Wessel: Wolves desperately need Rick Adelman to return next year
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MINNEAPOLIS -- It will be another summer of uncertainty for the Minnesota Timberwolves as they inch closer and closer to the cellar of the Western Conference after Monday's 97-81 loss to the Miami Heat.
That isn't how the folks at Target Center had it drawn up. This was supposed to be the season that the Wolves returned to the playoffs and the revolving door of roster overhauls were over.
But they have question marks, literally, from the top on down, and none bigger than the future of head coach Rick Adelman.
There has been speculation that Adelman, 66, might hang it up after this season because of a combination of another frustrating season and his wife having health concerns. But team owner Glen Taylor told 1500ESPN.com that he believes Adelman will be back next season.
This would be great news for the team that desperately needs some. Adelman is at the very bottom of the list of things to blame for this nightmare season. He lends credibility to a franchise that has otherwise had very little in the past decade.
This season was over the second Kevin Love broke his hand for a second time. Truth be told, it was probably over even before that. The amount of injuries the Wolves have had to deal with this season is basically unprecedented. Everybody deserves to hit the reset button and try to forget this season even happened.
The pressure to make the playoffs next season will only be more intense after this year's failure. The futures of Ricky Rubio and Love hang in the balance. Both want to win and like playing here, but if they aren't winning, they will bail. Losing those two could be a deathblow to this franchise.
In short, the Wolves need to make the playoffs next season. Having Adelman at the helm gives them their best chance to accomplish that goal. An unexpected and unwanted coaching shuffle would make things worse for the Wolves.
It would be a shame if Adelman's career ended after such a disastrous season. Adelman has coached in 1,600+ games and has only missed the playoffs five times in 21 seasons. He deserves to go out on a higher note than this season will provide come April.
Adelman quickly changes the topic when asked about his future, saying that there will be time to talk about when the season is over. But the decision to come back for another year will be completely up to him. It is clear that this season has taken a lot out of him -- it has taken a lot out of everybody at Target Center. But Wolves fans should all hope that Taylor is right and Adelman will be back next season.