Toronto Raptors assistant coach Chris Finch will reportedly be leaving the team to become the Minnesota Timberwolves’ new head coach, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Sunday night.
The 51-year-old Finch was in the midst of his first season with the Raptors. He joined the club after Nate Bjorkgren left Toronto to take the Indiana Pacers head coaching vacancy this past offseason.
The news comes after the Timberwolves relieved head coach Ryan Saunders of his duties Sunday night. The organization immediately named Finch the new head coach on a permanent basis, according to Charania.
Finch spent the last three seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans organization. He was previously a head coach in the G-League for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in 2009.
He is widely considered an offensive mastermind and was undoubtedly an important part of Toronto’s offensive progression this season. Through 31 games this season the Raptors have seen their half-court offence progress from 16th in the NBA last season to 10th in the league this year, according to Cleaning the Glass.
Finch’s decision to leave the organization continues a Raptors tradition of letting assistant coaches interview and accept head coaching opportunities whenever possible. The organization will now have an assistant coach vacancy to fill this season.
It is unclear if there will be any compensation from Minnesota for Finch’s departure, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star.