With team president and part-owner Flip Saunders now ready to step in as the new head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sam Mitchell is left interviewing for a lesser role than he had previously hoped for.
According to Shams Charania of RealGM.com, Mitchell is continuing negotiations to become an assistant coach for the team next season.
Former Raptors coach Sam Mitchell still in discussions on assistant coaching deal with Minnesota Timberwolves, league source tells RealGM.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 5, 2014
Mitchell has spent the last few years as an analyst for the TSN network in Canada, working March Madness tournaments and Raptor home games.
He was hired to be the head coach of the Toronto Raptors in 2004 after former coach Kevin O’Neil was relieved of his duties. In 2006-07, Mitchell helped lead the team to their first Atlantic Division title in franchise history. He also also named NBA Coach of the Year for his work.
Mitchell is no stranger to the Timberwolves organization, having played two stints with the team in 1989-92 and 1995-2002. He averaged 9.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists, while starting 291 of the 757 games he competed in.
Saunders coached Mitchell during his tenure with the team, so there’s an obvious history and connection there should the two end up being on the same coaching staff for next season. He’s already declared his intentions for his coaching to be a short-term solution, so if Mitchell is hired as an assistant, he would be an easy choice to replace Saunders when he inevitably takes his leave.