(Actual evidence of Mitchell showing good rapport with players, even of Spanish heritage)
Per the always humorous Jim Souhan, Sam Mitchell has emerged as the front runner for the Wolves head caoching position.
I'm hearing that Sam Mitchell has emerged as the frontrunner for the Timberwolves' head coaching position.
To me, this is a sign that Glen Taylor has exerted his influence on the hiring process. Mitchell is an old favorite of Taylor's, and in the absence of a sure-thing candidate like Rick Adelman (who appears to be ready to sit out next season), Mitchell, with his local ties and tough-guy persona, makes a lot of sense.
I completely concur with Souhan that this is Glen Taylor influenced. Maybe not a bad thing.
Per the update from Pants below, the list of candidates overall was none too impressive. Of the 'lower tier' candidates, Mitchell would probably be my #1 choice. This hire wouldn't have me jumping through the roofs, but Sam has had a decent history and did have a solid run in Toronto. Hiring a recent coach of the year winner certainly isn't a bad thing.
Question arise though, of a rough falling out in Toronto, along with his style of play as being a fit. His hard-nosed attitude may not mesh well with a group clearly in need of coddling. Lot's of question marks. But the Minnesota ties are there and the fans would believe in him for awhile. However Minnesota people are not loyalists. That only lasts so long (just look at McHale).
Sam was a massive veteran prescence for the Wolves during the glory years. He has had measured, recent success as a coach of a young team. Of the 'cheap' hires, this is the one to buy into. He isn't Don Nelson, but he is a familiar face to look into coaching this team long term. And anything is better than Rhombus.
I also bagged his groceries a few times... long ago.