Report: Sam Mitchell to coach Wolves while Saunders fights cancer


Sam Mitchell will soon take over head coaching duties of the Timberwolves while Flip Saunders undergoes treatments for cancer, Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski

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On Aug. 11, the Timberwolves informed fans and media that Saunders had been undergoing chemotherapy for a "very treatable" form of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Saunders said at the time that he planned on continuing his duties as head coach and president of basketball operations.

The Wolves have not confirmed Wojnarowski's report.

But the team has scheduled a press conference for 10 a.m. Friday for a major announcement.

According to Wojnarowski, league sources indicate there's a hope that Saunders could return to the bench this season, but Mitchell is expected to be the interim coach for no less than half of the year.

Pro Basketball Talk notes that Mitchell, who played for the Wolves during his career, was named the NBA Coach of the Year in 2007 during his four seasons in charge of the Toronto Raptors. He was hired as Saunders' top assistant last season.

The Star Tribune reports Mitchell served as the Wolves head coach for two games last season – the first when Saunders was ill in January, the second when he went to visit his ailing father.

The rest of the Wolves coaching staff includes Ryan Saunders (Flip's son) and recently hired Bryan Gates.

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