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.