NBA Rumors: Tom Izzo A Possibility To Replace Rick Adelman With Timberwolves



Tom Izzo

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Adelman is expected to announce his retirement from the NBA later on Monday, leaving the Minnesota Timberwolves with a head coaching vacancy. This opening has major ramifications in terms of 2015 free agency, as the next head coach in Minnesota will likely have a chance to convince Kevin Love to stick with the team.

Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports names Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, and former Denver Nuggets George Karl as three candidates to take over the Timberwolves. Per Amick:

The next hire will be crucial for Minnesota because of the uncertain future of forward Kevin Love, who can be a free agent next summer and who has yet to play in the postseason in his six-year career.

Hoiberg just led the Cyclones to a Sweet Sixteen performance in which his squad came up short against eventual NCAA champion Connecticut. Per USA TODAY Sports, Timberwolves president Flip Saunders has long had Hoiberg high on his short list of head coaching candidates. Hoiberg, known to some as “The Mayor,” played 10 NBA seasons in Minnesota when Saunders was manning the sidelines.

A name we’ve come to expect year in and year out when NBA coaching vacancies open is that of Izzo. Last month, Izzo’s name was floated around as a possible target of the Detroit Pistons, who also are in search of a new head coach. Saunders and Izzo are known to have a close relationship, and Izzo served as “an unofficial consultant of sorts” to Saunders, according to Amick. Izzo consistently has stated he does not have plans to leave East Lansing, Mich., but because of the extent of the relationship, it seems that Saunders will at least try to convince him to make the leap to the pros.

Karl is currently an NBA analyst for ESPN, but he boasts a 1,131-756 record as a head coach. Perhaps a track record of winning will convince Love that the Timberwolves can win in Minnesota. Karl has coached a number of superstars while with the Nuggets, including Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony.

However, the Minnesota Star Tribune reported earlier this week that Karl would not be interested in coaching a rebuilding team.

Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.