A year after taking over as the Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations, Flip Saunders named himself the team's head coach on Friday.
The big question that everyone is wondering at this point is whether Saunders becoming the head coach will affect if Kevin Love gets traded.
Saunders originally said that the team would not be making a final decision on Love until they found a new head coach. Well, now they have one.
This will be Saunders' second stint as Minnesota's coach, as he coached from 1995-2005. This coincided with former Celtic Kevin Garnett's first 10 seasons in the NBA.
The worst season that the team had during his tenure was 40-42 (besides the lockout shortened season in 1998-99) and they even cracked 50 wins four times. They lost in the first round of the playoffs in seven straight seasons from 1996-2003. Their best season was 2003-04 when they lost in six games to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.
The minute Saunders was fired in February of 2005, the Timberwolves struggled mightily and haven't been even close to .500 until last season.
The point is, with Saunders becoming their coach again, there may be a renewed sense of hope for the franchise. Saunders has flipped his word at times, saying first that Kevin Love would be playing for them next year, and other times saying that they were looking to trade him.
I assume Love has realized at this point in his career that he would most likely have a much better chance to go deep in the playoffs and possibly have a better chance to win a title if he was traded to an Eastern Conference team. The talent level in the West is far superior to the East and Love would have a better chance of upping his numbers and really becoming a superstar if he switched conferences.
I feel like Love should learn from Garnett and get out of Minnesota before he spends the majority of his career and his prime years there. I'm sure Saunders would ideally like to keep Love on his squad, but if he finds a good deal for Love, I wouldn't be surprised if he still pulled the trigger.
Love is currently 25 years old and his numbers last season were 26.1 points per game and 12.5 rebounds. This is definitely a guy that could really help a struggling Eastern Conference squad if the right pieces were fit around him.