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Wolves Fire Sam Mitchell As Head Coach

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  • Wolves Fire Sam Mitchell As Head Coach

    Minnesota Timberwolves opening up search for head coach

    The Minnesota Timberwolves say they have relieved interim coach Sam Mitchell of his duties and will open a search for a new head coach and a new president of basketball operations on Thursday.

    Team owner Glen Taylor spoke with Mitchell and general manager Milt Newton on Wednesday to inform them that they will not be included in the search, sources told Newton is expected to stay on until the new front office leadership is established and could remain with the organization.

    The Wolves made the announcement on Wednesday night after finishing the season with a 144-109 win over New Orleans. Mitchell took over as coach after Flip Saunders died in October, and he led the team to a 29-53 record.

    Taylor hired search firm Korn Ferry to aide in the process. With their young talent, another high draft pick and salary-cap space, the Wolves believe they have a premier job opening and are expected to be very aggressive in going after top candidates.

    It is possible they will make two hires or hire a coach who has oversight over the front office as Saunders did, sources said.

    The Wolves are expected to reach out to Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks, a former Timberwolves player, as part of the process, sources said. Thibodeau has been interested in returning to the sideline in a position where he could have some say in personnel matters.

    Also on the Wolves' list, sources said, is current Memphis Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger. A Minnesota native, Joerger interviewed with the Wolves two years ago while he was Grizzlies coach but ultimately decided to remain in Memphis.

    Joerger and Taylor maintain a positive connection from that process even though Joerger decided not to accept the job, sources said.

    Joerger is under contract with the Grizzlies for next season for $2 million, making him one of the lowest-paid coaches in the league. The Grizzlies have a team option for the 2017-18 season for $2.5 million.