taylor says that this recent, exciting development won’t affect that decision.

“It won’t change,” Taylor said of Saunders’ thought process. “I think that 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.”

“We’re sort of taking it one year at a time,” Taylor said with a laugh. “[We haven’t discussed] seven years from now.”