Wolves looking for coach with clout
MINNEAPOLIS — The Timberwolves would like their next head coach to have a successful track record and maintain a similar offensive identity to the one established by outgoing coach Rick Adelman, president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said.
Ultimately, Saunders said, it needs to be someone who can elicit some buy-in.
“We would like to bring in someone that ... that can carry some clout with our players,” Saunders told reporters on Monday.
With Adelman stepping down as head coach and becoming a consultant, Saunders said he and owner Glen Taylor will meet to discuss the kind of coach they want, then put together a list of candidates and gauge interest.On Monday, Saunders offered no timeline for a hire and didn’t rule himself out as a candidate. The last coach to lead the Timberwolves to the postseason in 2003-04, Saunders has coached 1,164 games in 16 seasons as a head coach.
“We are going to do a search,” he said, “and the search isn’t just coming to talk to me.”
Taylor has recently said he would like Saunders to remain in his role as president of basketball operations.
Whoever the next coach is, Saunders said, he will need to make a positive impression on the team’s current roster, especially all-star Kevin Love, who can opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent after next season.
Still, Saunders downplayed the potential influence of a star player. Saunders coached the Wolves for nine-plus seasons, and said if all of Kevin Garnett’s roster suggestions had been granted, those Wolves teams would have looked a lot different.
“I believe what you do is you talk (about) maybe characteristics that people look at, but you never put a player — any player, no matter who he is — in that light where they are making a decision,” he said. “It’s not fair to him; it’s not fair to the person that you bring in.”
So I wouldn’t do that.”
Saunders was careful to not rule anything out.
“It’s going to be an extensive search,” he said. “We are going to look in a lot of different areas.”
He said NBA coaching experience is not necessarily a prerequisite, and that assistants on playoff teams could be in the mix. “You might find someone that you feel has an opportunity to be a diamond in the rough,” he said.
The reported wish list includes Florida’s Billy Donovan, Tom Izzo of Michigan State, Fred Hoiberg of Iowa State and former NBA head coaches Stan Van Gundy and George Carl.
Corbin out as Jazz coach
Tyrone Corbin will not be back as Utah Jazz coach next season.
The team announced Monday that Corbin will not be offered a new contract.
Corbin took the job in February 2011 when longtime coach Jerry Sloan retired after 23 years. He compiled a 112-146 record that included one playoff appearance in 2012 and a second winning season in 2012-13 (43-39). But the Jazz struggled to a 25-57 record this season, the franchise’s worst mark since 1981-82.
“The decision to make impactful changes in our organization is never taken lightly,” Jazz owner Greg Miller said. “Ty has always represented the Jazz franchise in a first-class manner both on the court and in the community. He did a wonderful job of building relationships with the players and encouraged their growth throughout the season. We wish Ty, Dante and their family nothing but the very best for their future.”