Report: Raptors' Chris Finch to Be Hired as T-Wolves HC After Saunders Firing

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2021

FILE - In this April 11, 2017, file photo, the new Minnesota Timberwolves logo is unveiled on the scoreboard during halftime of the team's NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves are getting into the jersey advertisement game with a Fitbit patch in a three-year deal. The Timberwolves announced the marketing collaboration for the team's first jersey patch on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

The Minnesota Timberwolves reportedly didn't take long to find their next head coach.  

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Timberwolves are hiring Toronto Raptors assistant coach Chris Finch to become the next head coach on a multiyear deal. He will be the full-time head coach and not an interim replacement for Ryan Saunders. 

This comes after Minnesota announced it fired Saunders following Sunday's loss to the New York Knicks.

"We would like to thank Ryan for his time and commitment to the Timberwolves organization and wish him the best in the future," president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said in the announcement. "These are difficult decisions to make, however this change is in the best interest of the organization's short and long-term goals."

The announcement also explained the team will release additional details about the next head coach on Monday.

"Hiring a coach off another staff during the season is uncommon, but Toronto wouldn't stand in the way of Finch's chance to become a head coach now," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported. "Finch had success as a G-League head coach, and has interviewed for several head coaching jobs in recent years."

That Minnesota is moving in a different direction is not exactly a surprise. It is just 7-24, which is the league's worst record at this point in the season. While Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell have each missed double-digit games, this surely wasn't the start the front office envisioned.

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The future may still be bright in Minnesota.

Towns, 25, and Russell, 24, are both still young, and No. 1 overall pick Anthony Edwards has shown flashes of becoming an electrifying playmaker. The Western Conference is difficult, but there are some pieces in place to compete in the coming years.

It will be up to Finch to help see that through in his first stint as a head coach. He has been an assistant for the Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, New Orleans Pelicans and Raptors. This was his first season with Toronto after he was the associate head coach of the Pelicans in 2019-20.

Minnesota has made the playoffs just once since the 2003-04 campaign.