ESPN’s Marc Stein: “Rising belief” Sam Mitchell will not return to Wolves’ bench

smitchThe Wolves play game 82 at home tonight against the New Orleans Pelicans, and the rest of the league will finish their schedules as well, if haven’t already done so. It’s an exciting time to be a basketball fan, especially if your team is one of the 16 who get to participate in the NBA playoffs.

It is not such an exciting time to be a fan of the other 14 teams, and even less so for their coaches, some of whom will find out they are out of a job sometime in the next 12-to-72 hours.

To wit:

Stein, one of the finest reporters in the league, isn’t quoting a source here, but is parroting the thoughts of people within “coaching circles.” That’s perfectly fine – NBA coaches are a small fraternity, and word surely gets around about various situations.

His follow-up tweet provided a little background into why such a belief may exist:

It’s true that Glen Taylor announced last week that General Manager Milt Newton would stay on through the draft and free agency, and that he was noncommittal on Sam’s future, saying only that the interim coach would be “evaluated after the season.”

Stein isn’t the only one who is hearing those insinuations:

There’s also been local buzz that Tom Thibodeau, who is perhaps the top NBA coach currently available, would be willing to work with Newton as the team’s GM, undoubtedly buoying the hopes of those who want the Wolves to move on from Mitchell at all costs. Sam, for his part, reportedly hasn’t been told a thing. It’s important to keep in mind that Mitchell is not under contract for next season, so the Wolves wouldn’t have to fire him, they’d merely decline to offer him a new deal.

The long and the short of it: there are enough peripheral signs to conclude that a coaching change is at least being considered. Skepticism is only natural (and perhaps warranted), given Glen Taylor’s history of taking the path of least resistance and opting to keep those he’s friendly with in charge. It’s tough to imagine Glen actually going through with it. We’ll almost certainly get an answer in the coming days.


*Checks watch*

Remember when I said we’d get an answer in the coming days?


That’s quite the list of names, right there. If the report has merit, I think that’s everything Timberwolves fans could want – an open, honest search, casting a wide net, and targeting some of the best coaches on the market.

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3 Responsesso far.

  1. Nate says:

    Please for the love of God not Brooks

  2. Yao Ming says:

    What do you think of UVA coach Tony Bennett? I was thinking he’s similar to Brad Stevens and perhaps would install more defensive effort.

  3. DuMe says:

    After listening to Jeff Van Gundy on the vertical podcast a few months ago I really want him here if possible.

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