Timberwolves’ coach Rick Adelman announcenes retirement

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UPDATE 11:07 am: Rick Adelman confirmed he is stepping dow at a press conference in Minnesota Monday.

“It’s time for me to step aside. When I came here, we really tried to turn some things around and I think we made some strides…” he said. “I think I’m ready and I think my wife is ready to move on to another phase.”

He had a sense of humor about his time there.

Adelman will stay on as a consultant with the franchise.

10:54 am: This is the one time you can believe it when a coach says he is stepping down to spend more time with his family.

Minnesota’s Rick Adelman’s wife has been ill for some time (remember he missed part of last season to be with her) and in something that was expected he will announce his retirement at a press conference Monday. Jerry Zgoda of the Star-Tibune reported the news first, it has since been confirmed by multiple sources.

This parting of the ways in Minnesota is mutual, where they wanted someone to shake up the Kevin Love led team that had too much talent to finish 40-42 as they did last season.

While some people thing T-Wolves president Flip Saunders will come down and coach, reports are that they are eyeing Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Fred Hoiberg (Iowa State) and Stan Van Gundy to step in and take over the big chair. Minnesota is looking for a coach that can get wins fans, enough that Kevin Love will choose not to leave via free agency in the summer of 2015.

Adelman’s coaching career has been impressive and legendary.

Adelman has been an NBA head coach for 23 years, starting with the Trail Blazers in 1988. He helped two Portland teams to the NBA Finals (where they lost to the Bad Boy Pistons once and the Jordan Bulls the next time). He also coached the Chris Webber era Kings teams that were legit title contenders but could never quite get past the Shaq/Kobe Bryant Lakers.

Adelman and his corner sets (around the league often called “Sac”) and his ability to get players moving off the ball have been copied not only in the NBA but throughout every level of basketball. His offense was triangle like in that he wanted players to read what the defense did then react with a play to exploit it. He wanted high IQ players and he used them well.

He’s a very good coach and a good person who will be missed around the league.

J.R. Smith replacing Dwyane Wade as Cavaliers’ starting shooting guard

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The Cavaliers are 2-1, but their starting lineups have been outscored by 19 points in 32 minutes. Dwyane Wade has been so bad as the starting shooting guard, his struggles have overshadowed J.R. Smith‘s miserable play as the backup.

But at least Wade volunteered a solution to this predictable problem.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

Dwyane Wade is headed for the Cavaliers’ bench at his own request and J.R. Smith is returning to the starting lineup.

Wade, 35, a 12-time All-Star who struggled in his first three games with Cleveland, asked coach Tyronn Lue to make the change, Lue said. But this wasn’t exactly Wade’s idea, either.

Lue told him when he signed with the Cavs Sept. 27 that the second unit may be the best fit for him.

“I just decided, earlier than later, just to get to the unit where I’d be more comfortable in and can probably better with this team in that lineup,” Wade said. “Why wait? Three games in, why wait? Wanted to get in there with those guys.”

Cleveland’s starting lineup needs more shooting and defense around LeBron James – especially with Derrick Rose starting over an injured Isaiah Thomas (though Rose is out a couple games with his own ankle injury). Smith provides that.

Bench-heavy units need more playmaking. Wade provides that.

This was a tricky situation given Wade’s status as a future Hall of Famer and friendship with LeBron. Whether Wade simply suggested the change or Lue is trying to give Wade public credit after coaxing it behind the scenes, the result is the same.

The Cavs can now use their most logical rotation, and they should be better for it.

Suns GM Ryan McDonough: Eric Bledsoe hair-salon claim about tweet was unbelievable

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Eric Bledsoe reportedly requested a trade from the Suns before the season then tweeted yesterday:

Clear message?

Apparently not.

After sending home Bledsoe today, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough explained his rationale:

The hair salon! What a wonderful excuse.

Is it true? I’m not going to call Bledsoe a liar. It might be.

It’s also probably true that Bledsoe isn’t long for Phoenix.

Report: Suns send Eric Bledsoe home, expect to trade him

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In a shocking twist, the Suns firing Earl Watson did not end the dysfunction in Phoenix.

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Bledsoe:

That is a first-rate tweet by Bledsoe. It’s great that he’s having fun with the wild situation, because the rest of us sure are amused peering in.

This was always going to be a long season in Phoenix, but things got out of hand in a hurry. The 0-3 Suns have been outscored by 92 – the worst three-game start in NBA history by 16 points. Now, comes the fallout.

At 27, Bledsoe was getting to be a little too old for a rebuild centered on Devin Booker, Josh Jackson, Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender and T.J. Warren. The Suns could have dealt Bledsoe in the offseason. Now, they’re negotiating from a position of weakness.

Bledsoe is a good starting point guard when healthy. He’s earning a reasonable $14.5 million this season and due $15 million in the final year of his contract next season. There should be suitors, and Phoenix can gain long-term assets while stepping up its tank.

But this sure seems like a crisis-control move more than anything else.

Willy Hernangomez ‘mad’ about falling from Knicks rotation

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Knicks president Steve Mills started his second tenure talking about rebuilding and listed Willy Hernangomez as a core piece.

But Hernangomez, coming off an All-Rookie first-team season, barely played in New York’s season-opening loss to the Thunder– drawing scrutiny.

Then, he didn’t play at all in a loss to the Pistons – eliciting a strong reaction from Hernangomez himself.

Hernangomez, via Fred Kerber of the New York Post:

“The same. I’m still mad,” Hernangomez said. “I cannot help the team win if I’m sitting on the bench. Two games in a row. It’s tough. I have to wait my moment. I cannot say nothing more.”

The Knicks are moving in different directions. Management is talking about building for the future. Coach Jeff Hornacek, who was hired by previous president Phil Jackson, is trying to win now.

There’s a fine line between developing Hernangomez through playing time and making him earn his minutes. Enes Kanter and Kyle O'Quinn might be better right now.

But being marginally better this season won’t get the Knicks anywhere meaningful except lower in the lottery. On the other hand, even on rebuilding teams, winning is most important to a coach’s job security. Earl Watson implemented the Suns’ tanking scheme, and look where that got him.

Hornacek is backed into a corner, and now one of the team’s most important young players is publicly expressing his displeasure. It’s the latest troubling sign in a locker room already suspicious of Hornacek.