Jan 16, 2012; Washington , DC, USA; Washington Wizards head coach Flip Saunders reacts during the first half against the Houston Rockets at the Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Flip Saunders has tough decisions ahead as Minnesota Timberwolves’ decision maker


Now that David Kahn got the boot, it will be interesting to see what changes will be made to the Minnesota Timberwolves roster for the 2013-14 season.

Newly appointed team president of basketball operations Flip Saunders has some very important decisions to make this summer as the Timberwolves look to end a nine-year playoff drought.

We broke it down.

To match, or not to match?

Center Nikola Pekovic will be a restricted free agent and is expected to command a high salary on the open market. Saunders will have to to decide if the team will match any offer he receives or let him leave without compensation. If he lets Pekovic leave, who will replace the vacancy at center?

Make up time

The team’s relationship with star forward Kevin Love may need to be repaired, especially since the star player had an issue with Kahn last season because he was not offered the full, five-year maximum contract extension. Instead, Love can now opt out of his current deal in two years. If the team intends to keep Love around in the long haul, it is up to Saunders to prevent Love from bolting when his deal is up.

What to do with the caged lion?

Derrick Williams doesn’t really have a home on the court. Is he a power forward? Is he a small forward? Does he continue to come off the bench? Trade him? Williams showed signs of improvement last season but his best position, the power forward position, is Love’s. Andrei Kirilenko is expected to return on his player option and will certainly be penciled in as the starting small forward.

Who pairs up with Ricky?

Brandon Roy didn’t work out. Who will be the starting shooting guard in the backcourt with point guard Ricky Rubio? Saunders might draft one in the upcoming NBA Draft or possibly appoint Alexey Shved. The team can’t possibly keep rolling out a starting backcourt of Rubio and Luke Ridnour, right?

Which brings to the next decision.

Trade Luke Ridnour or J.J. Barea?

With Shved capable of playing point guard, the team is loaded with too many point guards. Coach Rick Adelman had no real shooting guard options on the roster, forcing him alternate time at shooting guard with Shved, Rubio, Ridnour and Barea.

Budinger, Budinger, Budinger

Chase Budinger is a unrestricted free agent reportedly wants to return to the Timberwolves only if Rick Adelman returns. It appears the team wants to bring him back, but cap space will need to be worked out to make it happen.

Tags: Chase Budinger Featured Flip Saunders JJ Barea Kevin Love Luke Ridnour Minnesota Timberwolves Nikola Pekovic Popular Ricky Rubio