The Minnesota Timberwolves scoured the pro and college ranks for their next coach before coming back to the man who helped lead the search: Flip Saunders.
Saunders will return to coach the team he guided to the playoffs eight times, including the 2004 Western Conference finals, while also continuing in his role as team president, according to an ESPN report.
The Timberwolves are expected to formally introduce Saunders as their next coach in a news conference on Friday. He will replace Rick Adelman, who retired after a season in which the team failed to make the playoffs.
The return of Saunders is not believed to affect star forward Kevin Love's decision to opt out of his contract in the summer of 2015. Love's top priority is to play for a playoff team, something the Timberwolves last achieved in 2004.
Minnesota briefly appeared to be zeroing on a deal that would have brought Memphis Grizzlies Coach Dave Joerger, a native of Minnesota, back home to coach the Timberwolves, but the Grizzlies improved his contract to retain him.
Other candidates the Timberwolves reportedly targeted included Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg, Florida's Billy Donovan, Michigan State's Tom Izzo as well as former NBA coaches Lionel Hollins, Scott Skiles and Sam Mitchell.
Saunders, 59, has a 638-526 record during a 16-season career that also included stops in Detroit and Washington.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times