HoopsHype Rick Adelman rumors

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Adelman's contract has a mutual option included for the final season, meaning either side can opt out of the deal. Adelman will turn 68 in June and the contract calls for a decision to be made no later than two weeks after the season ends. Adelman and Wolves president Flip Saunders have said they will sit down to discuss things after the season is over. Adelman did help bring a team that had won just 17 games the season before he took over back to respectability. A win in the finale on Wednesday night against Utah would mean the Wolves (40-41) would finish with a non-losing record for the first time since 2004-05. Columbian

April 13, 2014 Updates

“Rick didn’t win the ’ship (championship),” continued Christie, “and as badly as I feel for the Sacramento fans, I wanted to win it for him, too. He was my favorite coach. He identifies what a player can do and brings out the best in him. I definitely don’t think he gets enough respect as an elite coach.” His bio in the NBA record book reads in part like a Hall of Fame legal brief. In his 22 full seasons as a head coach, Adelman twice took the Portland Trail Blazers to the NBA Finals, endured losing seasons only four times, led the Kings to the playoffsin each of his eight seasons in Sacramento, and ranks as one of only eight coaches to win 1,000 or more games. He also is highly regarded for his innovative “corners” series, an offensive set that requires a big man who can pass out of the high post and players who can read and react. Sacramento Bee

“When you think of Rick Adelman, you think of ‘corners,’ ” Kings coach Michael Malone said the other day. “Honestly, it’s something we’ve talked about implementing next year because of DeMarcus’ (Cousins) ability to pass and face up.” But back to being fragile. For all Adelman’s success, his career to some extent has been decimated by player injuries. Webber’s knee in Sacramento. Tracy McGrady’s knee and Yao Ming’s feet in Houston. Ricky Rubio’s knee and assorted ailments suffered by Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic in Minnesota; the T-wolves will have missed the postseason in each of Adelman’s three seasons coaching the team. Sacramento Bee

April 12, 2014 Updates

The Timberwolves have targeted their former assistant GM, Fred Hoiberg, to succeed the outgoing Rick Adelman as their head coach. That's an inspired choice, but Hoiberg, who coaches Iowa State, is said to be reluctant to take the job, knowing that Kevin Love is probably going to leave via free agency after next season. New York Daily News

April 11, 2014 Updates

Darren Wolfson: Likely. Hard to handicap. Don't see it taking all 2 weeks though. RT @twolvesfan @DarrenWolfson Expect Adelman out by this time next week? Twitter @DarrenWolfson

April 9, 2014 Updates

Adelman, meanwhile, believes Popovich should be in line to claim his third Red Auerbach trophy this summer. “He should be coach of the year,” Adelman said. “Even though he probably doesn't want it, I think he deserves it. They've had guys out, they've got 60 wins again, they've got the best record. It says a lot.” San Antonio Express-News

With an opt-out clause in his contract for 2014-15, the sense around Minnesota is that this could be Rick Adelman's final season with the Timberwolves, and perhaps as an NBA coach anywhere. If that's true, Tuesday might have marked the final meeting between Adelman and Popovich. With 1,041 career wins, spread between four teams over 23 seasons, Adelman, 67, is the only active coach with more than Popovich's 965. “He's been what I call a lifer,” Popovich said. “He's been in several different programs and made them all better. He's done a heck of a job where ever he's gone.” San Antonio Express-News

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Wolves forward Dante Cunningham has joined the team in Orlando for tonight's game against the Magic. Whether he is activated and plays or not is coach Rick Adelman's decision. According to the NBA's labor agreement with its players, Cunningham has a right to go back to work while the legal process plays out in his felony domestic assault charge submitted Friday in Hennepin County Court. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

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So the next big change with the Wolves, by all accounts, is far more likely to take place on the bench, amid increasing pessimism in the Twin Cities that Rick Adelman -- after trying to coach the last two seasons while nursing wife Mary Kay through a persistent illness -- will want to return for a fourth season in charge. Adelman nearly walked away last offseason and, according to sources close to the situation, has convinced more than a few folks in team circles that he's going to invoke his right to opt out of the final year of his original four-year contract and step away for good this summer. Luring the former Blazers, Warriors and Kings coach to Minneapolis was widely acclaimed as one of the few true successes of the David Kahn era, but Adelman's partnership with the Portland-raised Love hasn't been able to offset the close-game plague or the injuries to manufacture the playoff breakthrough many expected by now. ESPN.com

The obvious response is Saunders, part-owner as well as team prez, heading downstairs to reclaim his old floor seat to see if he can be the guy who finally brings a halt to the league's longest postseason drought, which dates to the Wolves' 2004 Western Conference finals team coached by Saunders. But that might be too obvious. There have been no clear-cut signals that Saunders is prepared to leave the executive suite to return to coaching. ESPN.com

It has seemed for some time that the chances of Rick Adelman, 67, returning to coach the Wolves after three playoff-less seasons are remote, despite a $20 million, four-year contract. The deal includes opt-out clauses for both parties, and Adelman's wife, Mary Kay, has had health issues that caused the future hall of fame coach to miss 11 games. St. Paul Pioneer Press

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