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Love may not be, but Ricky Rubio’s camp reportedly happy with Flip Saunders as coach

Jun 5, 2014, 6:37 PM EDT

Ricky Rubio AP

Kevin Love doesn’t care.

He is all but gone, there was no hire Flip Saunders could make as coach that would have changed things. Saunders choosing to hire himself as the new Timberwolves coach didn’t change anything (although it was a vastly superior choice to Vinny Del Negro).

But the offensive-minded Saunders taking over the coaching chair has made Ricky Rubio happy, reports Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 in Minneapolis.

With Love bolting one way or another, David Kahn’s dream of Rubio as a cornerstone somewhat comes true. He didn’t need to save that fifth year for Rubio it turns out, but he is a solid point guard (yes, he needs a more consistent jumper, but his game management and defense are good) and Saunders may be able to both sign him to an extension at a fair price this summer and design an offense better suited to his skill set (read: get in the open court more).

Look for Saunders to have a “coach in waiting” on the bench and for him to only be the guy in charge for a year or two. Potential guys for the second seat are Sam Mitchell and David Blatt (an American coach who has had a stellar career in Europe and a number of teams have wanted to bring over).

Mitchell said this about potentially working for Saunders on his SiriusXM NBA Radio show today:

“As far as an opportunity now that Flip is going to come down and coach the team? I don’t know. We’ve talked about it but nothing has been cemented. It’s a difficult choice for me. An official offer hasn’t been made. It’s just been some dialogue. But it is difficult for me from the standpoint that I really enjoy the radio and TV aspect of what I do. I’ll be totally honest with you, the toughest thing as a player and a coach who has been in the NBA for 20-plus years is that you become so dependent on the NBA because you’ve been in it for so long. And the toughest thing is, can you make a living, or can you carve out a niche outside of playing and coaching? And that was a tough thing and I have been able to do that. … It’s a difficult choice because I’ve made inroads into this. But if the right opportunity presents itself, as a head coach or an assistant coach, I definitely would listen to it. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to jump at it but I would listen to it because you know the old saying — once a coach, always a coach deep inside.”

  1. mcjon22 - Jun 5, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    The only reason the Rubio camp is excited with Flip is because Rubio can’t threaten to walk in Free agency, and thus be traded, until next summer.

  2. eugenesaxe1 - Jun 5, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    So Kahn screwed Love out the 5th year, guaranteeing he’d leave. Now Rubio isn’t getting the max extension Love was denied.
    Must suck being a TWolves fan.

    • duhwighthoward - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:11 AM

      Rubio a max extension? Are you still hungover?

      • eugenesaxe1 - Jun 6, 2014 at 4:05 PM

        You chose your screen name well, your reading comprehension sucks

  3. loubearkane - Jun 5, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    Great picture of Rubio , look at all those empty seats in the background.

  4. homegrowntalentmn - Jun 5, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    We’re never gonna be good. Endless cycle of being in the bottom of the league.

    • jollyjoker2 - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:14 AM

      I don’t know either — keep the faith I guess………The target center wasn’t built for the new type of corporate crowd and MN isn’t a big bb town. So…who knows………Now, they get a jelly fish as the coach doing double duty as GM which I would think would be a ton of work if done correctly especially with getting the picks or free agents correct. Its not like he is going to work out the players or anything but will rely on the as kissers. so, we will see.

    • duhwighthoward - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      Well if the NBA moved Minnesota to the East where they belonged, you would have just enjoyed your fifth straight playoffs.

  5. mnsadsportsfan - Jun 5, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    So when is Glenn Taylor going to sell to the Seattle group?

    • jollyjoker2 - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:10 AM

      430 million is chump change to him..he paid 85 million and he was a billionaire before he bought them 20 years ago..He’s getting old so they will probably pull a sterling over on him or something.

  6. phillyrox - Jun 5, 2014 at 9:28 PM


    • ewyorksockexchange - Jun 5, 2014 at 10:57 PM

      Is this a test post for a new troll account, or what? Regardless, way to contribute to the conversation.

  7. phillyrox - Jun 5, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    Who cares he sucks

  8. lbeezyse - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Taylor will sell after TC’s renovation which also extends the lease between Minneapolis & the Wolves. Seattle will get a team, but 100% wont be the Wolves. Next.

  9. duhwighthoward - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    What is the RUBIO CAMP?

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