Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could keep lies from conquering the minds of the weak. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.
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David Kahn is out. Flip Saunders is in. Whether you like the move or not (and most of you like it, we are quite sure) ... whether you thought Kahn put together a good roster for 2012-13 and was unlucky with injuries (a fair point) ... a team's personnel boss is generally judged by how he drafts. Rick Spielman is being lauded for his work with the Vikings. Kahn? Well, let's take a look back at his final record running four drafts with the Wolves:
2009: Had the No. 5, No. 6, No. 18 and No. 28 picks in the first round along with No. 45 and No. 47 in the second round.
* Chose Ricky Rubio with the No. 5 pick; after two years, Rubio came to the Wolves and has been as advertised. This remains Kahn's biggest draft hit. At No. ... Took Jonny Flynn at No. 6. This became his biggest draft miss. Flynn is no longer in the NBA and was basically given away by the Wolves, while the No. 7 pick -- Steph Curry -- has flourished as the sharpshooter the Wolves have sorely lacked. ... Took Ty Lawson at No. 18 for Denver, to whom he was traded. Lawson is a very nice NBA player. In return for him, Kahn got the No. 16 pick in the 2010 draft, which he flipped for Martell Webster, who is no longer here. ... No. 28 was Wayne Ellington, a useful rotation player who was eventually swapped for Dante Cunningham, another useful rotation player. ... No. 45 was Nick Calathes, who has not yet made his way to the NBA. Same with No. 47, Henk Norel.
2010: Chose Wes Johnson No. 4 overall, continuing the curse of 'Cuse that started with Flynn. Johnson was a shooter who couldn't shoot and is no longer here. ... The No. 16 pick was part of the Webster trade, which came up largely empty. ... The No. 23 and No. 56 picks were swapped with Washington for 30th pick Lazar Hayward and 35th pick Nemanja Bjelica, neither of whom made an impact. ... No. 45 pick Paulão Prestes is another Euro who hasn't played in the NBA (yet).
2011: Chose Derrick Williams No. 2 overall. The jury is out on Williams, who put up better numbers in his second season after Kevin Love was injured but must prove long-term that he can defend and score as a small forward. In fairness, there is no player chosen after him that immediately jumps out as a massive what-if. What happened at No. 20 is complicated, so we'll let Wiki handle it: The Houston Rockets acquired Jonny Flynn, the draft rights to 20th pick Donatas Motiejūnas and a 2012 second-round draft pick from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Brad Miller, the draft rights to 23rd pick Nikola Mirotić, 38th pick Chandler Parsons and a future first-round draft pick. The Rockets then re-acquired the draft rights to Parsons from the Timberwolves in exchange for cash considerations. And then the Wolves traded Mirotic for 28th pick Norris Cole, 43rd pick Malcolm Lee and cash. ... And then Cole was traded for 31st pick Bojan Bogdanović, a 2014 second-round draft pick and cash considerations.
So the Wolves got: Bogdanovic, Miller, Lee, a second-round pick in 2014 and three separate piles of cash. They gave up Flynn, the No. 20 pick and Parsons, a very useful player, among other things. This did not work out too well.
2012: Traded the No. 18 overall pick -- part of the haul from the Al Jefferson trade -- for Chase Budinger, who was hurt during his one season with Minnesota and is now an unrestricted free agent. ... Took Robbie Hummel with the No. 58 pick, a feel-good story but a player with major injury history.
SUMMARY: Kahn was pretty good at stockpiling picks. He was mediocre-to-bad at using them. End of story.
BONUS: Here is a link to NEVER RELEASED AUDIO from an exchange we had with Kahn during a reporter roundtable prior to the 2010 draft. It's about point guards.
The cumulative impact of Royce White's rookie season on his eventual NBA career is not yet known. Things could still level off, with White deciding he can be a trailblazer for anxiety disorders while simultaneously playing ball.
For now, though, SB Nation takes a look at what he has missed out on -- particularly how damaging opting out of the D-League playoffs could be. A few snips:
This week, the previously not-so-known Patrick Beverley has been front and center on a national stage. So far starting three games for the Rockets in their first-round playoff matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the guard has been doing what he can to help keep his underdog team alive.
Such an opportunity came about, undoubtedly, because of the type of promise and potential Beverley had initially shown in the D-League. Many players before him (and what's sure to be plenty more afterwards) have achieved similar success after first flashing their prowess in the minors. But Beverley's fellow rookie and Rockets' teammate Royce White failed to capitalize on a similar opportunity of his own this season.
After initially refusing to report to RGV following two Rockets' formal assignments for him to do so, White finally reported to Houston's minor league affiliate in mid-February after reaching what he believed to be a reasonable temporary solution with regard to certain disorder accommodations. He came to town following months of trying to get him on the court. ... Over his final five games in RGV, he averaged an impressive 15.6 points (on 48% from the field), 5.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.4 steals in only 24.4 minutes per contest.
White's success may have continued, but he took matters into his own hands once again by opting not to join the Vipers for the postseason. ... Playing for the Rockets' D-League squad has clearly done wonders for many. Beverley and Greg Smith are contributors on Houston's playoff team, and the others who led RGV to a title can likely expect further looks from the big league team during Summer League.
After turning his back on the opportunity to emerge as a key NBADL playoff contributor, can White still expect the same consideration this summer?
Good question -- one of many for White and the Rockets this offseason.
One interesting local connection to the Jason Collins story -- aside from the fact that he played briefly for the Timberwolves -- is that his former fiance, Carolyn Moos, is ONE OF US. The 6-6 Moos starred in high school at Blake -- that picture is from the All-Metro team in 1997 -- before going on to a prolific career at Stanford, where Collins also played. Per Rick Reilly (and thanks to JS for the heads up):
So you were shocked to hear that 7-foot NBA center Jason Collins is gay? You should talk to Carolyn Moos. She was engaged to him.
Moos, a former Stanford and WNBA center, dated Collins for eight years and was to marry him in 2009 until he suddenly called it off with a month to go.
Then: hurt, confusion and embarrassment. Today: answers.
Collins told Moos last weekend over the phone before coming out as the first male, gay active American team-sport pro athlete in a Sports Illustrated story Monday.
"I had to sit down," says Moos, now a personal trainer and nutritional consultant. "I was shocked. There's no words to really describe my reaction. ... But this does alleviate some of the pain. … I'm so happy for him. He deserves to live the life he wants."
Awesome tweet from the Zen Master, who most definitely was NOT hacked (unlike the Associated Press):
As per MJ’s shot in game 6. That wasn’t a push off. It was a helping hand to a broke down comrade. :-)— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) April 23, 2013
Just because ... well, we don't know why. Just because.
Pretty sure it is the video star himself who wrote in the comments: it was hot here in SoCal yesterday and this video was a spontaneous situation. I had the melody in my head and didn't want to lose it so I had to act quickly.
If the OKC Thunder promotions folks have any sense, this will be on the video board at some point during Game 2 against the Rockets.
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