Former Toronto Raptors coach Sam Mitchell is set to coach the new G League Select Team, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.
News in the NBA is pretty slow at the moment, but that hasn’t stopped a former Toronto Raptors coach making the headlines amid all the chaos. Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reported that Sam Mitchell, head coach of the Toronto Raptors between 2004-2008, will be set to coach the new G League Select Team starting next season.
The team will feature the likes of Jalen Green and Isaiah Todd. Green is a potential number one pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and was already committed to Memphis before electing to forego college to join the newly fresh G League set-up. Coincidentally, or not so coincidentally, Green was recruited to Memphis by Mitchell before the latter left the program in May 2019.
Before that, he was also coached by Mitchell in AAU. Green is set to earn $500,000 during a 20-game season for the team that will be based in Los Angeles. It’s also rumoured that Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy, located in Thousand Oaks, California, could serve as the team’s headquarters and arena, according to Yahoo Sports.
For Mitchell, this represents an opportunity that could be perfect for him. After retiring from the NBA in 2002, Mitchell joined the Milwaukee Bucks coaching staff before making the move to the Toronto Raptors in 2004.
The Raptors struggled in the early years with Mitchell, but the team had just traded away Vince Carter to the New Jersey Nets and was clearly in a rebuilding stage, winning a combined 60 games in his first two seasons as coach.
The 2006-07 NBA season marked a turning point in Mitchell’s tenure. The Raptors would go on to win 47 games – tying their franchise record – and progressed to the postseason for the first time since the 2001-02 NBA season. The Raptors bowed out in the first round after losing to the New Jersey Nets in six games but Mitchell was crowned as the NBA’s Coach of the Year.
He was relieved his duties after an 8-9 start in the 2007-08 NBA season and had a few different stints in the NBA as an assistant coach before joining Memphis in 2018. It represents a good opportunity for Mitchell, if he shows that he has the capacity to develop young talent and help them flourish, all while assisting them in making the transition to an NBA-lite setting, there could be more avenues down the road.
Mitchell has been an NBA player, he knows what needs to be said and what needs to be done. This is probably a great hiring from both perspectives.