Add former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro to the list of candidates the Timberwolves are considering to replace retired Rick Adelman.
According to two NBA sources, Del Negro interviewed with Wolves president of Flip Saunders on May 21 in Cleveland, one day before he interviewed Memphis coach Dave Joerger in a fleeting courtship that ended Sunday when Joerger said he was staying put.
Reports by ESPN.com and Yahoo!Sports suggested Del Negro has emerged as a front-runner for the job, but one of the league sources with knowledge of the search said it’s unlikely Del Negro will be hired.
Saunders is searching for someone with head coaching experience who can help develop point guard Ricky Rubio. Del Negro qualifies on both counts: He coached Chicago for two seasons and the Clippers for three and coached both Derrick Rose and Chris Paul.
The Wolves also have interviewed, among others, former Wolves player and ex-Toronto coach Sam Mitchell, former Memphis coach Lionel Hollins, former Phoenix, Chicago and Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles and pursued Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg for the job.
“We’re not rushed for time to select a coach, the process will take care of itself,” Wolves General Manager Milt Newton said Thursday. “I guarantee we will have one before the season starts next year.”
Mexico City, parte dos
The Wolves are headed back to Mexico City, where their December game with San Antonio last season was smoked out.
The Wolves will play Houston there on Nov. 12, the first of the NBA’s two “Global Games” this season. It will count as one of the Wolves’ 41 home games.
The league guaranteed the Wolves a $750,000 payday for last year’s game.
• The Wolves’ next workouts are set for Sunday morning, when they’re expected to bring in prospects for their 13th overall pick.
• Another indication the Wolves will consider trading star Kevin Love by the June 26 draft: “We’ll do what’s best for the organization,’’ Newton said. ‘‘He’s a hell of a player, a hell of a talent. Our first inclination is to keep him on board. If that’s not the case, you best believe we’ll be a better team based on what happens.”
• The Wolves also worked out former Louisville forward Chane Behanan, who played college ball with Wolves center Gorgui Dieng. “I saw him earlier, messing around like we always do,” Behanan said.