A day after the Wolves hired their defensive coordinator, they hired their offensive coordinator.
The Wolves are adding Pablo Prigioni as an assistant on Ryan Saunders’ staff, sources told the Star Tribune. Prigioni was previously a Brooklyn assistant coach, and his hiring comes a day after the team hired David Vanterpool away from Portland to be associate head coach. ESPN first reported Prigioni’s hire.
A source said Prigioni will be the “offensive coordinator” that President Gersson Rosas outlined last month when discussing the staff he would like to have under Saunders.
“Ryan’s going to be the leader of the program,” Rosas said last month. “And he’s going to have input in every area. So for me, we’re going to get the best offensive coordinator. We’re going to get the best defensive coordinator. We’re going to get the best player development coordinator. They’re going to execute our vision together.”
Prigioni, 42, and Rosas have ties dating to Prigioni’s playing days. He played one season in Houston in 2015. After playing for several years in Spain, Prigioni made his NBA debut with the Knicks when he was 35. At the time, it made him the oldest rookie in the NBA in 40 years, the New York Times reported.
He played parts of four seasons in the NBA before returning to Spain for one more season in 2016-17 and then joining the Nets staff. The Rockets acquired him in a trade with the Knicks in February 2015 before trading him that offseason to the Nuggets. The Rockets signed him again in the summer of 2016 but waived him in late October of that year.
Prigioni played a role in the development of Nets All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell, a restricted free agent the Wolves may have interest in this offseason, according to a report from the Athletic.
The Wolves did not renew the expiring contracts of three assistants after the season — Larry Greer, Ed Pinckney and Jerry Sichting — while retaining Malik Allen. Allen has been linked through multiple reports to an assistant coaching position in Miami, but nothing official has been announced with his status, meaning the Wolves will likely still have a few hires to make before rounding out Saunders’ staff.