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Broken Windows

Myles Brown —  June 25, 2010 — 6 Comments

My partner and I have made our stance on rumors quite clear. It’s more prudent to provide worthwhile analysis of the developments at hand than to frustrate both ourselves and our readers with idle speculation. There is a distinct difference between foresight and hindsight.

The time has come for the latter.

David Kahn was roundly mocked for his selection of of four point guards last year, but I defended the move since Jonny Flynn was considered to be the best player available after securing Ricky Rubio, our intended target. I considered all the talk of the two sharing a court to be nothing more than posturing as we built Flynn’s trade value. Unfortunately, Flynn posted a woeful assist to turnover ratio, displayed a questionable shot selection and was no more of a defensive threat than a plastic spoon.

Nonetheless, another struggling franchise in Indiana was reportedly willing to take Flynn on as a project in exchange for the tenth pick in last night’s draft. Sayeth the Kahn? “We turned it down in a second.”

Why? Management and fans alike made no secret of their desire for Evan Turner, though according to the rumor mill, Philadelphia was unwilling to part with their pick for anything less than a king’s ransom. But were they so intent on unloading Elton Brand that they’d reject an offer of the 4th and 10th pick? It’s impossible to know now, but why would they be so committed to emptying their frontcourt without a suitable replacement? Are they that confident in Spencer Hawes? Weren’t they enamored with Derrick Favors? Have they no use for DeMarcus Cousins? Was such a proposal even discussed? Surely there was room for negotiation.

It would have been worth pursuing. Instead we drafted Wesley Johnson, a fine prospect, but hardly a bourgeoning All-Star and more importantly, a duplicate of the All-Star free agent we’re supposedly pursuing. Johnson and Rudy Gay are both small forwards and the imbalance of such a perimeter is readily apparent. Turner-a natural shooting guard- is the more suitable complement and thus, the more enticing option in convincing Rudy to walk away from Memphis.

Now what? This means they’re passing on Gay, right? Or are they trying to gain the confidence of yet another reluctant player after drafting someone who plays his position? Every salary dump by the likes of Chicago and Miami makes $15 million in Minnesota seem all the more paltry and each confounding move by Kahn only compounds the situation. At this point the money seems best suited to absorb another contract, a move we just refused to make. Furthermore, any trade must involve not only another player, but another GM and few-if any-are willing to deal with ours.

As Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported: “Under general manager David Kahn, the Wolves are becoming the organization that no one wants to send players. Kahn’s condescending, abrasive style is frustrating to rival GMs and agents because few people believe he has the background, knowledge or credentials to even hold the job. To his credit, Kahn did hire a personable assistant GM, Tony Ronzone, who can work the phones for him.”

This is a business built on not only on the acquisition of talent, but establishing relationships. This year’s NBA Finals is indicative of as much, since both Los Angeles and Boston valuted into championship contention with a little help from some old friends. In light of this, Kahn’s insistence on isolating himself with such a haughty attitude is more than disconcerting. In fact, given the frequency with which the words have been coupled, it’s worthy of an addition to the lexicon…

kahndescending (kon-di-sen-ding) adj. -displaying a patronizingly superior attitude depsite questionable decision making

To many, Kahn’s prideful disdain for his detractors has been visible for quite some time, but I initially interpreted it as coyness and admirably watched him clear cap space while acquiring assets. Now I’m not sure he even knows what to do with them and find myself frighteningly close to joining the chorus. I can’t hold back much longer.