NBA Rumors: Timberwolves Targeting Billy Donovan; Ettore Messina A Candidate For Jazz

Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan
 Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan
Florida Gators head coach Billy DonovanRobert Deutsch USA TODAY Sports

After Rick Adelman retired from his post as head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, three candidates — Fred Hoiberg, Tom Izzo and George Karl — surfaced as the most likely candidates to take over.

One other major college coach is now very much in consideration.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Florida’s Billy Donovan has emerged as a new target.

Donovan was once courted by the Orlando Magic, but after he was close to accepting the job he opted to return to Gainesville, opening the door for Stan Van Gundy. Upon his return to the Gators, Donovan signed a no-compete clause that restricts him from coaching in the NBA for five years. That agreement, however, has expired.

The Utah Jazz cut ties with coach Tyrone Corbin Monday, so after Jerry Sloan was in charge for 23 years, his successor lasted just three.

One coach who has shot up the short list of coaches doesn’t boast a major NBA background. He isn’t a highly coveted assistant or a major college coach. His best years have come in the European League.

The candidate, according to Stein, is Ettore Messina, who is expected to want to make the leap to the NBA.

The Atlanta Hawks were considering Messina last year at this time. Messina, 54, is a four-time Euroleague championship coach and two-time coach of the year. He’s won five Russian League titles and four in the Italian League.

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Sam Spiegelman
Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.