The Minnesota Timberwolves lost a legend and now must figure out a way to avoid losing another figure who could be headed toward a similar status.
Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman announced his retirement Monday, capping a 23-year career that included 1,042 victories (eighth-most all-time), 16 playoff appearances and a pair of Western Conference titles.
"It’s time. It’s time for me to step aside," Adelman said at a news conference Monday, via NBA.com's Steve Aschburner. "...It’s time for someone else to come in."
It's time for the Timberwolves to go all-in on damage control.
Minnesota has yet to satisfy the starving appetite of three-time All-Star Kevin Love. The 25-year-old has yet to get a taste of postseason basketball and could choose to search for it elsewhere next summer when he can opt out of his current contract.
The Wolves are mired in a 10-year playoff drought and coming off their ninth consecutive losing season. Short on empty roster spots, they'll likely wage war in 2014-15 with a very similar cast of characters who contributed to this year's 40-42 mark.
Minnesota is close to playoff contention, but close might not be enough in Love's wandering eyes. This franchise needs a spark, and Adelman's vacated sideline seat could be the prime place to ignite one.
With Love's potential venture into free agency guiding this search, the Wolves need to find a notable name. Moreover, they need someone capable of featuring the big man (proving this market can yield money-making opportunities), coaching to the team's strength (offense) and masking the roster's limitations (interior defense, Ricky Rubio's offensive challenges).
There are several desirable names to consider, but these coaches should carry the most intrigue inside the North Star State.