Interim Wolves coach Sam Mitchell hasn’t asked for a decision on his future from owner Glen Taylor, according to Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune. Minnesota has been a much-improved team of late and just completed a 3-0 road trip, but Mitchell said he doesn’t look at victories as a way to secure his job on a permanent basis. He’s more concerned with developing young talent, which has been his focus since taking over the team in September. Taylor has made few public statements about the coaching situation, saying it will be resolved after the season ends. “It’s funny to me, now all of a sudden this is a great job,” Mitchell said. “After last year, nobody wanted this job. Nobody thought this was a good job. Now all of a sudden it’s a good job, so I’m proud of that.”
There’s more from the Northwest Division:
- Thunder center Enes Kanter has become a contender for the Sixth Man of the Year award, writes Sam Amick of USA Today. Oklahoma City raised some eyebrows this offseason when it matched a four-year, $70MM offer to keep the restricted free agent, but Kanter has done his best to live up to that contract. He brings 12.8 points and 8.1 rebounds per game off the bench in just 20.8 minutes of action and is shooting 58% from the floor, fourth best in the NBA. “To be honest, I don’t look at my stats – not this year, not last year,” Kanter said. “If I do, I feel like I’m going to stress about it, so I don’t even look at my point average, [or] what’s my rebound average? I think the only thing I’m doing is I’m going out there to play my game.”
- Josh Huestis has only played three NBA games, but the Thunder are hurting so much for an effective backup wing player that he might become an option, writes Anthony Slater of the Oklahoman. “I’m not going to say we know for sure we’re gonna all of a sudden throw him in there the last three games a lot of minutes,” said OKC coach Billy Donovan. “But it’s good to see him progressing the way he has.”
- GM Neil Olshey deserves Executive of the Year honors for rebuilding the Blazers over the offseason, writes Steve Aschburner of NBA.com. Portland clinched a playoff spot this week despite losing four starters from last year’s team.