Potential Candidates for Timberwolves Coaching Job
It’s official. Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman announced that he will retire after 23 seasons in the NBA.
And although it’s relatively early, both former NBA personnel and renowned college coaches have already begun to surface as potential suitors for the head coaching gig.
Here’s a few names to keep an eye on, as the Wolves start their search for a new head coach.
Tom Izzo, Michigan State
Nearly a month after Tom Izzo was considered a candidate for the Detroit Pistons coaching job, reports from Yahoo Sports and ESPN’s Jeff Goodman indicate he’s now also a frontrunner to take over in Minnesota.
Timberwolves coaching job is officially now open. Two names that will be in the mix, per sources, are Tom Izzo and Fred Hoiberg.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 21, 2014
Izzo has developed a good relationship with Flip Saunders (Minnesota’s president of basketball operations), and has made it known he would consider leaving Michigan State if a team offers him a deal worth while.
It really boils down to whether or not the Timberwolves are willing to pay top dollar for a big-time coach like Izzo.
Fred Hoiberg, Iowa State
After serving in the front office from 2006-2010, Hoiberg could be returning to Minnesota with a whole new role, as the Timberwolves reportedly have shown interest in hiring him, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports.
Hoiberg hasn’t told whether or not he’d be interested in taking the head coaching job, but he’s sure to draw interest league-wide as he’s proven to be one of the brightest young coaches in college basketball.
Lionel Hollins, Formerly with Grizzlies
Hollins has been another name mentioned in the Timberwolves’ coaching sweepstakes, as he’s been out of commission since last year after leading the Grizzlies to the Western Conference Finals.
His defense-first approach could be just what the franchise needs, after ranking fifth worst in points allowed per game last season. However, like the Izzo scenario, he may cost too much for a franchise that’s already considered money-tight.
Billy Donovan, University of Florida
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Timberwolves are interested in Florida coach Billy Donovan, following his successful run to the Final Four this season.
Been discussing Izzo/Hoiberg for some time as candidates to replace Adelman, but here’s a new name I’m told interests Wolves: Billy Donovan
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) April 21, 2014
Donovan was a strong candidate for the Orlando Magic coaching job several years ago, but ended up backing out at the last minute, allowing Stan Van Gundy to take his place.
Maybe this job offer will attract Donovan enough to finally make a much anticipated leap from college to the NBA, after years of success in Gainseville.
Follow Evan Caulfield on Twitter @fieldhoops