David Kahn writes a check

Myles Brown —  May 18, 2011 — 9 Comments

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Everyone enjoys a good story. Except David Kahn.

But before we go any further, let it be said that the man has a point. Abe Pollin’s widow and Dan Gilbert’s son weren’t ‘lucky’, they were pitiable. So much, in fact, that we couldn’t bear to watch life deal them another disappointment. Their tragedies were meant only to serve as a prologue to glory; for such is the magic of the draft lottery in David Stern’s NBA. Look, my heart is all aflutter just typing it.

But it does seem a bit too…neat, no?

Kahn however, is neither neat nor pitiable. Practically every statement he makes is assured to bewilder, provoke or offend. Whether it be an acknowledgement of a player’s past or an assessment of their future, the man can’t help but provide us with fodder. So it should come as no surprise that his thoughts on last night’s proceedings have raised a few eyebrows.

“This league has a habit, and I am just going to say habit, of producing some pretty incredible story lines,” Kahn said. “Last year it was Abe Pollin’s widow and this year it was a 14-year-old boy and the only thing we have in common is we have both been bar mitzvahed. We were done. I told Kevin: ‘We’re toast.’ This is not happening for us and I was right.”

The underlying implication is clear: The draft is rigged. Surely Kahn will be fined for either tampering with the league’s mandated narrative or merely suggesting that they have one. However, he should also be asked if this is the prologue to yet another variation of his oft repeated mantra: It’s not my fault.

In this instance, indeed it isn’t. Yet that shouldn’t shield him from any scorn if he bungles another lottery pick, which isn’t far from likely. Kahn has managed cap space well and seemingly gotten the better end of a few trades, but the draft remains his undoing. He’s picked sixth or higher three times in the last two drafts with only one All-Rookie Second Team appearance to show for it. He passed on six All-Rookie First Team members in that same span.

Yet despite such failings and the .200 winning percentage to match, Kahn is adamant that the blame shouldn’t lie with him. The talent is here, he insists, they’re just young and perhaps in need of a better coach. Rubio is coming, we’re assured, and once he arrives our high octane offense will have its conduit.

All the talk of patience, progress and prospects serves only to buy Kahn time. Time to woo his reluctant savior and maybe even happen upon another fortuitous trade. Who knows? He might pull it off. It was just a short time ago that Chris Wallace was the league’s resident boob and you’d be hard pressed to find a critic now.

If he doesn’t pull it off? Hell, everyone loves a good comedy, right?

 


Myles Brown

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9 responses to David Kahn writes a check

  1. Well, perhaps the Wolves can send Kahn and Rambis’ wives to the NBA lottery next year, the wives of two unemployed and possibly unemployable men being sent on a fool’s errand by the team that dumped their husbands on their asses, maybe that will generate the fake pathos that Kahn insists is needed to win the lottery. For once he’ll have contributed to something good that involves the words “Timberwolves” and “draft” and not “Nuggets”.

  2. Mac, I don’t think the wolves have a 1st round pick next year. It’s going to the clippers, no?

  3. @Jeff

    Good point! I’m sure Kahn will spin this into “I promised we will be out of the lottery within three years, and technically, that did happen.”

  4. Wow, I stopped reading your posts for a couple months because I just got busy and the Wolves started to drop in interest for me….But you’ve turned rather dramatically on Kahn. You went from kind of acceptance to utter disdain in about 2 months.

    Don’t blame you. I kind of agree with the idea that his roster isn’t that bad and he needs a better coach, but I would just as soon fire the guy because if we hire a new coach it wouldn’t be putting him in the best chance to succeed

    As far as a blue print for getting this franchise to be more competitive? I’ll take a stab at it:

    Trade Beasley to Denver for Wilson Chandler (sign and trade) and a 2012 first round pick
    Trade #2 pick and Webster to OKC for James Harden and a 2012 first round pick.

    This gives us 2 2012 picks, even though both will be mid to late first rounders it is good to have something (if nothing else we can package to trade up) and a potential starting lineup that looks like

    Rubio, Harden, Chandler, Love, Darko

    So we have an almost competitve starting lineup of quality players that maybe could win enough games to keep the Clippers from dimming a top 3 pick out of the deal.

  5. Justin, as much as I would prefer Chandler to Beasley, I can’t believe that Denver would give him up for BEasy, ESPECIALLY not with a first rounder thrown in. Chandler is, frankly, a better player than Beasley, and we would have to offer a lot more to get Chandler by himself.

    Same goes for Harden, who the Thunder probably value much more highly than anyone they could get with the #2 pick this year (remember that he was the #3 pick, I believe). Given Webster’s injury issues, lack of playmaking ability, and lack of consistent performance, I would be shocked if they valued him as much as a first round pick in next year’s killer draft.

    I agree that we should be aggressively trying to trade pretty much everyone besides Love, but be realistic. We are not going to end up with pieces as good as Harden or Chandler.

    Maybe Denver would send us Chandler for the #2 and Beasley, maybe not. Maybe that isn’t worth it to us, depending on how good people think Derrick Williams is.

  6. I tend to agree with Lowell . . . although on paper Beasley had a nice enough season, in reality his improvement over years 1 and 2 with the Heat were minimal – he just played more and shot more. Although I realize it is not a be-all end-all stat, his PER has actually decreased each season since his rookie year. The Heat had to give him away, I would be hard pressed to see how this past season has improved his trade value from a second round pick / salary dump to Wilson Chandler and a first round pick.

    Likewise, Webster frankly hasn’t done anything the last 2-3 years to be much more than a replacement level player, and while he is still young after six seasons in the league why would a team think he has a lot of upside over what he has shown so far? As Lowell said Harden is clearly more valuable than the #2 pick and Webster is a net neutral to negative trade asset given his salary. And in any case, I don’t think it is bashing Kahn to say expecting him to pull a fast one over Sam Presti is probably wishful thinking.

    If Rubio will sign, I think the Wolves should draft Kanter who has the most upside and fills a need at center, and look to clear out a lot of the dead wood in the roster, just accepting that they are middling to poor NBA talent that isn’t going to make them winners nor worth anything as trade assets (Flynn, Ellington, Darko / Pekovic, Ellington, Webster). I’m not saying that Kahn made a mistake when he acquired any of these guys, but the bottom line is that bench players for a team that has won 32 games in the past two seasons aren’t worth anything.

  7. Oops, listed Ellington twice, I meant Heyward. Or Telfair. There’s a few of them.

  8. My theory with Chandler is I doubt Denver tries to resign him unless it’s for a sign and trade with another team

  9. So, you aren’t giving the wolves credit for the Love pick?

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