AP sources: Kahn’s option won’t be picked up, Flip Saunders in place

Zach Harper —  May 2, 2013 — 6 Comments

Flip it!

On the latest episode of Flip This House, Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has reportedly agreed to a contract with Flip Saunders to be the new president of basketball operations. This means the old president of basketball operations, David Kahn, is not going to have his team option for next season picked up. 

Our friend Jon Krawczynski of the AP reported it first (well, a week after our friend Steve Aschburner said this was happening soon) and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports has confirmed the news:

But this is really happening now.

As I’ve stated before, I have no idea what Flip Saunders is going to be like as a president, and we still don’t know what the status of Rick Adelman is going to be for the upcoming season. Adelman’s return will be the key to this team continuing to move in the right direction (which I feel they are). But Saunders isn’t David Kahn and that has to count for something. I’ve talked to multiple executives of varying levels of importance with their respective franchises around the league who have told me they hoped Kahn would continue to have a job past this season.

I feel like whenever the competition is hoping a guy stays in charge of the way a team is run, that’s probably not a good thing for your team.

With Kahn out, there really shouldn’t be much of an issue making Kevin Love happy about what the organization is and whom it is run by. And as long as Rick is around and assuming the team can stay healthy, it should ease up a lot of the paranoia surrounding Love leaving then Rubio leaving then the organization being back at square one again. Getting this done well before the draft scouting gets ramped up (lottery is 19 days away) and well before free agency begins is a good decision by Taylor and the organization.

Kahn was never big on Nikola Pekovic being a starting center in the NBA (at least before last season, I’m not sure if that changed his mind). I have no idea if Saunders is a fan, but Adelman certainly is. I assume the two will work diligently together to build the roster, evaluate what works, and find a compromise on what the team should look like. So we’ve potentially seen Taylor eliminate one big obstacle involving his two best big men sticking around long-term.

As of right now, I think this should allow Wolves fans (myself included) to relax a little bit on the direction of the franchise. I don’t think there’s even a scapegoat right now. In fact, there’s nothing really to blame for anything right now. This might be what it feels like to be on the verge of success with this franchise. It’s been roughly 17 years since we’ve felt this way so it might take some re-familiarizing, but I think we can do it.

UPDATE: The Wolves have confirmed Kahn’s firing/option not being picked up.

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that the team has declined to exercise the one-year option in David Kahn’s contract for the 2013-14 NBA season, and as a result, he will not return as President of Basketball Operations. Kahn was originally hired by the Timberwolves on May 22, 2009.

“We want to thank David for all of his efforts the past four years with our basketball team,” said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. “These are always difficult decisions, but at this time, we believe it is in the best interest of our organization to make a change. We wish David all the best in the future.”

Zach Harper

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6 responses to AP sources: Kahn’s option won’t be picked up, Flip Saunders in place

  1. This is good for Wolves fans, regardless, but what are the odds Love doesn’t ultimately blame ownership? Kahn was a clown, sure, but he was Glen Taylor’s clown.

  2. It’s possible he’ll eventually blame ownership if things don’t go well, but from what I’ve been told by a few people, including people very close to the situation, Love and Taylor have a good relationship and Love and Kahn had a HORRIBLE relationship. I mean… HORRIBLE.

  3. Zach, do you think his statement of “taking bullets for this team” has any validity? Jerry Zgoda has mentioned in the past that Taylor wanted Kahn to dump Jefferson’s deal, and it’s long been speculated that the trading back to nothing in ’11 was to finance Rambis’ buyout.

  4. How long until Flip brings T-Hud back with a multi-year deal? I mean, he had a great series against the Lakers once upon a time! Plus he could do some music at halftime every now and then. Here’s to hoping Flip was not behind that move back in the olden days and that he is as great at this as he was as a coach.

  5. One major problem is that Glen seems to lack imagination. Bringing Flip back (like the previous recycling of Sid Lowe, Randy Wittman, Rob Babcock and others) is hardly a gutsy move. Finding the next Sam Presti is not something he’d do. If Adelman doesn’t coach I fully expect Terry Porter will get the job, which is hardly inspiring, given that he was poor in Milwaukee, Phoenix and subbing for Rick.

    Secondly the idea that Flip now has an ownership stake means that even if he stinks he’ll be hard to get rid of.

    Flip will be lucky that, barring another injury filled season, the team will almost certainly be better next year, just by being healthier.

  6. Hey Zach,

    If Adelman decides not to come back, what about Fred Hoiberg?

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