Another Wolves season ending with more questions than answers

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 14, 2013 - 11:35 AM

As another lost season slips away, the Wolves are left to wonder what’s next. So much depends on coach Rick Adelman, who missed 11 games in January and twice said he contemplated quitting coaching.

 Six months ago, the Timberwolves began a season that finally promised to be steady, stable and probably even playoff-bound.

They conclude it Wednesday in San Antonio yet again with many more turbulent summertime questions looming, including one from which all the others cascade for a franchise that hasn’t had a winning season or reached the playoffs since 2004.

Will Rick Adelman return as coach?

“That’s the question, that is the question,” Wolves veteran forward Andrei Kirilenko said. “What is, how you say, the prognosis? I don’t know what to think about it.”

There are many others ranging from president of basketball operations David Kahn’s contract option for next season and two-time All-Star Kevin Love’s commitment to a team that guaranteed him nearly $62 million, not to mention starting center Nikola Pekovic’s looming restricted free agency come July.

But those questions and more could hinge on whether Adelman returns from this injury-ravaged season to fulfill the third year of a four-year contract that pays him $5 million a season.

Adelman missed 11 games in January to be alongside his wife, Mary Kay, while doctors sought a cause for her seizures. The coach said he twice during that time contemplated quitting coaching. More appointments with doctors are scheduled after the season ends.

Adelman talks about next season in conversation, discussing, among other issues, how he’d like to see Love and Derrick Williams play together now that Williams’ game has grown while Love missed the past three months with that broken shooting hand.

He deflects questions about whether he will return, saying he has asked players to finish this season strong and doesn’t want to distract them from their task. But he acknowledges he has a decision to make concerning his wife’s health and perhaps even the precious nature of time as his 67th birthday approaches in June.

“When that time comes for anybody, you’re going to know,” he said. “But right now is not really the time to talk about that.”

His decision will influence player-personnel matters: Kirilenko’s decision to exercise a $10 million player option for next season. Pekovic’s decision whether he strikes a quick deal this summer to return to Minnesota — “100 percent” his preference — or test the free-agent market. Reserve forward Chase Budinger’s decision to sign with any NBA team in July.

“That’s kind of critical to a lot of decisions that have to be made here,” Wolves owner Glen Taylor said about Adelman’s future. “We stay in touch, but I don’t know if he knows the answer to that question. He hasn’t given me any indication he’s going to leave. He talks about next year. But to tell you the truth, I haven’t pressed him.

“It is the major decision that we have in front of us right now.”

But it’s not the only one.

GM position also uncertain

Taylor must decide whether to bring back Kahn next season by picking up the final option year on his contract. Kahn drafted, wooed and ultimately brought star point guard Ricky Rubio to Minnesota, and he patiently pursued Adelman as coach for months. He also has swung and missed on a lengthy list of draft picks, including lottery choices Jonny Flynn and Wes Johnson, as well as failed experiments with gifted underachievers Michael Beasley, Darko Milicic and Anthony Randolph.

By this time last year, Taylor already had long before decided to pick up Kahn’s fourth-year option. With two games now remaining, he said he remains undecided on Kahn’s future and has no timetable once the season ends to do so.

Taylor hoped to see the Wolves finally healthy these final weeks so he could more accurately judge Kahn’s work, but Love’s arthroscopic knee surgery last week ended that chance.

“We never really got a team on the floor,” Taylor said. “You would have liked to have seen that. That’s a part of it [in making his decision on Kahn].”

  • related content

  • Love promises to come back strong next season

    Sunday April 14, 2013

    Kevin Love said he plans on responding to the most disappointing season of his career with the best offseason of his life.

  • Chart: Five questions facing the Wolves

    Saturday April 13, 2013

    Will the Wolves pay Nikola Pekovic?The team has been through this big-contract dance before with Pek’s agent, who also represents...

  • Rick Adelman

  • Andrei Kirilenko

  • Nikola Pekovic

  • David Kahn

  • Kevin Love

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 2 FINAL
St. Louis 5
Washington 9 FINAL
Atlanta 8
Miami 5 FINAL
Boston 3
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 1
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 5
Detroit - LP: J. Mantiply 4 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: C. Torres 5
Cincinnati 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Los Angeles 10 FINAL
Milwaukee 1
San Francisco 12 FINAL
Texas 3
Chicago WSox 0 FINAL
San Diego 5
Kansas City 11 FINAL
Cleveland 9
Seattle 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 7
Colorado 0 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 7 FINAL
Arizona 2
Pittsburgh 0 Top 2nd Inning
NY Yankees 0
Chicago 22 2nd Qtr 10:53
Indiana 25
Sacramento 28 2nd Qtr 11:23
Orlando 35
Utah 21 2nd Qtr 11:35
Philadelphia 26
Miami 23 2nd Qtr 11:24
Washington 40
Toronto 28 2nd Qtr 9:28
Charlotte 33
Cleveland 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Boston 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Detroit 7:00 PM
Houston
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
Memphis
Phoenix 7:00 PM
Brooklyn
Denver 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Dallas 9:30 PM
Golden State
Columbus 1 1st Prd 2:40
New Jersey 0
Minnesota 1 1st Prd 2:05
Carolina 0
Buffalo 0 1st Prd 20:00
Ottawa 0
Calgary 0 1st Prd 19:41
Detroit 0
Edmonton 7:30 PM
Chicago
Pittsburgh 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Longwood 68 FINAL
Char Southern 60
Ark-Pine Bluff 94 FINAL
Miss Valley St 75
Southern Ill 45 FINAL
Wichita State 56
Winthrop 67 FINAL
Radford 66
Evansville 67 FINAL
Illinois State 71
Towson 55 2nd Half 4:48
Elon 56
Gardner-Webb 57 2nd Half 3:29
High Point 57
Samford 56 2nd Half 7:38
UNC Greensboro 62
Northern Ill 10 1st Half 7:32
Ball State 16
Bowling Green 25 1st Half 5:52
Buffalo 17
Brown 31 1st Half 3:12
Dartmouth 16
Toledo 24 1st Half 4:41
Eastern Mich 19
Akron 25 1st Half 3:16
Kent State 33
Ill-Chicago 18 1st Half 4:15
Oakland 27
Miami-Ohio 16 1st Half 6:21
Ohio 37
Columbia 6 1st Half 6:10
Penn 16
Cornell 23 1st Half 3:13
Princeton 29
Central Mich 17 1st Half 7:28
Western Mich 24
Bradley 11 1st Half 5:14
Northern Iowa 21
Morehead State 10 1st Half 15:43
Murray State 8
UNC-Asheville 7:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Yale 7:00 PM
Harvard
Furman 7:30 PM
Citadel
Coll of Charleston 7:30 PM
Drexel
Texas Tech 8:00 PM
Baylor
Pacific 8:00 PM
San Francisco
Detroit 8:30 PM
Cleveland State
Belmont 8:30 PM
Eastern Ky
Loyola-Chicago 8:35 PM
Indiana State
Loyola Marymount 10:30 PM
Santa Clara
Chicago 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
(21) George Washington 77
Wake Forest 68 FINAL
(16) Duke 77
Furman 55 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 68
Monmouth 61 FINAL
Quinnipiac 82
Michigan State 60 FINAL
(4) Maryland 70
Belmont 65 FINAL
UT Martin 71
Arkansas 36 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 58
Mercer 56 FINAL
East Tenn St 66
Richmond 45 FINAL
Fordham 46
Miami-Florida 61 FINAL
(2) Notre Dame 77
Siena 61 FINAL
Iona 71
Washington St 48 FINAL
(9) Arizona State 67
Ark-Pine Bluff 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 51
(23) Rutgers 57 FINAL
(24) Northwestern 62
Tennessee St 71 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 59
Loyola Marymount 50 FINAL
Gonzaga 70
(18) Texas A&M 65 FINAL
LSU 71
Cincinnati 76 FINAL
UCF 66
Saint Josephs 61 FINAL
Dayton 80
UCLA 62 FINAL
(19) Stanford 67
Santa Clara 42 FINAL
San Diego 51
Virginia Tech 30 2nd Half 7:38
(7) Florida State 68
SMU 47 2nd Half 7:44
Memphis 62
Lehigh 67 2nd Half 4:39
Holy Cross 56
Rhode Island 25 1st Half 2:18
Duquesne 27
North Florida 10 1st Half 5:42
(20) Fla Gulf Coast 25
Kennesaw St 23 1st Half 7:16
Jacksonville 19
USC Upstate 7 1st Half 7:46
Northern Ky 16
Lipscomb 17 1st Half 4:58
Stetson 34
Nebraska 26 1st Half 3:25
(14) Iowa 34
Saint Peters 18 1st Half 3:29
Marist 18
Navy 17 1st Half 3:40
Bucknell 22
Lafayette 21 1st Half 5:50
American Univ 25
Colgate 11 1st Half 2:53
Army 18
Georgia 9 1st Half 3:33
(5) Tennessee 22
Dartmouth 30 1st Half 2:12
Brown 18
Penn 19 1st Half 3:26
Columbia 13
(13) Princeton 33 1st Half 5:03
Cornell 15
Kansas 8 1st Half 4:13
Kansas State 19
Harvard 39 2nd Half
Yale 34
(15) North Carolina 7:00 PM
(10) Louisville
San Jose St 7:00 PM
UNLV
Houston 7:00 PM
Tulane
Utah State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Colorado 8:00 PM
(8) Oregon State
New Mexico 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Minnesota 8:25 PM
Ohio State
(12) Kentucky 8:25 PM
(11) Miss State
San Diego State 8:30 PM
Nevada
Niagara 8:30 PM
Fairfield
Texas Tech 8:30 PM
West Virginia
Boise State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Washington 10:30 PM
California

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

Countdown to great deals

Bid March 15-23

    ADVERTISEMENT

    ADVERTISEMENT

    ADVERTISEMENT

    ADVERTISEMENT

    Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

    ADVERTISEMENT

     
    Close