Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 6/27/12
MINNEAPOLIS Before the Timberwolves' final game on April 26, coach Rick Adelman joked about his return to the team for the 2012-13 season.He'd be back, he said, unless someone knew something he didn't. It was a confirmation, of course, but hardly a ringing endorsement. Adelman admitted he was tired, and rightfully so. The man looked exhausted, the wrinkles around his eyes more pronounced, his shoulders sagging deeper than they had in January.Rick Adelman was accustomed to winning, and the team's 1-12 record in April didn't mesh with his expectations. Neither did the collapse that was about to take place that night, a 131-102 loss to Golden State.Adelman said he'd be back, but it was hard not to wonder if maybe, just maybe, he might have had some doubts. He's 66 years old, after all, and has posted just three losing records in his 20 full seasons as a head coach. The Timberwolves are likely his last hurrah, and if he felt he wouldn't be able to turn them around, then what would be the incentive to return?On Wednesday, Adelman sat at a microphone, two seats down from Timberwolves president of basketball operations David Kahn and beside the team's new small forward, Chase Budinger. Adelman sat and spoke, and there was no doubt that he is committed to the Timberwolves and they to him.It wasn't Adelman's presence that signified that dual commitment. It was Budinger's. Adelman coached Budinger in Houston in 2009-10 and 2010-11, his first two years in the league. The small forward fit well in Adelman's system, and the Rockets staff was impressed with how much the 44th pick in the 2009 draft exceeded expectations.Adelman likes Budinger. That's easy to see. He calls him a playmaker, lauds his attitude and work ethic. But the league has plenty of playmakers, lots of hard-working guys with good work ethics. Some are free agents, others the team could have traded for. And instead, they chose Budinger.At the end of last season, Adelman emphasized that he'd taken the Timberwolves job with the understanding that he'd be involved in the team's offseason moves. He wanted input, and he's earned it. Sixteen NBA playoff berths when your general manager and two biggest stars have zero in their current roles will earn a man those rights, and the Timberwolves would have been ignorant to ignore Adelman's call for input.But one never knows. It's hard to predict how those relationships go, how coordination between business and basketball might falter or even explode. One party might want a big name, the other a more specialized player. There are always financial considerations along those of attitude and team chemistry, and sometimes, that's too much to gel.Chase Budinger is a statement that it can work. It's the first major move of Adelman's tenure, a statement that the Timberwolves are committed to their coach's unique system and vision. For anyone who's followed Adelman's career, who's spoken to him or even read about him, that's encouraging.This isn't a knock on Kahn or a jab at Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. It's not to say that the team couldn't have won eventually with the three of them and no Adelman. But it's hard to ignore the benefits a coach like Adelman can bring if a franchise allows him to work to the fullest extent of his abilities, off the court as well as on it.So Chase Budinger just became a bit more exciting. Not that he wasn't already though no superstar, he fills the team's most obvious needs going into the offseason and has the potential for growth. But beyond that, Budinger represents a commitment. He represents a future that could follow the pattern of Adelman's past. He's proof that there's an easy (easier?) way to build this team, one that's logical and makes sense.Last season, it was difficult for Adelman to fully implement his corner offense with just a two-week training camp and a schedule that yielded almost no practice time. Players admitted that adjusting to the new coach was taking time, yet they still respected him and bought in completely to what he was doing. This summer and next season will be the first real trial of Adelman's offense in its full-fledged state in Minnesota, and having Budinger on board will make that process easier. He knows what he's in for, and he said that he plays his best within Adelman's offense. Putting a system in place is still going to be difficult with so many young players and such lofty goals, so why make it any more difficult?After so many years in the game, basketball must be a routine to Adelman. But what's second nature to the coach is still a stretch for the Timberwolves, for this group that's so rife with both potential and immaturity. It only seems logical to give the coach some greater measure of influence, and though Chase Budinger might not be the biggest name the team adds this offseason, he's likely the acquisition that best represents the direction in which the Timberwolves are moving.Follow Joan Niesen on Twitter.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Suns not buying Bledsoe's excuse for eyebrow-raising tweet

Winners and losers from 'Monday Night Football' in Week 7

Eight things the college football polls got wrong for Week 9

Dwight Freeney set to meet with Seahawks, take physical

Draymond Green taunts Dennis Smith after denying dunk attempt

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Metta World Peace hired by G-League team as assistant coach

Hue Jackson: Kizer's night out won't affect QB decision

Watch video of Duke basketball’s weird pep rally, with players dancing and more

Steph Curry consoles Devin Harris’ nephew, who lost father in car accident

Dodgers/Astros could be a World Series for the ages

Marcin Gortat fires back at LaVar Ball, defends John Wall

Dodgers, Astros top all-time postseason highlights

The 'Best offense is a good defense' quiz

Path to the 2017 World Series - Houston Astros

MLS Decision Day: East to be a rumble while West up for grabs

Most prominent sports bans on the 5th anniversary of the Lance Armstrong ban

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cubs owner up for Heritage Foundation post

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

Timberwolves News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Path to the 2017 World Series - Los Angeles Dodgers

Path to the 2017 World Series - Houston Astros

Dodgers, Astros top all-time postseason highlights

The 'Best offense is a good defense' quiz

MLS Decision Day: East to be a rumble while West up for grabs

Most prominent sports bans on the 5th anniversary of the Lance Armstrong ban

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cubs owner up for Heritage Foundation post

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker