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Report: Sam Mitchell finalizing agreement to join Flip Saunders’ coaching staff in Minnesota

Toronto Raptors v Orlando Magic, Game Five

ORLANDO - APRIL 28: Head Coach Sam Mitchell of the Toronto Raptors directs his team against the Orlando Magic in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2008 NBA Playoffs at Amway Arena on April 28, 2008 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)

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Before Flip Saunders decided to step out of the front office and onto the sidelines to once again become the head coach of the Timberwolves, Sam Mitchell was a strong candidate to be hired for the position.

With the franchise seemingly in a state of flux now that Kevin Love will almost certainly be gone either before, during or after the following season, Saunders felt it was best to steer the ship himself, and get the rebuild headed in the right direction before spending big on a multi-year deal for another head coach.

Mitchell may still end up in that role at some point, and apparently is solidifying his chances by accepting a job as an assistant under Saunders.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Sam Mitchell is finalizing an agreement today to join Flip Saunders coaching staff in Minnesota, league source tells Yahoo.

Mitchell coached the Toronto Raptors for four full seasons and won coach of the year in 2007, before being replaced early in the 2008-09 season.

It’s a wise decision on Mitchell’s part if he believes Minnesota is a good match from a philosophical standpoint, and Saunders can get up close and personal with Mitchell’s coaching style before pulling the trigger on a long-term contract for someone who will play an important role in guiding the team long after Love is playing somewhere else.