Saunders signed Martin, who played for Adelman in both Sacramento and Houston, to a four-year contract worth nearly $28 million. Adelman was so pleased by the addition of a legitimately sized (6-7) shooting guard who can make a three-pointer that, according to Martin, he actually hugged Martin after he signed with the team.
Saunders and Adelman also discussed signing free-agent shooting guards J.J. Redick and O.J. Mayo before the Wolves signed Martin.
“All of them could help us,” said Adelman, whose team was last in the league in three-point shooting last season. “Anybody who could make a shot was going to help us. But Kevin I knew so well and I knew he’s going to get you 20 points every time he steps on the floor.”
Martin, it should be noted, didn’t get a hug when the two men saw each other again Monday.
“I think he got mad that I told everybody he gave me a hug,” Martin said about a coach who rarely publicly expresses his emotions, “so he walked right by me today.”
Defense the key
Adelman in his remarks with reporters left no doubt that he is encouraged with the offensive possibilities presented by having Rubio and Love healthy for the season’s start, Pekovic re-signed and Martin and Brewer signed, even if Budinger starts the season sidelined by the same left knee that kept him out for four months a year ago. Defensively, the team must replace starting small forward Andrei Kirilenko, who turned down $10 million from the Wolves to play for Brooklyn instead.
Adelman said he intends to ask Love to assume more of a “facilitating” role on a team he believes will be able to run more of his famed “corner” offense than last season’s injury-plagued one that was reduced mostly to running pick-and-roll plays.
“We have the potential to be so much better offensively, a much better-balanced team than we were last year,” Adelman said. “It’s not just adding new people. It’s getting some of your old people back. The biggest thing we’re going to have to address is defensively. It’s the first thing I will tell them. They have to get out of their comfort zone. We have a lot of guys who are known in the league as offensive players, but I think they’re also smart players who realize they have to be better at that end of the court to give us a chance to win.”
Adelman returned to work Monday to start the third season of a four-year contract he signed in 2011 that has options for both sides after this season.
“When I took this job, I felt there were some pieces here and we could turn the thing around,” he said. “Things just happened over the last two years that were out of everybody’s control. Coaching [this season], it’s something I wanted to do. I wanted to finish it.”