On Tuesday, Rick Adelman flew in to Minneapolis to meet with the Minnesota Timberwolves front office for the second time in a week, as reported by FSN. While it was previously assumed that Adelman preferred to take the season off, this is a sure sign that the 65-year-old still has the itch to coach and is intrigued by the talented Timberwolves roster.
There are a lot of things for Adelman to like about the roster in Minnesota. Here is a positional analysis of how the current roster would work in his system.
There are skeptics who feel Adelman is a poor fit for the roster because he runs an offense that takes the ball out of the hands of the point guard. Coming into his rookie season, Ricky Rubio is a man who needs the ball in his hands. Adelman should use him in a similar way as he used a young Jason Williams in Sacramento. Those were some of the most exciting teams in the league, and it all started with point guard. Rubio has the skill set to duplicate that excitement and productivity in his rookie season.
Last year, Luke Ridnour started all but five of the games he played in. This year, he should feel much more comfortable in his role coming off the bench. Ridnour has the shot-making capabilities Adelman likes from his point guard. In the 2009-10 season, Ridnour had one of the best seasons of his career backing up rookie Brandon Jennings in Milwaukee. Hopefully he can regain that form in his second season as a Minnesota Timberwolf.
At shooting guard in Sacramento, Adelman had Doug Christie, who played solid defense and hit the open shots created for him. Enter Wes Johnson, who can fill that role while providing more athleticism than Christie could.
At small forward, Peja was a pure scorer in his days with the Kings. While Michael Beasley has had his ups and downs in his career, he definitely knows how to score the basketball. Add Derrick Williams, who was one of the most efficient scorers in college basketball last season.
In the post, Adelman requires players who possess a high IQ, can play outside or inside and can pass the ball. Enter 2010-11 NBA most improved player Kevin Love, who meets all those requirements. Darko Milicic, when his mind is right, will also surprise some opponents. Often overlooked is Anthony Tolliver, who would be perfect in the Chuck Hayes mold. Don't forget recently-acquired Brad Miller, who played for Adelman in Sacramento and Houston.
If Adelman indeed still has the itch to coach, this would be a great situation for him. While the team may be too young to compete for a title, Adelman is the perfect hire to bring them that much closer.