ESPN first reported the news.
Saunders announced in August that he was being treated for Hodgkin lymphoma. Doctors considered it “very treatable and curable,” but in September, the Timberwolves announced that he would miss the entire 2015-16 season.
In addition to Minnesota, Saunders also had brief stints with the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards.
“I am taking it step by step and day by day to understand how to best manage this process,” Saunders said at the time when his cancer was revealed. “I am attacking this with the same passion I do everything in my life, knowing this is a serious issue. I also know that God has prepared me to fight this battle.”
In addition to coaching, he was also an NBA analyst at ESPN.
Born in Cleveland, Saunders was named high school player of the year before going on to play at the University of Minnesota, as well as the NBA.
He is survived by his wife and four children, including son Ryan, who is a Wolves assistant coach.