Wolves owner to meet Rick Adelman?

Updated: August 30, 2011, 12:55 AM ET
By Ric Bucher | ESPN The Magazine

Rick Adelman is returning to Minneapolis on Tuesday to meet with Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor about the team's coaching vacancy, according to a league source.

Two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Aug. 24 that Adelman had met with Taylor during his first interview in Minneapolis, but the league source said Monday that Taylor's health issues kept the two from talking face to face.

Adelman parted ways with the Houston Rockets in April, and Houston hired former Timberwolves coach and general manager Kevin McHale to take over the team.

According to league sources, Adelman was fired by Houston in part because of his failure to develop a relationship with Rockets owner Les Alexander.

The Timberwolves have interviewed seven candidates in all, including Adelman, Bernie Bickerstaff, Larry Brown and Don Nelson. Mike Woodson, who also interviewed for the job, recently accepted an assistant's position with the Knicks. According to the source, none of the candidates have been told they are out of running and none have dropped out of consideration.

Adelman told reporters a month ago that he was planning to sit out the season, but his return to Minneapolis only fortifies the impression that his feelings have changed.

Sources say that Adelman's family remained at his offseason home in Portland, Oregon, for much of his four seasons in Houston and another relocation or separation is a factor in Adelman's thinking.

The Timberwolves are considered a team with significant potential despite finishing with a league-worst 17-65 record last season. Their entire roster, except for 30-year-old point guard Luke Ridnour, is between 20 and 26 years old, including first-time All-Star Kevin Love and former No. 2 pick Michael Beasley. Minnesota also drafted Arizona's Derrick Williams with the No. 2 overall pick this year and convinced Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio, the fifth pick in 2009, to finally come to the NBA.

Adelman, 65, is 945-616 in 20 seasons with four different teams. He has made the playoffs 16 times, but injuries -- including the absence of now-retired center Yao Ming for 159 of 164 games -- kept the Rockets out of the postseason during their last two years under his direction. He reached the NBA Finals twice with the Portland Trailblazers.

Neither general manager David Kahn nor Adelman could be reached for comment.

Ric Bucher is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Ric Bucher

NBA Reporter, ESPN The Magazine Senior Writer

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