The Minnesota Timberwolves finished exactly where many expected this season: on the outside looking in for a final playoff spot in the brutal Western Conference. They were one loss to the Jazz in their finale from going 41-41 on the year, but that record wasn’t going to cut it in the West this year. Despite their improved record, sources recently revealed coach Rick Adelman will not be returning to coach the ‘Wolves for the 2014-15 season.
Sid Hartman at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has the scoop:
There is no chance — zero — of Rick Adelman returning as Timberwolves head coach next season, according to one of the team’s decision-makers. Look for an announcement to that effect soon.
Possible candidates to replace Adelman include ‘Wolves’ general manager Flip Saunders, if he can convince owner Glen Taylor he can do both jobs. College coaches mentioned include Tom Izzo with Michigan State and — former Timberwolves reserve — Iowa Sate coach Fred “The Mayor” Hoiberg. Both college coaches are said to be happy where they are, though.
The reason Adelman might elect to forego the fourth, final year of his contract, which would pay him $6 million next season, regards his sick wife, Mary Kay. She has been battled seizures during the three seasons Adelman has been in Minnesota (he missed time last season to be with her). While a lot of people use the phrase “time with the family” as a euphemism for something else when they leave a team or organization, in Adelman’s case it’s apt.
Owner Glen Taylor remarked on Adelman’s coaching situation heading into next season:
“I think that a lot of it has to do with [Adelman’s] family and what he thinks is best for his family,” Taylor said. “I know he loves coaching, so that’s not the issue. I just think he has to determine what’s in the best interest for his family right now.”
The ‘Wolves are at a crossroads of sorts this offseason. Kevin Love has a player option — he’ll most assuredly exercise — next summer. If that happens, he would become a ballyhooed free agent, one of the best forwards in the game, likely to attract suitors from all over the league. According to multiple reports over the last year or so, Love is all but gone from Minnesota if that happens. But they could dangle his final year for prospective suitors in free agency this summer so they don’t lose him for nothing next summer. It’ll be interesting to see what they do when the 2014 Free Agency season officially kicks off on July 1.
The Timberwolves have the same option as Rick of cutting ties some time in the next two weeks. According to the Star-Tribune‘s sources, it’s a question of when, and not if, Adelman leaves the coaching ranks again. But he might be leaving at just the right time, with key personnel like Love set to move on as well.
Not the best time to be a Timberwolves fan.
Who would make a good successor to Adelman in Minnesota?
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