Zgoda: All signs point to Adelman

  • Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
  • August 29, 2011 - 11:56 AM

A new week dawns and still no sign that the Timberwolves are ready to name their new coach yet, but...

I'd be very surprised at this point if that new guy isn't Rick Adelman.

Anxious fans continue to ask what's the delay, but the Wolves obviously in no rush with the start of this locked-out season nowhere in sight.

As I tweeted last night, I heard yesterday the same thing I did five weeks ago:

Adelman's presence in Minneapolis last week for an interview with Glen Taylor, David Kahn, etc., means the team already has agreed to meet him his ballpark price, which is anywhere from $4 million to $6 million plus per year.

Let's split the difference and estimate:

A four-year, $20 million deal sounds pretty ballpark for a guy who signed a four-year, $16.25 million deal with Houston the last time around and has negotiating leverage this time.

Six weeks ago -- when Terry Porter, Mike Woodson, Bernie Bickerstaff and Don Nelson all came in but Adelman instead only talked with Kahn by phone at some length about the job -- somebody smart told me:

He's not coming to talk in person until the Wolves agree to reach a certain number.

That apparently has been settled, although there's still always a lot more to be agreed upon precisely before a contract is finalized.

A month ago, Adelman told a reporter that he had no plans to coach next season.

So why the change?

Because those words were all part of the negotiating game, all part of the process.

Remember back about 15 years ago, when the Gophers approached Kansas coach Glen Mason early in their search process for yet another football coach?

As we know now, Mason was interested but told them to go away and keep quiet until they got serious near the end of the search. And then, he surfaced as their next head coach.

This is very much the same thing.

So why is Adelman interested?

Money -- one more big contract before he retires -- for one big reason.

Also, I'm betting he has told them he's bringing in his own staff, which includes his son R.J., as one of his conditions.

Elston Turner, his No. 1 assistant at Houston, took a job with Phoenix earlier this summer, but Jack Sikma and possibly T.R. Dunn also will come along from Houston.

And I really do think Kevin Love's presence is a big factor in his interest in the job.

Their relationship goes back to Love's junior-high days in Portland.

Here's some of what Love told last weekend during his media blitz for the pro beach volleyball event in which he played out in California.

In that interview, Love talked about going to Adelman's house many times -- he played high-school ball with Adelman's son, Pat -- and he called Rick's wife "Mrs. Adelman."

"I'm just old school like that," he said.  "That’s how I am. But I’ve been over to Pat’s house in Portland. I’ve had lots of conversations with Rick. I always got to talk shop and basketball with him. Obviously, we’re not best friends or anything, but we have had many, many talks. I always spoke with him after games when we played Houston, and I’d wait outside of the tunnel to say hi to Rick and his wife. Who knows — maybe that will turn into a player-coach relationship."

He said he hasn't talked to Adelman at all during the Wolves' search process.

"I have to let it be," Love said. "Whatever the front office is going to do, that’s what they’re going to do. I am not partial to any candidate, but it is intriguing to me to possibly be coached by my buddy’s dad. I love his corner offense, with the high post player being a facilitator — to be able to pass from there, run pick-and-rolls and shoot from outside. It is very, very intriguing to think about. But I’m not partial to any side."

Sure, and if you believe that....

One other thing we know now about this coach search:

It's not going to be Woodson, who today officially was hired by the Knicks as Mike D'Antoni assistant coach in charge of the team's defense.








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