Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders and President Gersson Rosas had been discussing how they might build an assistant coaching staff should Saunders get the job full time.
Now that Saunders has been hired, the Wolves are taking the first steps in building that staff. A source confirmed that multiple assistants and staff members who were on expiring contracts won’t be coming back to the Wolves. They include assistant coaches Larry Greer, Ed Pinckney and Jerry Sichting, player development coach John Lucas III and special assistant to the president/player development coach Daisuke Yoshimoto.
Malik Allen, who joined the Wolves as an assistant last season, will return. ESPN first reported the moves.
Greer, whose brother Andy also served as an assistant under Tom Thibodeau, and Pinckney were hired by Thibodeau. Sichting joined the staff after Saunders became interim coach following Thibodeau’s firing in January.
After the news conference to introduce Saunders, Rosas laid out what he’s looking for in a staff to serve under Saunders.
“Ryan’s going to be the leader of the program,” Rosas said.
“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. And Ryan will manage that program as a whole.”
Big day for Towns
The NBA has begun rolling out its season awards and on Thursday the league will announce a significant one for the Timberwolves and Karl-Anthony Towns: The All-NBA teams.
Towns signed a five-year maximum extension in September and the value of that extension hinges on whether Towns makes the All-NBA team for a second consecutive year or not. It could either be worth five years and approximately $158 million (if he doesn’t make it) or $190 million (if he makes it).
Towns is eligible for the extra money under the collective bargaining agreement’s “Rose Rule,” named after Derrick Rose, which says that a player with Towns’ amount of service time could make up to 30% of the salary cap for a single season as opposed to 25% if, among other caveats, he was named MVP once, an All-Star starter or All-NBA twice in his career up until that point.
The Wolves already have around $109 million committed to eight players if Towns doesn’t make an All-NBA team next season with the salary cap expected to be $109 million. If Towns is named to an All-NBA team, his salary for next season will increase by more than $5 million from $27.25 million to $32.7 million.
The race figures to be a close one for Towns. Nuggets center Nikola Jokic and 76ers center Joel Embiid are likely to make the first and second teams. Towns could be named to the third team with his biggest competition for that slot likely Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who was named to the All-Defensive first team Wednesday.