Lazar Hayward traded to Oklahoma City

Zach Harper —  December 13, 2011 — 10 Comments

Timberwolves have announced that Lazar Hayward is no longer on the team.

They acquired Robert Vaden and two future second round picks for Hayward and then promptly waived Robert Vaden. Now the Wolves can sign JJ Barea without having to amnesty anybody and pick up a couple second round picks in the process. Not bad, I guess.

I’m going to miss Lazar. He and Wes Johnson were very jovial with each other during their Media Day appearance together. They roomed with each other this past summer during the lockout. Hopefully, this decision doesn’t keep the Wolves from securing Wes Johnson with a contract extension in three years.

Here are the highlights of Lazar Hayward that I could find on YouTube.

I’ll tell you… nobody made layups like Lazar Hayward. NOBODY! So many layups. He also had one of Jonny Flynn’s assists by the looks of the video. That’s like catching a no-hitter in baseball.

In all seriousness, I liked Lazar on the team but I wasn’t married to the idea of him having to be here. He was at a crowded position and will hopefully get a better chance to provide some scoring off the bench in OKC. Good luck, Lazar.

Zach Harper

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10 responses to Lazar Hayward traded to Oklahoma City

  1. You have to hand it to Kahn, in terms of money management and sneaky cost cutting he is a fine GM. I don’t know how fans feel but Glen Taylor should be pretty happy with him.

    Kahn took the 23rd pick in 2010 and traded it for the 30th and 35th picks saving him money on the guaranteed contract on the first rounder, and then drafted a guy with the 35th pick who is signed for the next 5 years in Europe and so is a throwaway at the top of the second round. The casual fan just says “23 for 30 and 35, that’s not bad.” Money in the bank for Taylor, team is slightly worse off but not so much people really care. Then he trades Hayward (who as a first round pick had a guaranteed 4-year deal, albeit a cheap one) for two low second round picks which Kahn probably plans to sell for cash in 2012 and 2013. The average fan says “hey, Hayward wasn’t that great and he was a low first round pick, two second round picks seems about right.” Money in the bank for Taylor, team is slightly worse off but not so much people really care.

    Same thing with the 20th pick in the 2009 draft that became Ty Lawson. Kahn trades it for a first round pick the following year, even though it is unlikely the Nugs pick will be high and the next year’s draft is not forecasted to be particularly good. But that’s one more guaranteed contract that can be deferred. The average fan says “we just drafted two point guards and he got a first rounder back, I guess that’s okay.” Money in the bank for Taylor, team is slightly worse off but not so much people really care. The pick ends up being #16 overall, Kahn trades it with Ryan Gomes for Martell Webster. Webster and Gomes’ contracts are basically a wash but Kahn is saved drafting a midround pick who will likely be a bust (non-obvious prospect evaluation not being a Kahn strength) and giving him a four years of guaranteed money. Webster is Kahn’s favorite kind of acquisition – an OK young player with a shortish below MLE contract with a final year buyout, upside not probable but possible enough to intrigue fans, a player easy to move and easy to keep. Money in the bank for Taylor, team is not necessarily worse off only because it is highly unlikely Kahn would have drafted anyone good out of the lottery, but in any event people don’t really care.

    The bottom line is even with his odd antics and so-so talent evaluation Kahn is very good at saving Glen Taylor money while keeping the fans moderately satisfied. So perhaps he is actually a pretty good small-market GM. We don’t necessarily give him enough credit for what he is.

  2. Joking? Kahn is terrible. These moves are stupid and don’t improve the team. If “saving money for your owner” is the metrics of a good GM, then yes, I guess Kahn is the best in the business.

  3. I once scored 63 points with Lazar in a pivotal playoff game against Dallas in NBA2K11. You will be missed Lazar.

  4. Mac, your post was really long and largely nonsensical. The average fan has been highly upset with Kahn’s moves. Kahn did a good job of clearing out some really bad contracts, but the fans have not been all that happy to see the team not get any better. They’ll hopefully be better this year, but even that may not work out.

  5. Mac,

    You are exactly right. Khan’s strength is asset management, not player procurement. Ultimately, Glen Taylor is his boss, not the fans. it is much more important for Khan to lease Glen Taylor than Minny’s loyal fan base. When Rambis was fired this year, the Wolves owed him a ton of Glen Taylors Money. Khan repeatedly traded back a pick in the draft for a later pick plus cash, and was able to get other teams to step up and pay for Rambis’s severance by negating only one asset.

    I don’t think that Khan or Taylor gives a damn about what fans though of these moves- ultimately, this seemingly unimportant move saved Glen Taylor millions of dollars. Let me ask all the haters this: If you saved your boss 2-3 million dollars with an idea, would you get fired??

    Khan’s greatest failing is in the media. He routinely comes off as a goofball who is unprepared for interviews. That is not a quality I look for in a GM, but it is not a reason to fire someone who keeps the team financially solvent.

    The Wolves HAVE already addressed this, by giving RJ Adelman a larger role in player procurement.

    The worst contract on the Wolves team is the one that pays Darko a measly 5 mil for the next 2 years- that is a wonderful situation to be in , and teams like the Raptors, Suns, Pistons, Cavs, Bobcats, Magic, and Hawks would kill to have that be the worst contract on their books.

    It’s time for Wolves fans to realize that Khan is not even close to the worst GM in this sport. He is not a top 10 GM by any means, but unless someone comes along who is a top 10 GM, I don’t want Khan fired.

  6. *please* not lease- sorry!

  7. I have to agree with Nate. Kahn is most definitely not the worst GM in the NBA/sports/universe. At first I was just happy to get McHale out of the GM spot but I found Kahn’s blatant truth telling (no matter how stumbling and awkward) VERY refreshing and I love how he has cleaned house. I would literally take him as a GM over 2/3 of the NBA’s current GM’s. To quote the great Pedro Cerrano “YOU HAVE NO MARBLES” (he would be metaphorically speaking to other NBA GM’s)

  8. Mike,

    I’ve got to take issue with your comment- “Kahn did a good job of clearing out some really bad contracts, but the fans have not been all that happy to see the team not get any better.”

    The team didn’t get any better?

    Rubio, Love, Beasley, and Williams is not a better core than the ’09 minutes played leaders of Jefferson, Gomes, Brewer and Flynn?

    I readily admit that the wins total hasn’t changed much, but it is willful ignorance to pretend that we don’t have a better team now than we did in Khan’s first offseason.

  9. Kahn hired Adelman. If landing Rubio + Derrick Williams was his KG moment (as well keeping the right guy between Love and Jefferson), then adding Adelman was his Cassell + Spree moment.

    Also, if anyone’s noticed, RJ is making most of the personnel calls these days. Let Kahn do what he’s good at – contracts and details.

  10. Nate you are right. I’m obviously being tongue-in-cheek when I praise Kahn, as my whole point is that he is basically pretending to serve the Wolves fanbase when in fact his job is to save Glen Taylor money while fielding a reasonable facsimile of an NBA team, and to the extent he can exceed expectations with the latter, it is a happy coincidence as far as his boss is concerned. I’m not saying it makes him a great GM or someone Wolves fans can trust to really build a quality team, I’m saying he is smarter and more complex than the average fan thinks (as evidenced here by some quite average fans). People love to bash his moves and say he’s stupid but he’s stupid like a fox, as Homer Simpson would say.

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