Another week has passed with no new Wolves coach named, and no immediate end to the search in sight.
Here’s a smattering of things I’ve heard from people around the league about that search:
· * As of now, I don’t believe the Wolves’ brass – David Kahn, Glen Taylor and CEO Rob Moor at least -- has yet gathered formally to decide where they’re headed now that all first interviews have been completed. Maybe that will happen sometime this weekend.
· * Rick Adelman still looks like the favorite, but here’s the tricky part: I hear he wants at least $5 million a year, and five years -- not four -- guaranteed. Do the math and that’s at least $25 million, sports fans.
Weeks ago I was told Glen Taylor paid Flip Saunders big money -- $5 million a year in his final years – and is willing to do so again with a young group he thinks the franchise can grow with. But…$25 million or more?
· * I hear Kahn has told others in the league that the next coach will be either Adelman or Don Nelson.
That goes with what I heard six weeks ago, that he told other GMs he isn’t hiring another relatively unproven coach after the failed Kurt Rambis experiment. And that means choosing one of the proven four 60- or 70-something coaches – Bernie Bickerstaff and Larry Brown are the others -- they interviewed.
Nelson, 71, probably would sign a three-year deal at $10 million total (excluding incentives) or less.
· * But…
The big question here is whether Kahn still has enough of Taylor’s confidence to make that call. Don’t count Sam Mitchell out. He still could be the next coach. But if he is, it’s Taylor who made the decision and it’ll tell you, with one year left on his contract, something about Kahn’s future with the franchise.
· * You probably can gauge the progress of the league’s labor negotiations by how the Wolves proceed from here. Taylor is in the middle of those negotiations and if this search continues to drag out, it’ll tell you a resolution isn’t fast approaching, as reports this week have suggested. Likewise, if a new coach is named shortly, that very well could mean a full season is near.