CHICAGO — New Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas plans to interview candidates for the franchise’s head-coaching job this week, including assistant Juwan Howard and Portland assistant David Vanterpool, league sources told .

Interim coach Ryan Saunders will remain a prominent candidate in Minnesota’s coaching search, but Rosas plans to engage in a process with outside candidates before formalizing a decision on a new head coach, league sources said.

Saunders finished the season as the Timberwolves’ interim coach after the midseason firing of and has earned the endorsement of All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns. Saunders has made a strong impression on ownership and senior management, including Rosas, who has spent a dozen or so hours meeting with him since Rosas’ recent appointment to run the Wolves’ basketball operations.

Howard has interviewed for openings with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers this spring and will likely meet with Rosas in Chicago during the ’s draft combine, league sources said.

Vanterpool had interviewed for openings with Phoenix and Cleveland this spring. With the Blazers in the Western Conference finals, Vanterpool and Rosas are expected to connect later in the week, sources said.