Blog Post by: Darren "Doogie" Wolfson
- January 9, 2011 - 1:08 PM
While a beer controversy ensues at Seattle's Qwest Field that has a sports nation captivated -- the fact-finder clearly deserves consideration for a Pulitzer prize -- I'm wondering if: a) it's time to compliment Packers fans for their uncanny ability to sneak alcohol into Lambeau field; b) how much heat does Gophers hockey coach Don Lucia deserve for changing the Mariucci Classic rules on the fly; and c) would the 76ers trade Evan Turner for Wesley Johnson? In order of importance, "C" is No. 1.
I've said this before: he's not the most interesting man in the world, but David Kahn, the Wolves' president of basketball operations, is still fascinating.
Nevertheless, he's losing me little by little. On Monday's Wolves-Celtics telecast, Kahn said that center Darko Milicic could be a future All-Star. Well, I could be a future Chippendales dancer. Even worse, he told Blazers beat reporter Jason Quick that point guard Jonny Flynn could also be a future All-Star. Where . . . in the Developmental League?
Kahn takes too much heat for choosing Flynn over Golden State's Stephen Curry. Curry's agent made it known that Curry would not play in Minnesota, so I can see why Kahn was fearful. Where Kahn missed was passing on Toronto's Demar Derozan, who could co-exist with point guard Ricky Rubio (if he ever comes). He also swung-and-missed on the idea that point guards Ty Lawson, Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Jeff Teague, Darren Collison, and Rodrigue Beaubois weren't as good as Flynn. Even if Flynn is being held back in coach Kurt Rambis' offense, which he is, he's not better than any of the aforementioned players.
So, after seven first-round picks in the last two years, and an Al Jefferson trade, here's where we stand: the Wolves are back where they were in 2008. Of those seven picks, who impresses? We have no idea when, or if, Rubio will be here. Financially, it makes more sense for Kahn to wait. At 23-years-old, will Wes Johnson get a whole lot better, or is he being used wrong by Rambis? Wayne Ellington? Lazar Hayward? They inspire nothing.
Where's the hope? Where's the belief that this isn't the most helpless franchise in the Western Conference? Long-term, give me a guard and a big -- Sacramento's Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins -- over Wolves forwards Kevin Love and Michael Beasley. It all lies with Kahn. Even with collective bargaining agreement uncertainty, I'm very curious to see what Kahn can accomplish before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. He has a ton of cap space.
According to league sources, he's trying hard to do something. He was recently turned down in an attempt to land Houston's Aaron Brooks. CBSSports.com
has them inquiring about Memphis' O.J. Mayo. Kahn feels most comfortable negotiating with New York boss Donnie Walsh, his former colleague in Indiana. Who else is Kahn trying to deal with? More importantly, who will he ultimately land?
You can only cling to that cap space flexibility for so long. The Wolves haven't won more than 33 games since the '05-'06 season. As anyone who was at Target Center for Friday night's shellacking can attest to, it's an apathetic fan base. The few games that are on local television generate miniscule ratings. The team's best player, Love, recently told SI.com
, "We'll see what happens with what David Kahn and the front office want to do. If it's right, it's right. If it's not, it's not. I could end up somewhere else. I just want to play for a team that wants to win at this point. At this point, I just want to win now."
As a die-hard hoops fan, I want the Wolves to be relevant. Kahn can only "slow play" his assets for so long. The Beasley move has worked. Not much else has. It's time to see more results.