Due to complications from his cancer treatment, Flip Saunders will not return to the sidelines as head coach this season.
Saunders was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in June and has been hospitalized since early September.
T-Wolves owner Glen Taylor noted that GM Milt Newton and interim coach Sam Mitchell have the authority going forward.
From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
Five days before his team opens its regular season, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said Friday that coach and president of basketball operations Flip Saunders won’t return this season because of complications resulting from his treatment for cancer.
When asked Friday if he expected Saunders to return to his jobs, Taylor paused and said: “Not this year. I just think his illness, I mean, it’s serious. At this point, if he came back I still think he’d have a hard time to recover all his energy and all that because he has been in the hospital for a long time.”
Shortly after Saunders was hospitalized, the team promoted associate head coach Sam Mitchell to interim head coach and expanded General Manager Milt Newton’s duties. The Wolves announced that Saunders was taking a leave from the team for a period estimated in uncertain terms, other than it would be months rather than weeks.