Timberwolves, Jazz hire coaches; Lakers one of three teams searching

Flip Saunders
Flip Saunders will take over as coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
(Richard Sennott / Associated Press)

On Thursday, the Minnesota Timberwolves “hired” Flip Saunders, who is already their president of basketball operations, as head coach.

According to Yahoo Sports, the Utah Jazz has a deal in place with former Lakers assistant Quin Snyder to fill its head coaching vacancy.

Snyder was an assistant with the Lakers under Mike Brown during the 2011-12 season.

That leaves the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Lakers as the only three NBA teams still in need of a head coach.


The Knicks are believed to be zeroing in on former Lakers point guard Derek Fisher, who is mulling whether to end his playing career after a Western Conference finals appearance with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Lakers have some interest in hiring Fisher, but are taking a more leisurely pace in making a hire -- while Knicks President Phil Jackson appears ready to make Fisher a multiyear offer.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been linked to Chicago Bulls assistant Adrian Griffin, Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue and Clippers associate head coach Alvin Gentry.

The Lakers have also interviewed Gentry, along with Byron Scott, Lionel Hollins, Mike Dunleavy and Kurt Rambis.


On Wednesday, Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said the search is “ongoing.”

Steve Kerr filled the open vacancy with the Golden State Warriors after a flirtation with the Knicks. Stan Van Gundy was hired both as coach and president of basketball operations with the Detroit Pistons.

Before naming Saunders coach, the Timberwolves initially attempted to hire Memphis Grizzlies Coach David Joerger -- but he chose to stay in Memphis.

If the Lakers had college coaches John Calipari (Kentucky) and Kevin Ollie (Connecticut) on their list, both received extensions to stay in the NCAA.

The Lakers will eventually hire a head coach -- but they may just wait until they have the only open position after the Knicks and Cavaliers finish their search.

Email Eric Pincus at and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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