Flip Saunders says a return to the NBA will only happen if the situation is right. He wants to leave a legacy, and to do that, he believes he would need a say in how things were run.

So might that return come in the role of general manager?

"I'm noncommittal with that," he said. "But I enjoy the ability to put a team together. Because I had to do that pretty much everywhere. I had input, other than my last two positions."

Saunders and Wolves owner Glen Taylor talk often, with him sometimes using Saunders as a sounding board for ideas.

"He's pretty well aware of what's happening with the Timberwolves," Taylor said.

Living in Minnesota has allowed Saunders to keep well-informed both on the Gophers and the Timberwolves. So, in his roll as an ESPN analyst, what is his assessment of his old NBA team?

"They're in a delicate situation," Saunders said. "There are a lot of decisions they have to make and some fences have to be mended. The [Kevin Love] situation has to be mended a bit. They have decisions to make on [Nikola] Pekovic and [Chase] Budinger. ... I think Ricky Rubio is back to where I thought he would be. They have good building blocks. They have to find a way to take it to the next level. [Coach] Rick [Adelman] is doing a great job; I've always had great respect for him."