Saunders was in his third season with the Wizards, going 51-130. When he was hired, the roster featured all-stars Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, and Caron Butler, but the franchise is now starting over around point guard John Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft.
Washington got off to a franchise-worst 0-8 start - half of the losses were by at least 18 points - before beating the Toronto Raptors. The Wizards' only other victory was a surprise over the Thunder.
Feeling the Love
Kevin Love stepped to the free throw line late in the game against Houston and a fan shouted "Four more years! Four more years!"
Love is hoping for five, actually, and it won't be long before a season-long story line for the all-star power forward and the Timberwolves reaches a conclusion.
The deadline for players from the 2008 draft class to sign an extension is Wednesday night. If the Wolves and Love do not come to agreement, the new face of the franchise will become a restricted free agent this summer.
Love ranks fifth in the league with 24.9 points per game, second with 13.9 rebounds, and first with 39.4 minutes.
The new collective bargaining agreement allows the Timberwolves to offer Love more money than any other team. They can offer him a maximum salary contract of four years and roughly $60 million, or they can choose to use their one-time "designated player" contract for five years and about $80 million. Each team can only use one five-year contract during the term of the CBA, so the Wolves would like to save that chip.
- Associated Press