Sources: Timberwolves planning coaching search that will include Sam Mitchell

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Timberwolves interim coach Sam Mitchell (AP)
Timberwolves interim coach Sam Mitchell (AP)

The Minnesota Timberwolves are planning to engage in a coaching search that will include interim coach Sam Mitchell as part of the process, league sources told The Vertical.

The Timberwolves are targeting the elite coaches on the market, including Jeff Van Gundy, Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks, league sources said.

Minnesota has the potential to be the most attractive job opening on the market, largely because of the presence of presumptive Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns and a core of young talent.

Minnesota owner Glen Taylor has engaged with a prominent search firm to help gauge the potential for giving a coach full autonomy and letting him build out the front office, league sources said. The search firm has been identifying both coaching and management candidates, sources said. Taylor is intrigued with the Stan Van Gundy model in Detroit that has helped return the Pistons to the playoffs, sources said.

Milt Newton is the Wolves’ general manager, but it is unclear if a new coach will answer to him – or if he’ll answer to a new coach, sources said. Newton worked under the late Flip Saunders, who had full control of basketball operations and coached the Timberwolves. Saunders died in October.

Mitchell has the support of Wolves veteran Kevin Garnett, whose endorsement does have impact with Taylor. Garnett is expected to eventually have an ownership stake in the team upon his retirement.

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