Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 5/2/13
MINNEAPOLIS It turns out the reason Flip Saunders reportedly turned down a coaching job at his alma mater may have been that had his sights set on bigger things. The Associated Press is reporting that Saunders will be named the Minnesota Timberwolves' next president of basketball operations but that the deal is not yet signed. He would replace former president David Kahn, whose contract included a team option for the 2013-14 season that the Associated Press says will not be picked up. Saunders, 58, spent 10 seasons as the head coach of the Timberwolves from 1995-2004. He led Minnesota to eight consecutive playoff appearances, including a trip to the Western Conference finals in 2003. Saunders later went on to coach the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards for three seasons each and led the Pistons to the playoffs in each of his three years there. Since he was fired by Washington just 17 games into the 2011-12 season, Saunders has served as an NBA analyst on ESPN. He reportedly turned down the head coaching job at the University of Minnesota when the Gophers were looking to replace Tubby Smith at the end of the season. Saunders played college basketball at Minnesota as a point guard from 1973-77 and was later an assistant coach under Gophers coach Jim Dutcher. Saunders inherits a Timberwolves team that was plagued by injuries this season and finished 31-51 under head coach Rick Adelman. Star forward Kevin Love played in just 18 games, point guard Ricky Rubio was limited to 57 games and forward Chase Budinger missed all but 23 games. The big question this offseason is whether Adelman will return to coach the team again next year. Adelman's wife, Mary Kay, suffered from seizures during the winter, so much of Adelman's decision to return will hinge on his wife's health. Kahn's four-year tenure as the Wolves' president of basketball operations was an interesting one. What may stick with fans most is his first draft in 2009, when he selected three point guards Ricky Rubio, Jonny Flynn and Ty Lawson in the first round. After taking Rubio at No. 5, Kahn passed on Stephen Curry to take Flynn. Curry, of course, has emerged as a star with the Golden State Warriors while Flynn fizzled out after two underwhelming seasons in Minnesota. Lawson was immediately dealt to Denver following the selection at No. 18. Though the drafting of Rubio has ultimately looked like a good move, Kahn has also butted heads with Love over the years. Kahn did not give Love the maximum five-year contract in January 2012, instead signing the All-Star four years. At times, the 24-year-old Love has not hidden his frustration with how things unfolded. Under Kahn, the Timberwolves finished a combined 89-223 and never made the playoffs. He was hired to replace Kevin McHale, who also was the team's head coach at the time. Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Dwight Howard ejected for hanging on rim

NHL rumors: Capitals acquire Blues’ Kevin Shattenkirk in bold trade

Report: Chiefs making ‘strong push’ to make Eric Berry highest-paid safety in NFL

Dana White hints at Conor McGregor's next opponent

Report: Steelers make Brown NFL's highest-paid WR

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Chiefs sign Duvernay-Tardif to five-year extension

MLB considering introducing 'stickier' baseballs

Report: Browns have discussed trading No. 12 pick for Garoppolo

Report: Lowry expected to miss 4-5 weeks, return for playoffs

Report: Cowboys to release Romo in coming weeks

Report: Jennings expected to sign with Hornets

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in Major League Baseball

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in MLB

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in a season since 2000

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker