Reports: Timberwolves agree to hire Wizards executive Milt Newton as GM
Newton served as Washington’s vice president of player personnel under GM Ernie Grunfeld for a decade and will now work with Minnesota’s new president Flip Saunders, who was hired earlier this summer to replace David Kahn. Saunders coached the Wizards from 2009 until 2012, when he was fired after a 2-15 start.
A forward for the 1988 NCAA champion Kansas Jayhawks, Newton continued his career in basketball by serving as a scout for the 76ers, an assistant director for USA Basketball, and as a D-League executive. In Washington, according to his team biography, he led the scouting department, helped manage the salary cap, coordinated the team’s pre-draft process, and was active in their draft and free agency strategies.
The timing of the hire leaves little for Newton to do roster-wise this summer. Saunders has already inked restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic to a new five-year deal, he re-signed Chase Budinger, he signed Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer in free agency, and he used a pair of first-round picks to select Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng in June’s draft.
Newton was first linked as a possible candidate for the Timberwolves’ front office by ESPN.com in late-May.
The Timberwolves are hoping to make their first push to the playoffs since 2004. Minnesota finished last season in the Northwest Division basement with a record of 31-51.