In January of 2012, David Kahn was the Wolves' President of Basketball Operations, and he was tasked with signing Kevin Love to a long-term extension. Love wanted a five-year deal -- the max, and the coveted "designated player" distinction that made such a deal possible. Kahn and the rest of the Wolves' leadership balked, as you are well aware, and Love ended up signing a four-year extension with an opt-out clause after three years.
That has set the stage for where we are right now -- with Love having one foot and all his knuckles out the door, a trade this summer seeming pretty close to inevitable. And to this, we say:
Thank you, David Kahn.
No, seriously. Not in a sarcastic way. Thank you.
Your short-sightedness two-and-a-half years ago could be the thing that finally saves the Timberwolves -- the incredible wrong that leads to a right.
It is very clear from recent actions and words from Love that he does not want to be here. We might attribute that to lingering resentment over how he was treated by Kahn or frustration with how the team has been built around him. Regardless, it seems as though Love feels he bears little responsibility for six years of missing the playoffs, and he is of a generation that believes they are owed something even if it is not earned.
The final straw for us was his SportsNation appearance Wednesday -- when Love gave the least convincing denial possible when asked about his future in Minnesota, grinning all the way.
This moment was coming, and it might as well come now. It might as well come while Love is 25, has put up three statistically monstrous seasons in his past four, and is viewed as a great player trapped in a terrible situation instead of a flawed player with great numbers who is also part of the problem.
Thank you, David Kahn. That 2012 blunder has created a situation where a top talent -- and make no mistake, Love is a fantastic offensive player -- can be traded at his absolute peak value, allowing the Wolves to revamp the roster in a way they otherwise would not have imagined.
If Flip Saunders makes the right trade, plays the market right, it will spare us a couple more years of endless speculation and .500 basketball while allowing the Wolves another attempt at revamping the roster to finally get it right.
Even though the Wolves and Love probably deserve each other, they'll both probably be better off apart.
And they have Kahn to thank.