Archives For David Kahn


Kevin Love has once again voiced his lack of trust in the Wolves’ front office and once again, it’s eliciting the same reactions.

Here are a few snippets from Adrian Wojnarowski’s latest column, this time on Kevin and his uncertainty about his future in Minnesota:  Continue Reading…

After much anticipation, it’s now official. The Wolves have submitted an offer sheet for Nicolas Batum, a four year deal worth $46.5 million, giving the Blazers three days to either match the deal or allow Batum to leave. The move caps off a week that featured much wrangling and even more ill-feeling between the two teams. Portland has vowed to match any offer that Batum receives–though, according to Ric Bucher, they don’t believe that he is worth what the Wolves are offering–and they have stonewalled any attempts at a sign-and-trade, despite the Wolves’ rather generous offers.

According to both Jerry Zgoda at the Strib and Bucher at ESPN, the mutual stink-eye has many antecedents: the Wolves’ attempt to poach then-assistant GM Tom Penn away from the Blazers, which attempt, it turns out, was merely a play by Penn and Kevin Pritchard for more of Paul Allen’s money; the Wolves’ (rather lame) accusation that Portland concealed Martell Webster’s back injury before trading him to Minnesota two years ago; the Wolves’ signing of Brandon Roy, which will (via byzantine salary cap bylaws that I’m not going to explain) cost the Blazers $17 million.

Since some of these events occurred before David Kahn’s tenure as the Wolves’ VP of Basketball Ops, and since Allen is known to have a vindictive streak, Kahn can’t entirely be blamed for the Blazers’ unwillingness to be flexible. On the other hand, I’d refer you now to Kahn’s reputation for abrasiveness and high-handedness when dealing with other GM’s, the feeling that other teams’ front offices do not exactly relish dealing with the Wolves. One wonders if a savvier GM, one more skilled at the social nuances of negotiation, might not have gotten a deal done.

Befuddled by the process

Zach Harper —  June 25, 2012 — 3 Comments

The Timberwolves are confusing me.

There are some things we know for sure:

– This team plays at the Target Center.
– They currently have a team with two star-quality players in Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio.
– Rick Adelman is the head coach.
– Glen Taylor is the owner.
– David Kahn is the president of basketball operations.
– The Wolves currently possess the 18th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. They also have the 58th pick.
– They’re currently running one of the oddest draft processes a lot of people have ever seen.

I came back earlier from the Wolves’ workout of Will(ie) Barton, Ramone Moore, Yancy Gates and Garrett Stutz. This was Moore’s second time working out with the Wolves, so maybe they really like his chances of being available at 58 for some backcourt depth. Gates and Stutz are most likely irrelevant and just workout filler to get some big men in here to run some 2-on-2 sets that test guards.

This was Barton’s first workout with the Wolves. He’s been through so many workouts over the past month that he said he actually forgets what city he just came from most mornings. He’ll be in Indianapolis tomorrow and trying to remember that he was just here today. Barton has also been shooting up draft boards throughout this draft process.

When the Wolves pick at 18, it’s possible he’s the guy. When the Wolves pick at 18, it’s also possible Royce White will come home to make his NBA debut. It’s also possible that Fab Melo’s workout with the team Tuesday will vault him into being the 18th pick. Or maybe Draymond Green from Michigan State will get the nod because of his prior workout with the team.

Or what if… um… who else was here… Drew Gordon… yeah… what if Drew Gordon ends up being the pick for the Wolves? Is that a possibility?  Continue Reading…

Hold me close

Myles Brown —  January 25, 2012 — 11 Comments

Kevin Love just signed a four year contract for $61 millon. So he isn’t to be pitied. However, I’d like to think we can still discuss our misgivings without someone doling out cliched quips regarding men being paid to play a kid’s game. Right?

Our Wolves have recently enjoyed national attention for the captivating play of their stars and not the bumbling ineptitude, which fair or not, has come to be synonymous with this franchise. Yet with the eyes of the basketball world upon us, we’ve managed once again to dampen the forecast of what should be a bright future by slighting our best player.

It can’t be repeated enough. We’ve made it out of the first round just once in our 23 year history. We’ve posted just 32 wins in our last two seasons. We are a small market, cold weather franchise with no prestige and little realistic hopes of championship contention. Kevin Love wanted to stay here anyway. For five years, the maximum allowed. Management offered him four with an option to leave in three. Why?

The answer would seem to be in the doe eyed media darling, Ricky Rubio. As we know, only one five year extension can be offered per team and if it isn’t for Love then we’re left to assume that it currently belongs to Rubio. Now while Kevin is surely happy to have Ricky as a teammate, he must also find this insulting on some level.

Regardless of the complications of his buyout, the fact remains that Rubio was initially hesitant to join us here in Minneapolis. It was clear to anyone who saw him cross that stage on draft night, who listened to his uncomfortable conference call shortly after or read his tepid quotes of freezing weather. Now considering the complications of his buyout, we still had to wait two years for his arrival, whether he was excited to be here or not. In that time, Kevin Love grew from a dubious draft pick into a superstar.

Continue Reading…

In June of 2009, the Sacramento Kings were faced with a very tough decision. Do you draft for flash and marketability or do you try to change the culture of your organization?

At the time, the Kings were known as a “soft” organization, incapable of being consistently tough enough both mentally and physically. This identity, whether correct or not, had been stamped on the organization for the past decade. They were a wonderfully skilled team back in the Vlade-Webber-Peja triumvirate days, but as they continued to lose to the Lakers and couldn’t contain the power of Shaquille O’Neal year after year, they were tagged with the label of not being tough enough and not being a strong defensive team.

Looking back on this stigma, it was complete and utter guano. The early aught Kings were as good and as tough as any team in the NBA. Just because they couldn’t push Shaq out of post position time and time again had nothing to do with measuring just how macho they were as a unit. And yet there they were, labeled with being weak. After Chris Webber blew out his knee, the Kings struggled to find an identity. They traded C-Webb for more manageable roster parts, and tried to shift certain players here and there. After learning that Adelman wasn’t the problem (thanks for that, by the way!) and that turning Peja into Ron Artest wasn’t the solution, the Kings went back to the drawing board.

They had a tough decision to make. Do you draft the hype surrounding Ricky Rubio or do you take on a new identity with the soft-spoken and hard-driving Tyreke Evans?  Continue Reading…

Great heights

Benjamin Polk —  December 29, 2011 — Leave a comment

For all of the strange and bewildering things that David Kahn has done in his tenure as Wolves’ GM, I would argue that the national media has actually managed to overstate his ineptitude. But in the case of Ethan Sherwood Strauss’ Truehoop piece on height exaggeration in the NBA, I’d say that the rep is well-earned. As Strauss says, “perhaps I am cynical and paranoid, but I could easily envision a dystopian future where David Kahn successfully trades ‘7-1′ Michael Beasley.” Yeah I guess I could too.

Anyone who has spent any time in the Wolves’ locker room knows that Kevin Love is about as close to 6’10” as I am to six feet, which is to say not close. Strauss even presents some damning evidence: a photo of K-Love standing next to the 6’8″ Derrick Williams. Strauss generously says that Love is at Williams’ “height-level,” but it looks to me like Love is a even whisp shorter. And J.J. Barea at 6’0″? I have stood next to J.J. Barea and I will tell you now that he is not a hair taller than I am. I’m pretty proud of this.

It’s official. From the Wolves:

The Minnesota Timberwolves oday announced the team has reached an agreemnt in principle on a contract with Rick Adelman to become the 10th head coach in franchise history. Adelman ranks eighth all-time in NBA coaching wins with a 945-616 (.605 winning percentage) career record in 20 seasons as a head coach.

It’s not yet known if Adelman got the five years and $25 million he was after. Let’s not mince words. This is a major coup for Kahn and Taylor. Even before the months-long Kurt Rambis fiasco, I was of the belief that Adelman was the best case scenario for the Wolves. Hiring Adelman gives them legitimacy when the desperately need it; it gives them a coaching mind creative and experienced enough to blend the Wolves’ strange mix of talent; and it gives Kevin Love at least the beginnings of a reason to hang around. Not too bad. Let’s have a party.

Adelman updated

Benjamin Polk —  September 12, 2011 — 4 Comments

Update: This is still very much in rumor phase, but folks are saying here and here (and maybe more importantly, Kevin Love is tweeting) that Adelman has agreed to a deal. More later.

This from Jerry Zgoda at the Star-Tribune:

The Timberwolves have started negotiations to sign Rick Adelman as their next coach, league sources with knowledge of the search said Sunday.David Kahn, Timberwolves president of basketball operations, might know as soon as Monday whether he can land the man who has a .605 winning percentage in 20 seasons as a NBA head coach. Adelman, 65, is believed to be seeking a five-year contract worth at least $25 million.

That’s a lot of cheddar to give somebody if you don’t even know whether there’ll be a season. But considering the Wolves’ low payroll and the probability that every team’s basketball-related expenditures will be lower in the coming years, I say it’s a good investment. On the other hand, I have less than $100 in my checking account at the moment so I guess it’s easy for me to say.

Ronzone shuffles

Benjamin Polk —  September 4, 2011 — 8 Comments

So while I spent the early part of Labor Day weekend attempting to avoid being devoured by hawks and bears and mountain lions in the wilds of western New Mexico, Tony Ronzone and the Wolves went and “parted ways.” Jerks. Here’s what the AP has to say about it:

Philosophical differences between Kahn and Ronzone on the direction of the franchise started to surface around draft time in June and may have contributed to the split. It remains unclear what the Timberwolves will do, if anything, to replace Ronzone going forward.

Ah, good ol’ “philosophical differences.” Friends, this troubles me in a number of ways. It had always seemed to me that the two people in the Wolves’ upper-echelon who really, deeply knew the game were Kurt Rambis and Ronzone. Through all the surreality of the past year, it was nice to know that, somewhere near the top of the chain, was a guy whose decisions were based on things like data and close observation and experience.  Now they are both gone and, as commenter Mac says, Kahn has “nobody left to fire other than himself and the owner.”

Let’s be clear; we don’t know what these “philosophical differences” really amounted to.  But it is beginning to look like Kahn has a pretty generous view of his own expertise. The man seems to believe that he has a vision, but that vision is as inscrutable as ever.

Adelman in the flesh

Benjamin Polk —  August 23, 2011 — 4 Comments

Multiple sources (here and here) are reporting that Rick Adelman is in town today to have an actual face-to-face interview with Kahn, Taylor and Moor. Jerry Zgoda says this: “The Wolves brass worked for weeks to get Adelman to come in for more than a phone interview.  If he wants the job, and they can agree on a salary, the job is probably his.”

This is good; to my mind, Adelman is easily the best candidate on the team’s docket (with Sam Mitchell coming in a moderately distant second). Plus, you and I both know phone interviews are for suckers. It’s amusing how the Wolves seem to be teetering here between making an actual, substantial, good decision (hiring Adelman) and making an utterly rotten one (hiring, like, Don Nelson or Larry Brown).