Northwest Notes: Mitchell, Wolves, Nuggets

Wolves interim coach Sam Mitchell reiterated his belief that he is developing players the right way after the Wolves ended their nine-game losing streak Sunday, Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune relays. Mitchell said that he is not frustrated with the Wolves’ struggles because he feels development is more important than wins at this point and added he hopes Wolves owner Glen Taylor understands that commitment.

“It’s bigger than me,” Mitchell said. “It may turn out that I’m here to see it. But it may turn out that I’m not. But the people in this league know there is a certain way we have to do this, and we understand that. And If I’m not a big boy enough to do it, I shouldn’t be standing here talking to you.’’

Here’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • Wolves center Nikola Pekovic is exhibiting some rust after returning from the surgery he underwent back in April to repair damage to his Achilles tendon, but that is to be expected, according to Mitchell, Andy Greder of The Pioneer Press relays. After [five] games and we don’t get to practice because we play every other day, you ask me has Pek scraped off the rust? He is limited to 18 minutes a game, and I’m the person that’s prickly. Did that answer your question?,” Mitchell said. “I don’t think in 18 minutes in [five] games he’s going to scrape it off.”
  • Jazz rookie Trey Lyles has earned more playing time because of a vastly improved 3-point shot, Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune details.
  • Small forward Will Barton, who re-signed with the Nuggets this past summer on a three-year, $10.6MM deal after originally having joined the team via the Arron Afflalo trade, has come out of nowhere to contend for this year’s Sixth Man of the Year award, Nick Groke of the Denver Post writes.
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