Former Raptors and Timberwolves head coach Sam Mitchell, who was named the NBA’s Coach of the Year in 2006/07, is expected to become the coach of the G League’s newly-formed “Select Team,” reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The new squad is the one that prep stars Jalen Green and Isaiah Todd will be joining next season, as we detailed last week.
As Adam Zagoria of Forbes points out, the Mitchell news hasn’t officially been confirmed, but the 56-year-old – who coached Green in AAU – repeatedly used the word “we” when he referred to the team during a recent ESPN appearance. Mitchell confirmed that the new G League Select Team will feature several veterans in addition to the prospects arriving from high school, suggesting that most of those vets will be aiming to get back to the NBA.
“We’re going to try to fill out the rest of the roster with guys who know how to play, guys that know how to be mentors, but also guys that can teach these guys how to play and how to win and how to be a pro,” Mitchell said, per Zagoria. “They’re going to try to surround these kids with all different type of players, the type of players that they’re going to have to play on a team with.
“Some of these (prospects) are actually going to be fortunate enough to go to (an NBA) team where they’re actually going to be the man on a team and some of these guys are going to be on a team where they’re going to have to learn how to fit in,” Mitchell continued. “So they’re going to mix these teams up with different types of players with different types of backgrounds. It’s not going to just be a bunch of high school kids.”
Here’s more on the G League’s new squad and the league’s developmental path for top high school prospects:
- Prior to Carchia’s report on Mitchell, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports wrote that David Fizdale and Brian Shaw were also receiving consideration for the Select Team’s head coaching job. A source who spoke to Zagoria said that he wouldn’t be surprised if Fizdale and Shaw still end up having some sort of role with the club.
- The G League’s Select Team is exploring the idea of making the Mamba Sports Academy its “home base,” sources tell Haynes. The training facility, created by the late Kobe Bryant, is just one of a handful of venues being considered, but it appears to be a frontrunner, Haynes adds. The Select Team will be based in Southern California.
- Zagoria wrote in a separate Forbes article last week that the G League has been attempting to court other high school stars in addition to Green and Todd, including five-star recruit Greg Brown. Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link) hears that the NBAGL has actually already started reaching out to prospects in the 2021 recruiting class as well.