Former Minnesota Timberwolves forward Sam Mitchell is returning to Minnesota.

The Timberwolves announced on Tuesday that Mitchell will be an assistant coach on Flip Saunders' staff.

"As a player, Sam was always one of our more vocal leaders in the locker room and was a great influence on our team," Saunders said. "Additionally, his coaching experience, both as an assistant and as a head coach in Toronto, will make Sam a valuable member of our coaching staff."

Mitchell brings considerable head coaching experience to Saunders's staff. He was the 2006-07 NBA Coach of the Year while with the Toronto Raptors, whom he guided from 2004 through 2008. He led the Raptors to two playoff appearances during that time.

He also has been an assistant twice, coaching under Avery Johnson in New Jersey during 2010-2011 and George Karl in Milwaukee from 2002-2004

Mitchell played in the NBA for 13 years including 10 seasons with the Timberwolves. He finished his career appearing in 994 regular-season games and 59 postseason contests, missing just 40 games to injury or illness. He finished his career with averages of 8.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.

Saunders also is expected to tab former Timberwolves head coach Sidney Lowe to be part of his staff. That announcement should be made later this week.