There is no chance that Rick Adelman will be back as coach of the Timberwolves next season, one of the team’s decision-makers tells Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune. It’s certainly not a surprise, given that many around the Wolves have believed that the 67-year-old would retire after the season. Fellow Star Tribune scribe Jerry Zgoda said last month that if Adelman didn’t leave, the Wolves would turn down their mutual option to retain him. Still, it seemed at the time that there was at least a remote chance the longtime coach would be back with the team.
Adelman is set to meet today with owner Glen Taylor and president of basketball operations Flip Saunders, with a final decision on the coach’s future to come as soon as this week. Both the team and Adelman have two weeks to exercise the mutual option. The Wolves have reportedly discussed him staying on with the club as a consultant, though it’s unclear if that will happen. Adelman’s wife has suffered from seizures over the past few years, and her health weighed on his mind before he decided to coach this season.
The Wolves haven’t made the playoffs in three seasons under Adelman, even though they made a nine-game improvement this year. He’s otherwise been a successful NBA coach, compiling a 1,042-749 record and winning raves for his offensive innovations.
The Wolves had apparently envisioned a strong pursuit of Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, but he’s unlikely to join the Wolves, and while Taylor and Saunders like Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, too, he’s also a longshot, Hartman writes. Taylor doesn’t want Saunders to coach because he’d prefer his top basketball executive and his coach not to be the same person, Hartman writes. Saunders reportedly would like to return to the bench, and Hartman thinks Saunders can convince his boss to let him do so.