He comes with his work cut out for him. The Wolves have a boatload of talent and a dearth of victories.
Will Rick Adelman be successful leading this band of young, unproven whippersnappers? Can he reset the tone of post-KG basketball in Minnesota?
However, if Rick can accomplish the following things, look for him to be rewarded with the Coach of the Year trophy.
This is the most important thing on the list. The T-Wolves have been in rebuilding mode for going on five years. Fans won't come to see the team's shiny new toys (Ricky Rubio, Derrick Williams) unless they start winning.
Start by getting more victories than the last two seasons combined (that would actually equate to 33 wins, but 35 is a prettier number).
A corollary to this is to win against big-time teams. No one is going to care if they sweep the season series with the Cavaliers. If the team can topple some big giants like the Heat, Thunder and Lakers, then people will start to notice.
Ricky Rubio's basketball talent is mercurial. One day he is hailed as the next Pete Maravich. The next he is the laughingstock of European basketball.
A good season for Ricky would be a stat line of eight points per game, 10 assists, 1.5 steals, 40 percent FG and an assist-to-turnover ratio of at least 2.75.
Rick needs to help Ricky prove he belongs in the big leagues.
The Timberwolves' forward surplus is looked on with laughter by many NBA critics. Kevin Love, Derrick Williams, Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph are all guys with moon-shot potential.
Rick Adelman needs to figure out a frontcourt that:
1) Scores efficiently (44% percent FG).
2) Plays better defense than a cheesecloth (dead last in points aloud).
3) Keeps everyone happy and develops the talent efficiently and effectively.
The last point is a bit nebulous due to the fact that fans don't know how this team is going to jell. Granted, the team's problems cannot all be placed on the frontcourt. Nevertheless, this is where our greatest talent lies. Get them on the right track and hopefully the rest of the team will step up as well.
I, for one, wouldn't mind seeing K-Love's rebounding numbers take a hit (if it comes at the expense of the team making more buckets).
Love's role on the team has been a matter of contentious dialogue. Is he really a superstar? Should the team trade him while his stock is high? Can he lead this team?
Rick Adelman knows Kevin Love. That was a major sticking point of him getting hired. Adelman needs a team leader and Kevin is the right man for the job.
Adelman needs to help prove that the Wolves need Love as much as he needs them. If Love decides to stick around it will be a major step forward for the franchise.
This is what has been missing since Kevin Garnett left. Adelman needs to develop an identity for this team. We can have all the talent in the world, but if the team doesn't mesh, forget about it.
All good teams of the past few years have had a strong identity (or at least the ones who are most fun to watch). OKC has the "young gun" thing going for them. The Celtics had "Ubuntu" during their championship season.
This team needs a brand. It's Adelman's job to set the tone and inspire this team. If he helps the team lose their disgraceful status, it will be a glowing point on his coaching resume.