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Timberwolves make hiring of Milt Newton as GM official

Sep 6, 2013, 5:59 PM EDT

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We told you this was coming a couple weeks back (and it has been a rumored possibility since May), but on Friday it became official.

The Timberwolves have hired executive Milt Newton away from the Washington Wizards to become Minnesota’s new GM. The team made the announcement.

“I have followed Milt closely during his career and have always been impressed with his basketball knowledge, work ethic and professionalism,” Timberwolves president Flip Saunders said in a released statement. “His front office experience in the NBA, as well as his ability to combine analytics evaluation with his basketball playing and scouting background will greatly benefit our organization.”

Make no mistake, Saunders remains the ultimate decision maker with this team, but Newton now will oversee a lot of the scouting, talent evaluation and more. It will be a collaboration.

Saunders and Newton go back a while — Newton was a front office guy in Washington when Saunders coached the Wizards. Previously Newton had been a D-League executive, a director with USA Basketball and scout for the Philadelphia 76ers. As a player, Newton was a member of the Danny Manning/Larry Brown Kansas team that won a national championship in 1988 (he was 6-of-6 in the title game).

This is all part of the culture change Saunders is trying to bring in to Minnesota, a radical departure from the David Kahn era.

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