Timberwolves hire Raptors assistant Chris Finch as head coach

Arun Srinivasan
·2 min read
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 7: Chris Finch of the Toronto Raptors poses for a portrait during content day on December 7, 2020 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Scott Audette/NBAE via Getty Images)
Chris Finch will be named as the next head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Scott Audette/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Minnesota Timberwolves have hired Toronto Raptors assistant Chris Finch as their next head coach after firing Ryan Saunders Sunday evening, the team announced on Monday.

Finch joined the Raptors for the 2020-21 season, previously serving as the associate head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans from 2017-2020. The 51-year-old has made several stops in the NBA along his career and previously won D-League (now G-League) Coach of the Year in 2010.

It's always a good sign when your assistant coaches are sought-after by other organizations but for the time being, Finch's departure puts the Raptors in a tricky spot. Raptors lead assistant Sergio Scariolo is in Poland, serving in his role as Spain's national team head coach during the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Qualifiers tournament. Another Raptors assistant, Brittni Donaldson, is taking on a larger role with the Raptors 905 in the G-League bubble, rendering Adrian Griffin as the lone assistant left on Nick Nurse's staff.

Minnesota has stumbled to a miserable 7-24 record but it's still an attractive job for Finch. Anthony Edwards, the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, has shown signs of future superstardom, including the dunk-of-the-year so far, putting Raptors forward Yuta Watanabe on a poster, 2-time All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns is just entering his prime, while former lottery picks Jarrett Culver and D'Angelo Russell are solid building blocks to mold.

Finch is the second Raptors assistant to be promoted over the last six months, with the Indiana Pacers hiring Nate Bjorkgren last offseason.

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