After being spurned by Memphis' Dave Joerger, the Minnesota Timberwolves are reportedly looking closely at Vinny Del Negro, the much-maligned former Bulls and Clippers head coach. Del Negro interviewed with team president Flip Saunders and has emerged as a "serious" candidate for the job, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
Del Negro is competing with former Toronto Raptors coach Sam Mitchell for the position, and while Mitchell is a favorite of owner Glen Taylor, it's Del Negro that appears ahead.
Wolves owner Glen Taylor has been partial to Sam Mitchell, but Saunders is increasingly intrigued with Del Negro's candidacy, sources say.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 29, 2014
Del Negro was fired by the Clippers in 2013 after a first-round exit. He's won 53 percent of his games with the Bulls and Clippers, but has also been sharply criticized for his simplistic offensive sets and his poor people management skills. This is why many Timberwolves fans are not enthused.
the lack of surprise with which I greeted this news...eim— canishoopus (@canishoopus) May 29, 2014
This is an important hire because it's one way to change Kevin Love's mind about his future prospects in Minnesota. The Timberwolves' star has told the team he has no interest in re-signing after the 2014-15 season, when he has an opportunity to opt out of his contract. The Timberwolves have never reached the playoffs during Love's six-year career.