NBA draft

Broken Windows

My partner and I have made our stance on rumors quite clear. It’s more prudent to provide worthwhile analysis of the developments at hand than to frustrate both ourselves and our readers with idle speculation. There is a distinct difference between foresight and hindsight.

The time has come for the latter.

David Kahn was roundly mocked for his selection of of four point guards last year, but I defended the move since Jonny Flynn was considered to be the best player available after securing Ricky Rubio, our intended target. I considered all the talk of the two sharing a court to be nothing more than posturing as we built Flynn’s trade value. Unfortunately, Flynn posted a woeful assist to turnover ratio, displayed a questionable shot selection and was no more of a defensive threat than a plastic spoon.

Nonetheless, another struggling franchise in Indiana was reportedly willing to take Flynn on as a project in exchange for the tenth pick in last night’s draft. Sayeth the Kahn? “We turned it down in a second.”

Why? Management and fans alike made no secret of their desire for Evan Turner, though according to the rumor mill, Philadelphia was unwilling to part with their pick for anything less than a king’s ransom. But were they so intent on unloading Elton Brand that they’d reject an offer of the 4th and 10th pick? It’s impossible to know now, but why would they be so committed to emptying their frontcourt without a suitable replacement? Are they that confident in Spencer Hawes? Weren’t they enamored with Derrick Favors? Have they no use for DeMarcus Cousins? Was such a proposal even discussed? Surely there was room for negotiation.

It would have been worth pursuing. Instead we drafted Wesley Johnson, a fine prospect, but hardly a bourgeoning All-Star and more importantly, a duplicate of the All-Star free agent we’re supposedly pursuing. Johnson and Rudy Gay are both small forwards and the imbalance of such a perimeter is readily apparent. Turner-a natural shooting guard- is the more suitable complement and thus, the more enticing option in convincing Rudy to walk away from Memphis.

Now what? This means they’re passing on Gay, right? Or are they trying to gain the confidence of yet another reluctant player after drafting someone who plays his position? Every salary dump by the likes of Chicago and Miami makes $15 million in Minnesota seem all the more paltry and each confounding move by Kahn only compounds the situation. At this point the money seems best suited to absorb another contract, a move we just refused to make. Furthermore, any trade must involve not only another player, but another GM and few-if any-are willing to deal with ours.

As Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported: “Under general manager David Kahn, the Wolves are becoming the organization that no one wants to send players. Kahn’s condescending, abrasive style is frustrating to rival GMs and agents because few people believe he has the background, knowledge or credentials to even hold the job. To his credit, Kahn did hire a personable assistant GM, Tony Ronzone, who can work the phones for him.”

This is a business built on not only on the acquisition of talent, but establishing relationships. This year’s NBA Finals is indicative of as much, since both Los Angeles and Boston valuted into championship contention with a little help from some old friends. In light of this, Kahn’s insistence on isolating himself with such a haughty attitude is more than disconcerting. In fact, given the frequency with which the words have been coupled, it’s worthy of an addition to the lexicon…

kahndescending (kon-di-sen-ding) adj. -displaying a patronizingly superior attitude depsite questionable decision making

To many, Kahn’s prideful disdain for his detractors has been visible for quite some time, but I initially interpreted it as coyness and admirably watched him clear cap space while acquiring assets. Now I’m not sure he even knows what to do with them and find myself frighteningly close to joining the chorus. I can’t hold back much longer.

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0 thoughts on “Broken Windows

  1. This might be reading too much into it, but I think Kahn got a little too proud this year. I think all the talk of him being seen as an “easy mark” led him to fear getting “bullied” into moving up.

    They have every right to be down on Cousins (the draft’s last consensus potential star-level type prospect, albeit with an uncomfortable uncertainty to him). But since that was the case, given the cache of picks and other moveable assets they had, I thought it was imperative they move to 2 or 3.

    Wes Johnson’s a member now and I’ll root for him; but this team shouldn’t be content to add potential third wheels at this point.

  2. Um…you’re already blasting the guy and have in several posts already. Instead of doing what the national media likes to do and rack on the wolves why not suggest positive moves or potentials instead. If you’re a wolves fan why write articles that are essentially the same as pissing up a flag pole and bringing the organization down?

  3. @ Jon
    Hey, I was a wolves fan too until this last draft showed that they were clueless (maybe not Tony Ronzone; have heard really good things about him as an international scout.) Anyhow, it appears that Glenn Taylor does not know how to hire competent employees in the NBA; when he bought the team McHale was the GM and the only GM he really knew and let him drive the team into the ground. So Glenn listened to David Stern and Donnie Walsh and hired their friend Kahn. Whoops!
    I sincerely believe that with Taylor owning the team the Timberwolves will always be incompetent. And the only way to let him know that he should sell the team is if the fans tell him he should in the only ways they can: by bitching in public and refusing to buy tickets.

  4. Props for the Sealab clip and a new word which will enter my everyday vocabulary.

    I really wonder if there is an overarching plan. I was totally giving Kahn the benefit of the doubt until Thursday night. All I saw was a lot of confusion and safe picks despite the fact that we need a home run.

  5. People are way to quick to judge Jonny Flynn and way to harshly as well. Jonny did not have a bad year, he was a rookie PG on a new team that wasn’t very good with a new first time head coach and had to learn to run a new offensive system. People’s expectations are completely unreasonable, Flynn just turned 21 and his upside is without limits. I believe that he can emerge as a elite PG like Rajon Rondo has in just his fourth season. It would be crazy to give up on Flynn or bad mouth him in favor of Rubio after just one season. Jonny Flynn is the real deal just be patient and give him time.

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