McHale out of work but (if he wants) not for long

Former Timberwolves top executive and coach Kevin McHale had barely been fired Wednesday and certainly not paid yet the $12 million owed him for coaching just 11 games this season when former Boston teammate and longtime pal Danny Ainge offered him work with the Celtics.

McHale became the scapegoat for a Rockets team he led to the Western Conference finals last spring but which started this season just 4-7. He is owed that $12 million now through 2018.

“I’ve always tried to get Kevin to come work with me and work with my big guys,” Ainge told the Boston Herald. “We’ve got a spot for him. I know we could figure something out for him in some capacity.”

For now, McHale likely will accept the Rockets’ millions and maybe eventually return to some TV work before some NBA team calls with an attractive offer.

Might it be Glen Taylor and the Wolves? After Flip Saunders returned to the franchise that fired him, anything’s possible. Might it be Ainge and McHale’s beloved Celtics team?

“Maybe when the dust settles, I can get him out to teach the ‘Slippery Eel’ to Kelly and Sully and Amir,” Ainge said, referring to three of his players and one of McHale’s famed low-post moves from the old days.

Mitchell prepped for current job while watching like a hawk

Wolves interim head coach Sam Mitchell lives in Atlanta and did radio work following Hawks games while in between coaching jobs. He watched Mike Budenholzer arrive from San Antonio and turn the Hawks into a 60-victory team while winning Coach of the Year honors last season.

“I learned a lot just sitting up there watching those games, watching him and the things he did and how demanding he was,” Mitchell said. “It was a good perspective for me.”