Minnesota Timberwolves: 5 most successful former Wolves head coaches

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 09: Head coach Flip Saunders of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 09: Head coach Flip Saunders of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Dwane Casey
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 08: Head coach Dwane Casey of the Detroit Pistons. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Timberwolves: Successful former head coaches

No. 2: Dwane Casey

  • Head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2005 to 2007
  • 53-69 record while with Wolves (.434 winning percentage)
  • Combined record of 381-325 (.540) as head coach after leaving Wolves

Dwane Casey was a long-time assistant coach with the Seattle SuperSonics before being selected to take over the Wolves after the 2004-05 season.

Just a year after taking Minnesota to the conference finals, Flip Saunders was fired following 25-26 start. McHale took over for the balance of that season, and Casey was hired prior to the 2005-06 campaign.

The Wolves disappointed with a 33-49 record that year with Garnett on the roster. Despite the lack of a supporting cast, The Big Ticket was only two seasons removed from winning the MVP, and Saunders had brought the Wolves to seven consecutive playoff appearances before the arrivals of Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell in 2003.

Casey started 2006-07 with a 20-20 mark before he, too, was fired, and Wittman took over the team.

After three seasons as an assistant in Dallas, Casey was hired to lead the Toronto Raptors at the start of the lockout-shortened 2011-12 campaign. The Raptors were coming off only 22 wins the prior season, but improved their winning percentage to .348 in Year One under Casey.

Casey’s squad suffered through only one more below-.500 season before winning 48 or more games for each of the next five seasons. The first two seasons ended in the first round, but Casey brought the Raptors to the conference finals after a 56-win season in 2015-16, losing only to the eventual champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Raptors won 51 games the next year and 59 in 2017-18 but lost in the second round both years. Casey was replaced by Nick Nurse, who rode the acquisition of Kawhi Leonard to a Finals victory in 2019.

Casey was hired by the Pistons, and he led a so-so roster to a 41-41 record and a playoff appearance, although Detroit was swept in the first round. In 2019-20, the Pistons were just 20-46 before play was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And now, No. 1…