HoopsHype Flip Saunders rumors

November 14, 2014 Updates
November 10, 2014 Updates

The clock was ticking down on Halloween night, and millions of dollars hung in the balance for Ricky Rubio and several other players who entered the NBA in 2011 and were up for extensions of their rookie contracts. To make matters worse, they were faced with weighty decisions about their futures while regular season games were being played, leading many involved in the process to express concern about the timing of the deadline. These are talks that could make players free agents after the season if not nailed down, and though they deserve the full attention of everyone involved, the Oct. 31 deadline means many negotiations drag into the regular season. Many hope the date will be moved up. "It becomes very difficult," Minnesota Timberwolves president and coach Flip Saunders said. "The league encourages you, if you got a game that night, you might want to get that thing done. It would be beneficial to have the date moved before the start of the regular season." Boston Herald

November 8, 2014 Updates
November 7, 2014 Updates

Garnett’s 25 minutes against the Timberwolves pushed him past 49,000 for his career. Garnett, playing his 20th season, is fifth all-time in minutes played in NBA history, trailing only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Jason Kidd and Elvin Hayes. When asked before the game if his former star pupil could become a coach in the future, Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders didn’t hesitate with his response. “No,” Saunders said with a smile. “What he could be is he could be a good consultant, short-term stuff. “He’s got great knowledge, and he’d be great working with players. But his frustration … he gets frustrated pretty easy. That would be pretty tough on a coach. “He might be a short-term guy, but it’s not because of lack of knowledge. His personality, his DNA, he’d get too frustrated. New York Post

November 6, 2014 Updates

But, in an alternate universe, Hollins already could have been working elsewhere , had the Timberwolves — one of several teams, including the Lakers, that spoke to Hollins this offseason — worked out a deal with him. That didn’t happen, though, and part-owner and team president of basketball operations Flip Saunders returned to the sidelines to coach the team instead, a decision Saunders said he made because of the uncertainty at the time surrounding the status of superstar forward Kevin Love. “We talked a lot about it,” Saunders said before his Timberwolves beat the Nets 98-91 in Brooklyn. “I think Lionel is a great coach. … But that whole thing was because of the Love situation. There was too much of the unknowns. Lionel, he’s a team who took a team to a conference finals, I thought that he was going to go to a veteran type team, and I couldn’t guarantee him that would be this type of team. New York Post

November 5, 2014 Updates
November 2, 2014 Updates

The Wolves initially offered Rubio a four-year, $44 million extension, urging him to take less money to give them the most flexibility going forward so they could build a team around him. Fegan and Akana knew the new $24 billion television contracts that are set to fully kick in in 2016 will change the economic landscape of the league. And with Love gone, Rubio was the new face of the Timberwolves, so they advocated for their client. "We didn't always see eye to eye, which is always good and the way it goes with agents," Saunders said Saturday. "We worked hard because I think all parties involved knew that the No. 1 thing that Ricky wanted is Ricky wanted to be here." NBA.com

Saunders made a point not to discuss business on the court and said Rubio made an even better impression on Saunders the coach than he did Saunders the executive. "You're watching so much film every day of your team from practice and that so you see the things that he does," Saunders said. "You see how he deals with the other teammates and how he deals with the coaching staff. I believe there's no question coaching him helped me from the perspective of I knew we wanted him, but wanting him even more." NBA.com

October 31, 2014 Updates
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October 14, 2014 Updates
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October 6, 2014 Updates

“There’s a misconception nationally, they think we’re really a super, super, super young team,” Saunders said. “But we’ve got veteran guys who have played in the playoffs, who have won championships, have been All-Stars, and everything else. Let people think we’re young. Like I told our players, that’s OK.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune

October 4, 2014 Updates

On Friday, he opened practice by commanding players to throw footballs around rather than basketballs, an exercise that led him to conclude European center Nikola Pekovic is better suited for the position of offensive lineman than quarterback. On Tuesday, he brought a magician — the Amazing Hondo, of course — to camp for some sleight of hand. On Thursday, he had players pull numbers out of a hat to pick sides for a shooting contest after which Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer reportedly walked away with a little extra spending money. “The more jobs Flip has, the better he is,” Martin said with a smile. “I think he likes all those responsibilities.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune

October 2, 2014 Updates
September 28, 2014 Updates

Q You signed Mo Williams. Is there a place for J.J. Barea on this team? Flip Saunders: Yes, there’s a place for J.J. You list our guys and every guy can make a case they do something the others don’t do, and J.J.’s the same way. You let these guys come in, they all compete and you keep the best team together. Last year in training camp, J.J. was our best player. We’ll see if he comes in at that same level. He’s got to understand I do certain things differently than what Rick did. There are certain things I won’t put up with that Rick maybe did a little bit, how guys act when they come out of games. That’s just not J.J., that’s any of these guys. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

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