Glen Taylor said the Timberwolves would be healthier with the hiring of a top-notch coach while Flip Saunders concentrates on his duties as president of basketball operations, but the team owner won’t object if Saunders continues to coach into the immediate future.

“I’d like to hire a very good coach [for the long term],” Taylor said. “I haven’t talked about it with Flip as far as next year, but if he wanted to coach he certainly would be allowed to coach.”

Saunders won’t talk about next year, but there’s no doubt in my mind that he loves to coach and will do so for this squad in the 2015-16 season and for as long as Taylor permits him to do so. “I love coaching,” Saunders has said many times.

Saunders and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo are very close, and talk often during the basketball season. And if Izzo decides to go to the NBA, he would be a candidate to coach the Wolves. A few years back, Izzo turned down the opportunity to coach the Detroit Pistons for a fantastic salary and made it clear that he was going to finish his coaching career at Michigan State. But because of Izzo’s close relationship with Saunders, the Spartans coach could have a change of heart.

But it is my personal opinion that if anyone is going to take over the team soon, it will be Sam Mitchell, a Wolves assistant who was the NBA Coach of the Year with the Toronto Raptors in 2006-07.