Minnesota Timberwolves rumors shifted for a brief moment to coaching, giving the franchise a much needed break from all the trade talk involving Kevin Love. As the 2014 NBA draft approaches–in which the Timberwolves only possess one pick in the first round–the Kevin Love rumors appear to be affecting the search for a coach.
The latest coach rumored to be heading to work for Flip Saunders and the Minnesota Timberwolves was Dave Joerger of the Memphis Grizzlies. Joerger put together a relatively successful first season in Memphis. In spite of multiple injury problems throughout the season, the Grizzlies finished seventh in the difficult Western Conference and played Oklahoma City tough before exiting in the first round of the playoffs. After interviewing with the Minnesota Timberwolves, rumors about Joerger’s departure were put to rest on Sunday. Grizzlies owner Robert Pera took to Twitter to report that Joerger was staying in Memphis.
@JohnnyNBA I think Dave is a great coach. But, personnel has to want to be in Memphis. I know now Dave 100% wants to be here
— Robert J Pera (@RobertPera) May 25, 2014
Fox Sports reported on Sunday night that coach Joerger had the Timberwolves coaching position locked up until he spoke with Pera. Now that Joerger is returning to Memphis, Minnesota is back to square one. With another coach off the table and so many coaching vacancies remaining in the NBA, who will end up with the Timberwolves?
The Kevin Love trade rumors create a serious problem for the Minnesota Timberwolves in selecting their next coach. Love is obviously the most attractive reason why any coach would come to Minnesota. If Love doesn’t want to be with the Timberwolves, then either the team will trade him or keep their star very unhappy for one season before he jets in the summer of 2015. What coach wants to walk into that situation?
Current Timberwolves coaching rumors focus on Sam Mitchell, Flip Saunders himself, and another former Grizzlies coach, Lionel Hollins. Another development in the NBA is also working against Minnesota. Coaches increasingly want more front office responsibility, a la Stan Van Gundy in Detroit. Flip Saunders has a firm fist on the Timberwolves and isn’t going anywhere soon. So, Minnesota can only offer coaches an opportunity to coach an unhappy all star with no say in personnel decisions as the team moves forward.
All of these mounting factors point to the reality of the Minnesota Timberwolves trade rumors coming true. Unless they are willing to settle for an unproven, little known coach, the Timberwolves need to trade Kevin Love before the draft and collect assets. At least then, they can promise a future full of bright young stars who want to be in Minnesota.
Until they deal with them, the Minnesota Timberwolves rumors involving a Kevin Love trade will keep them from finding the right coach.
[Image via Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports]