On the heels of a report, from Sid Hartman of the Star-Tribune, indicating that there's "no chance" Rick Adelman will return as coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, we're already getting a glimpse into who his potential replacements may be.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears, "Assuming Rick Adelman leaves, a source said Minnesota's coaching wish list includes Tom Izzo, Fred Hoiberg and Stan Van Gundy."
That's quite a wish list.
Izzo has coached the Michigan State Spartans since 1995. Some reports in March suggested the Detroit Pistons would make a run at Izzo, but the longtime NCAA coach subsequently indicated that he hadn't been contacted about any NBA job.
Of course that could change.
Hoiberg also presents an interesting case of a coach who seems happy enough in the college ranks. Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported in March that, "Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg has emerged as an intriguing NBA head-coaching candidate, multiple front-office executives told Yahoo! Sports."
Since then, however, Iowa State gave Hoiberg a $600,000 raise, according to the Associated Press.
Per the Ames Tribune's Travis Hines, Hoiberg likes his current situation:
I’d love to end my career here. I’ve got something special in Ames. My kids get to see their grandparents every day if they want to, and that’s stuff you can’t replace. To look up in the crowd (during games) and there’s my parents, my in-laws, my brother, my sister-in-law, my other brother drives over from Omaha a lot, just to have that family support, you can’t replace that.
A year ago, Hoiberg signed a 10-year pact with Iowa State. He's still young enough to make a transition to the NBA when it runs out. He spent his final two pro seasons as a player with the Timberwolves.
Finally, according to Spears, the 'Wolves have their eyes on Van Gundy—best known for his five-year stint with the Orlando Magic, one that came replete with plenty of Dwight Howard drama and uneven success.
Van Gundy is a no-nonsense character, a well-established pro coach who's got plenty of experience in the NBA. In many respects, his resumé is the polar opposite of Hoiberg's.
Minnesota will almost certainly look to bring in whomever assures it the best chance of retaining star forward Kevin Love. Given the franchise's struggles to put a winning product on the floor, there's been rampant speculation that Love could opt out of his contract and become a free agent in 2015.
Love's apparent desire to be in a bigger market may be unquenchable, but the 'Wolves will do everything within their power to keep him around. Finding the perfect head coach would be a start.
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