Pistons to tab Flip Saunders head coach
Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) – Flip Saunders is expected to be named the
new head coach of the Detroit Pistons. The team has called a news conference
for 12 p.m. (et) on Thursday at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Detroit News reports the two sides are set to agree to a four-year
contract worth between $4 million and $5 million per season. Saunders will
replace Larry Brown, who was relieved of his duties by the club on Tuesday.
Saunders, who was considered the top choice to replace Brown, was fired by the
Minnesota Timberwolves in February after 9 1/2 years of service. Saunders went
411-326 with the T-Wolves, but besides his club’s success during the regular
season, his teams got past the first round of the playoffs only once.
Known as a players’ coach and one that stresses defense, Saunders helped guide
the Timberwolves to a franchise-best and league-best 58-24 mark in 2003-04.
Minnesota advanced all the way to the Conference Finals before losing to the
Los Angeles Lakers in six games.
However, last year was a different story for a club with high expectations
coming into the season. The Timberwolves got off to a disappointing 25-26
start to the campaign, prompting the firing of Saunders.
The T-Wolves finished the season with a 44-38 mark and missed the playoffs.
In two seasons with the Pistons, Brown guided Detroit to the NBA Championship
in 2004 and lost the Finals in seven games to San Antonio this past season.
The 64-year-old Brown signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the
Pistons two seasons ago. However, Brown was left free to coach another team in
the NBA after the Piston reached a settlement on the last three years of his
contract on Tuesday.