Report: Rick Adelman will not return as Timberwolves coach

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This has been expected, and it’s mutual.

Rick Adelman will not return as head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, reports Sid Hartman at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

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.

Both sides are ready to move on. In the case of Adelman, whose wife has been ill (he missed time due to that last season), he wants to spend more time with his family. In his case that is not a euphemism, it’s an understandable reality.

For the Timberwolves, this was a team that outscored opponents by 2.7 points a game, 10th best in the NBA. That’s better than the Mavericks, Bulls, Grizzlies and Suns. Yet the inability of this team to close out games effectively (they lost to the Jazz in double OT Wednesday night), to defend in clutch situations, left them below .500 (40-42) and nine games out of the playoffs. This roster is better than that and management thinks a new coach can help turn things around.

The question is who would that new coach be?

The most logical answer is Flip Saunders, the team president who could come down to the bench if owner Glen Taylor approves it. If not, and if Taylor is willing to open his pocketbook, there might be a line of good coaches willing to step into this job because it is possible to have quick success.

Of course, if Kevin Love leaves in the summer of 2015 (and he probably will according to sources around the league), things change rapidly in Minnesota.