Milt Newton Rumors
Don Zierden, Sam Cassell and Saunders’s son, Ryan, were all brought to the organization as part of Saunder’s coaching staff in Washington. A person with knowledge of the situation said Saunders has yet to contact the Wizards about hiring any of them, but the team “wouldn’t be surprised” if he called. Saunders already brought former Wizards executive Milt Newton to Minnesota as general manager.
“I see our team already falling into knowing their roles and playing their roles, so that’s good to see. I’ve spoken to guys from other teams, and there’s a period that a lot of teams go through when they’re trying to figure out who is the go-to guy, who is the guy who’s going to get the most shots. We don’t seem to have that problem.”
“Kevin has stickier fingers than I thought — I mean, he gets every rebound,” Newton said. “You watch him from afar and you get the highlight clips and things like that, and it’s, ‘Wow, the guy can really shoot.’ “But when you see him in practice hitting eight, nine, 10, 11 threes in a row, then you really realize he’s the great shooter that he is.”
Timberwolves brass has two choices when the final roster spots are filled before opening night, decisions that, barring a trade or free-agent signing, will force Flip Saunders and Rick Adelman to decide between veteran savvy and rookie potential. If it is life experiences they want, fifth-year guard A.J. Price has them and maybe then some. Price was invited to training camp partly because of his connection with new Wolves General Manager Milt Newton from the season they spent together in Washington a year ago, partly because of three seasons with the Pacers and one with the Wizards. And partly because of two transformational years in college when he went two seasons without basketball because of complicated brain surgery and his own decisions. At age 27, he is trying to stay in the NBA with an opportunity he admits was the only real one that didn’t involve playing overseas. He is competing with fellow veteran Othyus Jeffers and rookies Lorenzo Brown and Robbie Hummel for the team’s final two jobs because of what Adelman calls his professionalism and Price himself attributes to life’s lessons learned.
Before Flip Saunders decided to pluck him from Washington, Minnesota Timberwolves general manager Milt Newton had come closest to running his own team in 2005, when he was finalist for a job in Cleveland that eventually went to Danny Ferry. Newton would interview for a handful of other opportunities, but as he got passed over, his chances of ever breaking free seemed to diminish as the Wizards fell further into irrelevance. But during his introductory press conference with the Timberwolves on Tuesday, Newton said that he always remained optimistic that he would eventually fulfill a dream he set while in graduate school at Kansas nearly 22 years ago. “I never wavered,” Newton said. “I had faith in God and I always had faith that it would happen, but it had to be the right opportunity. And this is the right opportunity coming to Minnesota where my wife [Shalaun] is from, she can spend time with her family, so this is the perfect fit for me.”
Even after spending 10 seasons with the Wizards, most recently as vice president of player personnel, Milt Newton said leaving wasn’t a difficult decision. He was anxious to come to a situation where he had greater influence in the decision-making process and more authority to put some of his fingerprints on the organization. “My role will change in that, along with Flip, I’ll have an overall effect on the organization,” Newton said. “In Washington I was mostly in the personnel aspect of the organization. This is a very much more expanded role and I look forward to the task at hand.”
More than a week after the news leaked, the Minnesota Timberwolves announced on Friday that former Wizards vice president of player personnel Milt Newton has been hired as general manager. Newton will work closely with Timberwolves president of basketball operations and former Wizards coach Flip Saunders, who will continue to have final say on basketball-related decisions but felt the need to have an experienced executive to maintain organizational structure. “I have followed Milt closely during his career and have always been impressed with his basketball knowledge, work ethic and professionalism,” Saunders said in a statement released by the team. “His front-office experience in the NBA, as well as his ability to combine analytics evaluation with his basketball playing and scouting background will greatly benefit our organization.”
Jerry Zgoda: Wolves officially announce Washington Wizards executive Milt Newton as team’s new general manager to work under Pres. Flip Saunders.
Washington Wizards Vice President of player personnel, Milt Newton, will join the Timberwolves as the team’s general manager, according to a team source. Newton will be heavily involved in pro scouting. The Wolves also plan on elevating Rob Babcock to a vice president of personnel position.
Darren Wolfson: Sounds like Milt Newton to #Twolves is just about done. Flip also apparently taking #Wizards asst trainer Koichi Sato. Strength guy here.
ESPN 1500 Minnesota is reporting that Milt Newton, the Wizards vice president of player personnel, is a “good bet” to become the next general manager of the Timberwolves. The report added that a move would not happen until after the draft.
Marc Stein: Fresh rumbles Wolves looking at hiring Hornets’ Tim Connelly or Wizards’ Milt Newton for new front office. Flip Saunders worked w/both w/Wiz