Report: Sam Mitchell a 'serious candidate' for Wolves' coaching job
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According to a report by Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, Sam Mitchell has "emerged as a serious candidate" for the Minnesota Timberwolves' head coaching vacancy.
Wojnarowski said Mitchell recently met with the Wolves and left a "good impression."
Mitchell is well-acquainted with the Wolves and their president of basketball operations, Flip Saunders. Mitchell played for the Wolves from 1989-1992, and then again from 1995-2002 -- the latter stint coming with Saunders as head coach.
The 50-year-old Mitchell, the NBA's 2007 Coach of the Year, coached four full seasons with the Toronto Raptors before he was fired after 17 games in the 2008-09 season. Mitchell currently works as an analyst for TSN and NBATV.
It's been five weeks since the Wolves' head coach position officially opened after Rick Adelman announced his retirement on April 21. In the weeks since, news from the Wolves' search has been relatively low-key.
Kevin Love's uncertain status in Minnesota has cast a shadow on the Wolves' search. Widespread speculation has been that the likelihood of Love opting out of his contract at the end of next season has made prospective coaches hesitant to consider taking the Wolves' job.
Another wave of rumors surfaced recently that indicate Love has told the Wolves he intends to become a free agent and leave Minnesota. In turn, Saunders and the Wolves could be more inclined to listen to trade offers than they have in the past.
In the meantime, the Wolves' search for a coach continues.
The Star Tribune reported in Sunday's paper Saunders interviewed former Memphis coach Lionel Hollins almost three weeks. However, a source told 1500ESPN.com contributor Darren Wolfson that Hollins is not candidate for the Wolves' opening.
Still told NO on Lionel Hollins & told no formal interview took place. But was incorrect: he did speak w/ Flip informally several weeks ago.— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) May 18, 2014
In a story posted Sunday morning, ESPN.com noted 13-year NBA coaching veteran Scott Skiles has interviewed with the Wolves for the position.
Again, Wolfson later countered that Skiles is not an option.
On #Twolves coaching front: ESPN has Scott Skiles as interviewing. Told he will NOT be the next coach here.— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) May 18, 2014
Those anxious for the Wolves to hire a coach will likely have to wait a little longer. The belief is that the team is waiting until after the NBA draft lottery on Tuesday to begin making any long-term decisions.