Finch, 51, had success as a G League head coach for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and has interviewed for several head-coaching jobs in recent years. He’s spent time as an assistant with the Rockets, Pelicans and Nuggets before being hired by the Raptors in December.
Hiring a coach off another staff during the season is uncommon, but Toronto won’t stand in the way of Finch’s chance to become a head coach, sources said.
Finch and Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas worked together during their time with the Rockets.
Minnesota has been hit hard with injuries and COVID-19 issues this season. Starting guard D’Angelo Russell played 20 games before recently undergoing left knee surgery that’ll sideline him for the next four to six weeks. Star Karl-Anthony Towns has played only 11 games this season between a wrist injury and contracting COVID-19.
“We would like to thank Ryan for his time and commitment to the Timberwolves organization and wish him the best in the future,” Rosas said in a statement. “These are difficult decisions to make, however this change is in the best interest of the organization’s short and long-term goals.”
Saunders was 43-95 as coach of the Timberwolves in two-plus seasons.
Minnesota travels to play Milwaukee on Tuesday night.