Sep 12, 2011, 2:39 PM EDT
Rick Adelman is in negotiations to become the next head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. This should be quick and clean because as we’ve said before, the Timberwolves knew the price ballpark coming into the talks — $5 million per year and maybe five years guaranteed. There should be no sticker shock.
I’ve also been saying I think Adelman is a great fit for the Timberwolves — Adelman’s teams play up-tempo (needed with this roster) but take care of the ball. They play good defense without fouling. Adelman has a good relationship with Kevin Love, he can mold Ricky Rubio, his corner offense fits the skill sets on that team. Everything just seems to work.
But Adelman doesn’t really have a good track record coaching young teams. He struggled with a young Warriors team.
Adelman has never been the center of attention on any of the teams he’s coached, and he’s just as much a moderator and manager as a coach. Adelman is at his best coaching a veteran team or at least a team with experienced players who are self-motivated….
Don’t see him as a good fit in Minnesota. The Timberwolves are too young to appreciate or benefit from someone like Adelman, who is more suited for a ready-made team that understands basketball schemes and knows what it takes to win in the NBA.
Adelman’s not really the kind of coach who will get a young team to overachieve — and the reason I say that is because he’s not huge on motivation and he’s more of a system guy than a matchup or gimmicky guy.
He also questions if Adelman will really be around long enough to see the Minnesota building project all the way through.
It’s a valid concern — Kurt Rambis was the same kind of understated coach. He was not a college-style a motivator, as Rambis was never a guy who needed a coach to motivate him.
But I think in Love and Rubio (who comes in with a wealth of top flight international experience at the highest levels) you have two guys wise beyond their years. Two guys who don’t need the motivation as much as the teacher. Adelman can be that teacher.
And I disagree with Steinmetz on one thing — I think Don Nelson (the reported second choice) would be a mistake, too. A worse one than Adelman might be, based on everything we saw out of how Nelson handled a young team in Golden State.