Rick Adelman has interviewed twice to be the head coach in Minnesota, met the owner, he has a good relationship with the star player, likes to have his team run and just generally is the perfect fit on paper for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Yet, no deal so far.
Why not? It’s about the money. It’s always about the money. In this case, Adelman ask is for a massive contract from the small market Timberwolves. That according to Jerry Zgoda of the Star-Tribune.
Rick Adelman still looks like the favorite, but here’s the tricky part: I hear he wants at least $5 million a year, and five years — not four — guaranteed. Do the math and that’s at least $25 million, sports fans.
Weeks ago I was told (Timberwolves owner) Glen Taylor paid Flip Saunders big money — $5 million a year in his final years – and is willing to do so again with a young group he thinks the franchise can grow with. But…$25 million or more?
The report also says that if it’s not Adelman it will be Don Nelson. (If it is someone else, like Sam Mitchell, it wasn’t GM David Kahn’s call, and that is another story entirely).
If that really is the choice — Nelson or Adelman — then Adelman is worth the $25 million. Nelson is a better coach than his reputation allows, but he was terrible with young players in Golden State. He’s not the guy to trust with a young team right now, especially in comparison to Adelman.
As always with coaching search, expect the Wolves to take their time making a decision.
We have a piece of the puzzle, but it is without enough other pieces to let us see the entire picture. Yet.
We’ve told you a lot of things leading up to yesterday’s events: That Rick Adelman flew out to Minnesota Tuesday to meet with Timberwolves GM David Kahn and other top brass; that he seems to be the Timberwolves choice, the guy they wanted; and that there were questions if he really wanted the job.
Now comes this tweet from Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune on twitter.
Adelman already apparently has flown out of town after today’s interview with #Timberwolves, without an offer (yet) being made
What does that mean? Impossible to say right now.
It could mean that after meeting Adelman didn’t want the job, although the fact he flew out to Minnesota shows some level of interest. It could mean Minnesota decided it didn’t want him, although he seems the best fit for them on paper. It could mean the Timberwolves didn’t want to match the at least $4 million a year Adelman will require to take a new job (and it may well be closer to $5 million a year).
What it most likely means is that after talking both sides wanted some time to reassess. An offer for the Timberwolves head coaching job very well may be coming soon.
But with the way this whole Timberwolves coaching situation has played out, you didn’t really expect a quick, clean ending, did you?
Last we heard from Rick Adelman, he didn’t sound like a guy that eager to coach next season. (If there is a next season. Man I’m sick of writing that phrase.)
But that seems to be changing. Maybe it’s time away from the game. Maybe it’s the Ricky Rubio effect. Maybe he’s willing to do anything to get Kevin Love off the volleyball court.
Whatever the reason, Adelman will meet in person with the decision makers of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wolves are still going to have to sell him on taking the job, but at least he’s willing to listen now.
Adelman is the front-runner for this gig as far as Minny is concerned. For one, if owner Glen Taylor is trying to see if the issue has been the coaches or general manager David Kahn, this will answer the question — Adelman can coach. He’s been in the league 20 years, been to the playoffs 16 years and had some contending teams in Portland and Sacramento. He will not be the problem.
Also, Adelman comes in with an established, strong relationship with Kevin Love. Finally, his former teams in Sacramento and elsewhere did run, one of Kahn’s requirements for his new coach.
Minnesota has taken its time with its coaching search, starting with letting Kurt Rambis twist in the wind for a couple months before firing him. Then they have interviewed seven coaches, including Don Nelson and Mike Woodson for the gig.
Adelman would be a good hire for Minnesota. The fact he is coming to interview shows he is interested, too. The question may be money — Adelman should make upwards of $4 million a year. Maybe a million or two upwards. Will the Timberwolves pay that?