All speculation that Sam Mitchell is considered the front runner for the Pacers head coaching vacancy has officially been put to rest. According to reports out of Canada, Mitchell will return to coach the Raptors next year.
The Raptors and Mitchell agreed to a deal Friday, according to a source close to the negotiations. The official announcement could come as early as Tuesday.I know this news may not excite some Raptors' fans but there is no denying that the young Raptors team made great strides this year. They are definitely a fun team to watch. Plus, with the youth of so many key players, having a coach that runs a tight ship makes for a nice fit.
Obviously this impacts the Pacers coaching search. Jeff Van Gundy was fired today but quickly replaced by Rick Adelman who wasn't under consideration by the Pacers anyway. So the pool of assistant coachess linked to the Pacers job may very well provide the next coach. Peter Vescey reported the Mitchell news today and believes Stan Van Gundy is now the "prohibitive favorite (over Brian Shaw and Jim Boylan)" for the job. Whatever happens, with Mitchell off the table and the draft lottery settled next Tuesday, we should know something by this time next week (hopefully sooner).