Timberwolves president David Kahn has decided to fire coach Kurt Rambis and the team is compiling information on possible replacements, Yahoo! Sports reported, citing unnamed sources, Wednesday night.
Portland assistant Bernie Bickerstaff will be a primary target in the team’s coaching search, with the probability that his son, Wolves assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff, will be groomed to someday become head coach when he is ready, the report said.
Bernie Bickerstaff is 67 and has coached four NBA teams, but hasn’t been a head coach since he led Charlotte to a 33-49 record in 2006-07.
J.B. Bickerstaff, 32, is a former Gophers player.
The decision won't be announced until after Thursday night's NBA draft, Yahoo! said.
It also said Kahn for weeks has been compiling information on University of Washington coach Lorenzo Romar and is expected to make him a candidate.
Romar told the Seattle Times Wednesday night he felt uncomfortable discussing the Yahoo report because Rambis still is the Wolves' coach and said it’d be “arrogant” of him to comment when he hasn’t been contacted or knows if the NBA team is interested.
He also said he and his wife are happy in Seattle at his alma mater.
"It's awkward, maybe, more than flattering," Romar said. "For one, there is a current coach there. So that makes it awkward."
Romar signed a 10-year contract extension last year that pays him $1.7 million annually, not including bonuses.
Kahn did not return messages seeking comment.
Rambis' agent called the report "inaccurate."
"I haven't gotten that information from David, and I just finished talking with him," agent Warren LeGarie said Wednesday night.
Rambis has two years and about $4 million remaining on a four-year contract that the former Los Angeles Lakers assistant and head coach signed in August 2009.
He owns a 32-132 record in two seasons as coach. The Wolves last season went 17-65, worst in the league.
Rambis' future as coach has been in doubt since the season's final day in April. He and Kahn first met in depth to discuss last season and the future last week.
That's when they met for more than six hours over two days after Rambis, at Kahn's request, had submitted a report evaluating the team's current players and proposing how his coaching will change to make the Wolves a more exciting, open-court team featuring newly signed Ricky Rubio if Rambis were to return as coach.