Since Rick Adelman retired last month, three of the college basketball’s major head coaches — Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, Florida’s Billy Donovan, and Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg — have been linked to Minnesota’s coaching vacancy.
Izzo has already stated he doesn’t plan to leave East Lansing, Mich., anytime soon, and the uncertain future of Love has deterred Donovan or Hoiberg from showing interest in the position, according to ESPN.com.
Scott Skiles is among the head coaches with NBA experience in contention to replace Adelman, ESPN reported. As is Sam Mitchell, according to Yahoo! Sports, and Lionel Hollins, per the Minnesota Star Tribune.
Nevertheless, Saunders has made finding a coach to help convince Love to reconsider free agency as a top priority, but the bigger issue for the All-Star forward comes with a roster that hasn’t been talented enough to make the Western Conference playoffs.
Minnesota probed several top college coaches, including Florida’s Billy Donovan, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg, sources said, but those coaches weren’t inclined to seriously consider the Wolves job. The broad belief that the Wolves will have to trade Love has made coaches leery of the franchise’s future.
Skiles last coached with the Milwaukee Bucks from 2008 to midway through the 2012-13 season when he resigned from the team.
Mitchell, considered as a “serious candidate” for the job, recently met with Timberwolves president Flip Saunders. He played for the Timberwolves from 1989-1992 and 1995-2002, the second stint under Saunders. With the Toronto Raptors for five seasons, Mitchell won NBA coach of the year in 2007 and twice led the team to the playoffs.
Hollins is in the mix for a number of coaching vacancies, including the Los Angeles Lakers. He last coached the Memphis Grizzlies, leading them to a Western Conference finals in his final season at the helm.