Wizards

Report: Timberwolves fire head coach Ryan Saunders

Wizards

After an abysmal start to the season, the Minnesota Timberwolves are making a change.

Head coach Ryan Saunders has been dismissed, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, making him the first coach to be let go this season.

Minutes after news of Saunders' firing broke, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that Minnesota plans to hire Raptors assistant Chris Finch as the team's next head coach. Finch's deal with the Timberwolves is full-time, not with an interim tag.

Saunders, 34, took over as Minnesota's head coach in January of 2019 following the firing of Tom Thibodeau. Two years later, he's been fired, ironically after Minnesota fell to Thibodeau’s New York Knicks, 103-99, on Sunday night. Saunders leaves Minnesota with a 43-95 record in two-plus seasons.

The son of the late Flip Saunders, Ryan Saunders spent five years as an assistant coach for the Wizards from 2009-2012, with the first three seasons with his dad serving as Washington's head coach. When Flip Saunders was hired as Minnesota's head coach in 2014, Ryan followed his father to the Twin Cities.

The Wizards next face the Timberwolves in six days when Minnesota travels to Washington on Feb. 27.