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Sunday, 08 June 2014 13:21

Flip Saunders as T'Wolves Coach: Does It Matter for Love?

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Was Flip Saunders naming himself the Timberwolves head coach a ploy to keep Kevin Love in Minnesota?

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.  

Jess Thomas

Jess Thomas is the Red Sox Beat Team Manager and a member of the Boston Celtics beat team for CLNS Radio. Jess is a co-host on CLNS Radio's Red Sox Beat Podcast as well as a contributor to Celtics Postgame Shows.

Jess currently is a Celtics Production Assistant at the official home of Boston Celtics telecasts, Comcast Sports Net New England.

Jess also currently writes for the MetroWest Daily News.

Previously, Jess was General Manager for Framingham State University's radio station, WJDM 91.3 FM, as well as sports editor for FSU's newspaper, the Gatepost.

Prior to joining CLNS Radio, Jess was an intern at CSNNE as well as WCVB.

Jess is a 2014 graduate of Framingham State University, with a degree in Communication Arts.

You can follow Jess on Twitter @CLNS_JessSayin