The Minnesota Timberwolves have a variety of names in the mix to interview for their coaching job, with several prominent assistant coaches dotting the list.
New Timberwolves president Gersson Rosas plans to interview Miami Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard and Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach David Vanterpool for the opening, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Additionally, The New York Times‘ Marc Stein and The Times-Picayune‘s Andrew Lopez report New Orleans Pelicans assistant Chris Finch will also be interviewing for the job.
Finch’s connection with Rosas dates back to when both men worked for the Houston Rockets, Stein reports.
The Timberwolves have secured permission to interview New Orleans Pelicans assistant Chris Finch for their coaching vacancy, according to league sources. Finch and new Wolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas worked together in Houston
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 14, 2019
Can confirm @TheSteinLine report about Pelicans assistant coach Chris Finch interviewing in Minnesota.
If Rosas and Finch pair up, the Wolves might launch 50 3s a game next year.
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) May 14, 2019
Although those new names are in the mix for the Timberwolves’ job, Wojnarowski reports that last season’s interim coach, Ryan Saunders, is also in the mix for the job. Saunders finished the season as Wolves coach after the team fired Tom Thibodeau following a 19-21 start, and Saunders had the support of both All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns. Rosas was hired to fill the team president role, one which Thibodeau held and was vacant after he was fired.
Saunders made a strong impression on Rosas and team management and has met with Rosas several times since his hiring, Wojnarowski reports. Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports the discussions between Rosas and Saunders have been on a variety of on-court topics (style of play, player development, the use of an up-tempo offense) to off-court topics, too (communication, leadership and keys to success in Minnesota).
Howard interviewed for the coaching vacancies in Cleveland and with the Los Angeles Lakers, while Vanterpool did likewise with Cleveland and Phoenix. With the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals, Vanterpool’s meeting with Timberwolves officials is expected to happen later in the week.