Saunders replaces former Nuggets assistant coach Jordi Fernandez, who took a job with the Sacramento Kings earlier this offseason. Ryan Saunders — the son of basketball coaching legend Flip Saunders — began coaching in the NBA as an assistant with the Washington Wizards back in 2009.
After spending four seasons with the Wizards, Saunders was an assistant coach with the Timberwolves before becoming the interim head coach in 2019. Saunders ultimately secured the head coaching job and held that position till February 21, 2021 when he was fired after Minnesota began the season with a 7-24 record.
At just 36 years old, Saunders is still a fairly young coach who is looking to revive his career following his time in Minnesota. This feels like a great addition to Malone’s coaching staff and if Saunders succeeds there is a pretty solid chance he may get another head coaching opportunity down the road.