NBA rumors: Timberwolves keeping Ryan Saunders for now

Ryan Saunders will remain coach of the woeful Minnesota Timberwolves, at least until he gets an opportunity to coach a stretch with star Karl-Anthony Towns in the regular lineup. “I haven’t even talked to (basketball president Gersson Rosas) about that — he hasn’t brought it up, but you’re asking me, and it’s probably hard to tell a guy that you aren’t doing the job when your best guy isn’t playing,” Wolves owner Glen Taylor said Saturday from his home in Mankato.

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Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said that at no point during the difficult start to this season — which included a 5-27 streak before the trade deadline — did he consider firing coach Ryan Saunders, who is in the first year of his contract as the youngest coach (33) in the NBA. “No, no, no, he is hired,” Taylor said. “A young guy and he is going to get better as time goes on and we just have to give him that time.”
Taylor, who also owns the Star Tribune, said the new players should be a better fit for Saunders. “[Saunders] is excited about this change that now he has guys that can play the kind of basketball he wants,” Taylor said. “He is really a believer in the three-point shot, moving the ball fast, and getting up and down the court. He needed some players that were better three-point shooters than what we had previously.”
Dane Moore: Ryan Saunders spoke today about beginning to put in plans for next season + looking at how to best improve the team. Dario Saric even said Saunders might come out to work w/ him in Croatia. “I’m operating as I’m going to do a job until they tell me not to do a job.” — Saunders
All signs point to Minnesota retaining Ryan Saunders as its coach. This is despite the Wolves’ 14-19 record and fade from playoff contention since Saunders replaced Tom Thibodeau on Jan. 6.
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February 28, 2021 | 6:15 am EST Update

Kevin Love unlikely to return before All-Star break

Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love is on this quick two-game trip with his teammates so he can continue to rehab a high-grade strained right calf, but the five-time All-Star is “unlikely” to return until after the NBA All-Star break, league sources tell cleveland.com.
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Kevin Durant to still serve as All-Star captain

The Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant will still serve as an NBA All-Star Game captain despite a hamstring injury that will keep him from playing. Durant and fellow All-Star Game captain LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers will each draft a roster out of the pool of selected All-Stars. The All-Star draft will air on TNT on March 4. It remained unclear whether Durant will travel to Atlanta for the game on March 7.
A Knicks official said Rivers was at the Garden, but in the back getting treatment for a sore ankle. Rivers was not listed on the pregame injury report submitted to the NBA. On the box score, Rivers was listed with a DNP-Coach’s Decision. Earlier this week, Rivers said of his situation: “I can’t control if I’m traded today, tomorrow or the next day. What I can control is how I am as a player.’’
Storyline: Austin Rivers Trade?
That doesn’t mean he’s a finished product. There’s a reason the Raptors signed him with G League intentions and not for the NBA roster. The 10-day contract (about $82,000) affords them six games to see how he can fit and progress in their environment. It’s an audition by another name, and not the first time the Raptors have used a 10-day to get a 905 look at a prospect. “This gives us a chance to get Donta down in our system, teach him our ins and outs and the way we operate our offence, our defence, our schemes, and see how he looks running those,” general manager Chad Sanders said. “With Tampa just down the street, it’s a chance for us to get him out there and get some reps and get a chance to evaluate him for the big club.”
Among active superstars, Doncic’s game might be most similar to that of perennial MVP candidate James Harden, who acknowledged Saturday night that he considers those comparisons legitimate. “There are some similarities,” Harden said after the Mavs’ 115-98 road win snapped the Brooklyn Nets’ eight-game winning streak. “He never lets anyone speed him up, and he gets what he wants. That’s rare for a guy at a young age. I think he’s 21 years old. And to be able to dictate the game and control the game like he does, we all know he has a very, very bright future. “The Mavs got a special one.”
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