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Report: Tom Izzo, Fred Hoiberg and Stan Van Gundy on Timberwolves’ coaching wish list

Apr 17, 2014, 8:34 PM EDT

Tom Izzo Tom Izzo

The Timberwolves probably can’t keep Kevin Love beyond next season.

But if they trade him, they probably won’t land a player of his caliber anytime soon, anyway.

So, I see some logic in Minnesota’s apparent strategy – keeping Love until his contract expires and daring him to take less money to leave. It’s a plan that will probably fail, but the alternative will probably fail, too. It’s just a matter of which unlikely proposition carries better odds.

If the Timberwolves are going to impress Love enough to re-sign him, that starts with hiring a coach to replace reportedly outgoing Rick Adelman.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Assuming Rick Adelman leaves, a source said Minnesota’s coaching wish list includes Tom Izzo, Fred Hoiberg and Stan Van Gundy.

Timberwolves president Flip Saunders became friends with Izzo while coaching the Pistons. I don’t believe Izzo’s hard-nosed motivational style translates directly to the NBA, and I’m not sure he could adjust. I wouldn’t want to pay the salary it would take to lure him to find out, even though I respect Izzo’s overall coaching acumen. Saunders could definitely foster a welcoming environment for the Michigan State coach, perhaps alleviating some concerns. Minnesota could have competition for Izzo.

Hoiberg previously worked in the Timberwolves’ front office, so he’s another name with ties. I love what he’s done at Iowa State, and he’d be high on my list if I were running an NBA team. His style translates so well, and he’s young, enthusiastic and still improving.

Van Gundy is just a flat-out good coach. His biggest weakness is probably how he wears on players, and his relationship with Dwight Howard notably turned sour. But he hasn’t alienated any Timberwolves yet, so why not start the clock now while the franchise is at such a critical point? This is the time to get the best of Van Gundy.

As far as wish lists go, this one is pretty good. The Timberwolves real challenge is actually landing one of these coaches or, if they can’t, finding a strong alternative.

  1. Awol.West - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    Whoever it winds up being will have to weather the storm of losing Kevin Love eventually. It’s been obvious since they drafted him. Van Gundy coaches a spread offense with one big, prob the best of the 3 while Izzo I think is bound for the Pistons.

    • jollyjoker2 - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:49 PM

      love is overrated – I assume I will get a ton of thumbs but he hasn’t brought the team anywhere near a playoff run. I like the way Indiana is doing it – young and muscle it in. Not every team gets LeBron so you make do with the next tier in waves. Not some weak spanierd and a California dude that hasn’t liked one day in the state.

      • Awol.West - Apr 20, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        At least he signed a second contract and remains loyal when the cameras are on. The guy is a prolific rebounder and outlet passer. You know what he brings to the table but think he’s overrated, he does post impressive stats. Overrated is overused, these all star players get spoken about in that way because of how the media portrays them. When I turn any given game on his intangibles and IQ standout, sometimes I don’t notice when he’s on the court but I do think he’s just a team player that plays within an offense. Rubio is a pure point guard, pass-first and gambles on D regardless of the result. Nonetheless Minnesota didn’t make deep playoff runs when the “Big Ticket” (KG) was in town.

  2. seattlesuperchronic - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    Don’t do it Stan! I listen to him every week on the Le Batatd show and he’s awesome, I’ll miss him if he leaves.

    • miamatt - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:28 PM

      Stan Van Gundy, basketball streetwalker, is hilarious, to say nothing of Stan’s hot nuggets in your face!

      • ryanprzy - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:36 PM


  3. urodaddy07 - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    I think if they land SVG, Love would be more likely to stick around. This team has a solid core. I think they need a lock down defender at the SG position and maybe some one like a Tayshaun Prince at SF, a guy who can defend and score when they need him to. SVG coaches good D and that’s what the ‘Wolves need, badly. There were glimpses of Rubio’s offensive potential late in the season, but he also needs to become more of a scoring threat. I like his defence and he has mad handles. I really like this team. Would be a shame not to see them grow and develop into a playoff calibre team.

  4. asimonetti88 - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    Van Gundy would be a very strong hire for the Wolves. They have a lot of players that I feel could fit well in his offensive and defensive systems.

  5. Hugh Jass - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    who cares?

    Kevin Love would look good in a Knick uniform

  6. bobulated - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    Lol, good luck with that T-Wolves. Van Gundy is the only realistic choice on that least because I can’t believe Izzo or Hoiberg would have any interest in a job that will get them fired in 4 years because they have less talent than they have playing for them right now.

    • bobulated - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:57 PM

      On that LIST!

  7. campcouch - Apr 18, 2014 at 2:23 AM

    I just don’t see SVG in Minny. I know a NBA coaching job is one of those few opportunities,but his personality calls for superstar players…something not guaranteed in Minnesota. I do hope they find stability for their franchise and a coach,not just a name.

  8. cmart0907 - Apr 18, 2014 at 6:55 AM

    Minnesota put this on their selves. Should of offered 5yr 80mil instead of 4yr 60mil would of gave them a extra year. Kevin already said if they don’t make the playoffs he was leaving.

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