2013 Offseason

David Kahn is reportedly out as Wolves' President of Basketball Ops


Is it time to Flip out?

Let’s just cut to the chase. Our friend Steve Aschburner of NBA.com is reporting that the Wolves are working out a four-year, $9 million that will bring Flip Saunders in to be the president of basketball operations. David Kahn is currently the president of basketball operations. So that leaves us with a math problem here.

You have one president of basketball operations already. You want to bring in another basketball of operations but you only have room for ONE president of basketball operations. So in order to accomplish this move, what mathematic operation do you need to accomplish this goal? I’ll have the answer to this math problem after an excerpt from Asch’s column on NBA.com:

Former NBA head coach Flip Saunders is expected to return to the Minnesota Timberwolves as the team’s next president of basketball operations, NBA.com has learned.

Saunders, 58, has been negotiating a contract that, with option years, could run through the 2017-18 season and could be worth more than $9 million over the full five years, according to league sources who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the hiring.

The move, which could become official as soon as next week, would end David Kahn‘s controversial tenure after four seasons and an 89-223 record during which the Timberwolves’ failure to reach the playoffs stretched to nine consecutive seasons. Kahn’s contract includes a team option for 2013-14 that will not be exercised.

The answer to the math problem above is SUBTRACTION. You use subtraction. And really if the reports are true, it’s addition by subtraction.

According to a few people around the Wolves and the NBA that I’ve talked to, Kahn was never supposed to be making the basketball decisions of the organization when he was hired back in May of 2009. He was supposed to handle the contracts, money and business side of it. For whatever reason (details have been murky about this), Kahn ended up being the de facto decision-maker when it came to the actual basketball side of this. Again, I have no idea if this is the absolute truth here but I’ve been told it by a handful of people, so I think there’s some partial truth in there.

He was asked to fill a role he wasn’t really capable of doing, and he was asked to do it for years. During those years, he managed to alienate the majority of the fan base, a lot of people around the league, and even his own star player. He always made cheap, high reward-low risk moves that never came to fruition and tried to trade Love multiple times (even after his breakout season). And now he’s being replaced by Flip Saunders, who may or may not be a good front office decision-maker.

We also don’t know if Adelman is going to leave or not. What we do know is if this report is true and this is settled by next week, a big cloud over the organization has dissipated. It doesn’t mean another cloud can’t replace it, but for now, you can start to feel confident about the continued direction this team seems to be headed.


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0 thoughts on “David Kahn is reportedly out as Wolves' President of Basketball Ops

  1. Great news. Now let’s hope that Adelman stays another year. If he doesn’t, there are runors that McHale will be available so Flip could hire him and then fire him to make it even. No, I don’t want McHale back. Not even as coach.

  2. Just this simple fact that Kevin Love can’t stand Kahn has to make this a good move, right? Flip will at least bring us some instant credibility and we did NOT want Kahn handling this offseason. I don’t love the idea of the country club but at least Flip has shown some basketball knowledge in his time.

  3. I hope this is true for the very reason Zach points out that Kahn should never have been in charge of personnel evaluation. I wouldn’t even mind if he were kept in the organization as a salary cap guru, because he has done some good things there. I am a bit worried about what this might mean for Adelman, but he’s either going to decide to retire to spend time with his wife and I doubt bringing in Saunders would have anything to do with that either way or, if he does stick around, I’m going to presume that Taylor has enough sense to have run the idea of hiring Saunders by Adelman before pulling the trigger. Granted, this might be an overly-optimistic presumption given Taylor’s history as team owner.

  4. I’m having trouble deciding how much better Flip will be in this situation. I’m leaning towards a “lesser of two evils” approach, though. Hope to dear god this doesn’t result in a setback for the team. They were finally looking promising. Here’s to a couple good years of development and hopefully some playoff games in the Target Center!

  5. Very glad that this is happening well before the draft, so Flip will have time to prepare. Info I had was that Kahn’s option year wouldn’t officially start until after the NBA finals, which is like a few days before the draft. The thought of Kahn being around during another NBA draft, with two 1st rounders at his disposal, was absolutely TERRIFYING to me. Taylor has dragged his feet on big decisons in the past, but very glad he is not dragging his feet this time.

  6. What the heck? If it wasn’t the intent for Kahn to make basketball decisions (only contact numbers crunching), how on earth did he end up doing that for 4 years? (More like 3 years, really, because Adelman seems to have had most of the say on personnel this past year… what a blessing). Did Kahn somehow convince/charm Taylor into believing that he was actually good at talent evaluation? Kahn did some good things. But when I think about the 1st round picks that were squandered and see the way Curry and George have flourished this year, I want to puke.

  7. Yeah, the notion that Kahn wasn’t supposed to be making basketball decisions is absurd on its face, and sounds like after-the-fact spin. He was, after all, hired to be the “President of Basketball Operations” and made the boss of the other basketball folks in the organization at the time (Hoiberg, Babcock, McHale).

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