“We envision Pek and Kevin Love being the ‘Bruise Brothers’ and forming one of the best front courts in the NBA for a long time to come.” —Flip Saunders
Archives For Flip Saunders
Model and process.
The San Antonio Spurs are the model franchise for those places that have trouble attracting free agents to move their families to a less than desirable location. When I say less desirable, it’s in relative terms. It’s hard to equate our lives to those of an NBA player, whose lifestyle will always be a different world to us. When you have the opportunity to live in a lively city that also has complementary amazing weather or unmatched nightlife, that’s going to be more desirable for you as an NBA player. When you don’t have those luxuries, you have to have a core set of values that never get compromised. You have to possess a process to believe in.
This is how the San Antonio Spurs are and it makes me insanely jealous. It’s not even that they’re successful. Sure, it would be awesome if the Wolves had four championships or even one championship to look up at in the rafters of the Target Center, but what I’m envious of is the process for how they look to accomplish their goals for success. Continue Reading…
A few notes here annotating Zach’s excellent summary of the Wolves’ first round.
It’s important to remember just how much uncertainty plays into these decisions. Especially when you’re drafting in the middle of the first round, and especially in a draft as zany as this one, GM’s are constantly recalibrating their matrices of risk and reward. There’s no occult knowledge here, no hidden absolutes. The draft game is a set of shifting uncertainties. In all likelihood, someone taken in the middle of the first round will become a Kawhi Leonard or a Larry Sanders or a Ty Lawson. And when they do we’ll all heap scorn on those pathetic GM’s who missed out. But: anyone here know who that guy is yet? Neither do I.
There are going to be a lot of absurd Kevin Love trade ideas over the next few months because I’ve found that people are usually slow to hop on what’s current. Look at Twitter. Twitter was around for a couple of years before people really latched on to it and accepted it as a reality in the social media world. Now? Everybody and their grandmas seem to be tweeting, we’ve got the social media platform in video games, and there seem to be very few people that don’t understand what is going on with Twitter.
I think we’re going to be that way with the Kevin Love trade rumors/offers for a little while. With David Kahn gone, Kevin Love no longer hates the team’s management. I don’t know if he likes Flip Saunders, but I know he doesn’t have contempt for him. Saunders is showing him respect and showing him that he’s the most important part of this franchise moving forward. These were never opinions David Kahn seemed to publicly show Kevin and certainly didn’t show him when he tried to trade him multiple times and insulted him multiples times during contract negotiations over his extension. Considering Love doesn’t have this saturating animosity toward Wolves’ management anymore, it seems unlikely he’ll request a trade any time soon.
That’s not going to stop teams from trying to trade for Love and really they shouldn’t stop trying. ESPN.com’s Andy Katz is reporting that the Cavaliers offered up Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, and the No. 1 pick in the draft in exchange for Love. Continue Reading…
The Minnesota Timberwolves need depth at the wings, 3-point shooting, perimeter defense, and could stand to unload one of their three point guards under contract for $4 million-plus a pop (not Ricky Rubio). And since it’s officially dealing season with the NBA Draft hitting us on Thursday, it’s time for rumors that don’t make any sense to start flying.
Remember MarShon Brooks out of Providence? Back in 2011, I really wanted this guy to be on the Timberwolves. The team had the 20th pick in the draft and following their selection of Derrick Williams at No. 2, it seemed like a real possibility the Wolves could get him at 20. Instead of opting for that route, David Kahn started wheeling and dealing to
bring in cash to pay for Kurt Rambis’ existing two years left on his deal after being fired accumulate assets and ended up with… well hell, I can’t even keep track of it two years later. I know the Wolves got a bunch of cash, Brad Miller’s hunting gear, and Malcolm Lee. Continue Reading…
The 98.3% chance of the Wolves not getting the number one pick and the 81.1% chance of the Wolves staying at number nine in the draft came through. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride or something. But now we know where the Wolves will draft, unless they reach a trade.
I think it’s safe to say the Wolves will explore trade options with the pick for a couple of reasons. 1) That’s just standard operating procedure for teams once they get their pick to see if anybody is willing to give up something of value to get it or to give up something of value (or Mike Miller and Randy Foye) to see if you can move up in the draft. 2) If Rick Adelman is indeed going to be back coaching the Wolves, the idea of him wanting to trade the pick to bring in a veteran shouldn’t shock you. The idea of trading it for a veteran can take the fun out of it for a lot fans because people love to think about potential when it comes to rookies.
When you look at the history of the number nine picks over the past two decades, there have been some really good players drafted in that slot. We’ve seen Andre Drummond fall to nine. We’ve seen guys like Kemba Walker, Gordon Hayward, and DeMar DeRozan taken as intriguing prospects over the past couple years. We’ve seen superstars like Amar’e Stoudemire, Dirk Nowitzki, and Tracy McGrady. Incredible role players like Joakim Noah, Andre Iguodala, and Shawn Marion have also gone ninth.
Sounds pretty awesome, right? Continue Reading…
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. Continue Reading…
Before we praise/bury David Kahn and/or Glen Taylor and/or Flip Saunders, lets be clear on one thing: nothing has been confirmed by anybody. Taylor has been silent; Kahn is acting like he still has a job; Flip ain’t saying one way or another. And while this is all most likely the typical “cannot-confirm-or-deny” waltz as performed by every owner and prospective hire before things become official, better recognize: nothing is official. Indeed, Kahn is seeming rather sanguine about the whole affair. As quoted in the Strib:
It is no different than when we make decisions on players who have options. We wait for the process to unfold. In the meantime, Glen and I have been having conversations about the staff, free agency and other plans…I wake up every day knowing it’s a privilege to have this job, and not a right. Speculation about our jobs is part of this business, especially when you strip the emotion out of it. Speculation is especially understandable now, as we have a deep and talented team, with several cornerstone players, and will be poised for big success once it regains its health.
If this seems oddly low-key for a guy on the precipice, its worth remembering that Kahn has presided over this exact situation before. So he’s no stranger to the Wolves’ allowing an incumbent to twist in the wind for a while as a decision is being made. Wow, the Wolves sure are ungraceful in situations like this. Makes you wonder why anybody would want to work for them in the first place.
With the return of Flip Saunders to Minnesota as the new President of Basketball Operations of the Timberwolves looking likely (per the consistently reliable Steve Aschburner of NBA.com), we have the difficult duty of simultaneously exhaling a sigh of relief over the end of David Kahn’s tenure while holding our breath over what Saunders’ hiring might augur.
It’s very early in an evolving situation, but that’s not stopping people from both coming down hard on one side or the other of this hiring and asking everyone else to do so as well. I’d rather not do that; we’re a long way from the start of the next season and a lot of other things are going to happen between now and then that will affect the Wolves. Continue Reading…
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.