Scoggins: It's time for David Kahn to go

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 5, 2013 - 10:26 AM
hide

Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations David Kahn

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The NBA champion Miami Heat returned to the Twin Cities on Monday for the first time since late December 2011 when the Wolves pushed them to overtime before losing by two points.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade gushed about the future of the Wolves that night.

“I think Timberwolves fans will have something to cheer about for a while here,” Wade said.

Said James: “They’re going to be a really good team. If it’s not this year, soon.”

Wolves fans are still waiting, their patience tested by injuries and extended losing streaks to the point that any optimism requires a leap of faith. This is not a team on the rise, as anticipated. If anything, the organization feels like it’s approaching a critical crossroads, its future path determined by decisions that require action this offseason.

The Wolves must decide Nikola Pekovic’s value and whether the bruising center is worth $12 to $14 million annually. They must figure out what to do with former No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams. And they likely will own another Top-10 pick in the upcoming draft.

Can the team really afford to let David Kahn oversee those decisions?

The answer to that is obvious. They must know it internally, too. Lampooning Kahn’s draft history has become a cottage industry and this is not intended to pile on, but the Wolves desperately need a new basketball boss to tackle the big-ticket items that await this summer, whether it’s Flip Saunders — as reported by Sid Hartman over the weekend — or someone else.

Kahn deserves credit for drafting Ricky Rubio and hiring Rick Adelman, but his timeline as president of basketball operations includes far too many mistakes for any other conclusion. (Watching Stephen Curry light up Madison Square Garden with 54 points last week caused Wolves fans to flood Twitter with more vitriol directed at Kahn.)

Kahn’s contract expires after the season, and owner Glen Taylor has offered no public indication of his intentions. Taylor has a track record of showing loyalty to coaches and executives, and he might even sympathize with Kahn being treated as a human punching bag since he’s been in that position, too. But giving Kahn one more chance would be bad business and dangerous to the future of this organization.

The Wolves need a smart basketball man sitting in that chair. Someone who brings credibility and likability and an ability to evaluate personnel with a keen eye. Someone everyone believes in — coaches, players, fans and team employees. Basically, they need a front-office version of Adelman.

The Wolves can’t afford to waste any more time. Their Big Three — Adelman, Rubio and Kevin Love — need to feel confident in the direction or else they’ll lose incentive to stick around long enough to see what this collection can become. Love’s biting comments to Yahoo earlier this season came across as petulant and whiny, but his message underscored the urgency that the entire organization should feel right now.

Love can opt out of his contract in 2015 and has dropped hints that he’ll exercise that if he’s not comfortable with the direction. If he leaves, Adelman and Rubio might feel compelled to follow him out the door and then what? And what about fans who were teased by this team’s potential last season, only to see their optimism crushed by Rubio’s knee injury and Love’s broken hand? The Wolves can’t return to the dark days when nobody cared enough to show up.

The foundation is solid with a healthy Love, Rubio, Adelman and Pekovic, although his nagging injuries complicate his contract decision. They need to find a legitimate-sized shooting guard and hope that Alexey Shved continues to develop physically. The idea that Williams might be able to play small forward didn’t pan out, so he’ll probably be traded because he plays the same position as Love.

Adelman has considerable influence over personnel matters and would need to mesh with a new boss, but it’s unknown if his wife’s medical condition will spur him to reconsider his coaching future. Losing has taken its toll on him, too.

Taylor picked up Kahn’s contract option last spring because he liked the roster that he assembled and the fact he attracted Adelman to coach it. Injuries stunted this team’s development and ruined another promising season. That’s not Kahn’s fault necessarily, but the focus should be on the future and what’s best for the organization.

Big decisions loom this offseason, and the roster could get reshaped again. Kahn had his turn. Now the Wolves must entrust someone else to run the operation.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Portland 6:00 PM
Cleveland
Sacramento 6:30 PM
Toronto
Boston 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Dallas 7:00 PM
Houston
Denver 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Atlanta
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
New York
Charlotte 7:30 PM
San Antonio
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
Utah
Washington 9:30 PM
Phoenix
Toronto 6:30 PM
New Jersey
Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Washington
Chicago 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Temple 6:00 PM
UCF
Winthrop 6:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Lafayette 6:00 PM
Colgate
Northeastern 6:00 PM
Drexel
Wake Forest 6:00 PM
Florida State
Rhode Island 6:00 PM
Fordham
Delaware 6:00 PM
James Madison
South Carolina 6:00 PM
LSU
New Hampshire 6:00 PM
Maine
Seton Hall 6:00 PM
Marquette
Binghamton 6:00 PM
UMBC
American Univ 6:00 PM
Navy
Elon 6:00 PM
UNC-Wilmington
Wright State 6:00 PM
Oakland
Minnesota 6:00 PM
Penn State
Duquesne 6:00 PM
Richmond
SMU 6:00 PM
South Florida
Hartford 6:00 PM
Stony Brook
Albany 6:00 PM
Vermont
Hofstra 6:00 PM
William & Mary
UNC-Asheville 6:00 PM
Longwood
Radford 6:30 PM
Char Southern
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 6:30 PM
Notre Dame
Texas Tech 6:30 PM
Oklahoma
Oregon State 7:00 PM
Arizona State
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Drake 7:00 PM
Bradley
Lehigh 7:00 PM
Bucknell
Rice 7:00 PM
Houston
Missouri State 7:00 PM
Illinois State
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska Omaha 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Northern Iowa 7:05 PM
Southern Ill
Louisville 8:00 PM
Boston College
St Johns 8:00 PM
Creighton
East Carolina 8:00 PM
Memphis
Georgia Tech 8:00 PM
Miami-Florida
Miss State 8:00 PM
Ole Miss
Clemson 8:00 PM
NC State
Indiana 8:00 PM
Purdue
Kansas 8:00 PM
TCU
Oregon 9:00 PM
Arizona
Air Force 9:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 10:00 PM
Washington
Rider 10:00 AM
Siena
Dayton 11:00 AM
Richmond
Eastern Kentucky 11:30 AM
Jacksonville St
Saint Josephs 11:30 AM
Saint Louis
UMBC 6:00 PM
Binghamton
Akron 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
Memphis 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
East Carolina 6:00 PM
(2) Connecticut
Murray State 6:00 PM
Eastern Illinois
Kent State 6:00 PM
Central Michigan
UT Martin 6:00 PM
Tennessee St
Eastern Michigan 6:00 PM
Western Mich
Bucknell 6:00 PM
Lehigh
Indiana 6:00 PM
Michigan State
Colgate 6:00 PM
Lafayette
Fordham 6:00 PM
Davidson
Duquesne 6:00 PM
St Bonaventure
George Mason 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Detroit 6:00 PM
Youngstown St
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Oklahoma St 7:00 PM
Kansas State
West Virginia 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Denver 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Northwestern St 7:00 PM
Central Arkansas
Austin Peay 7:00 PM
SIU-Edwardsville
Kansas 7:00 PM
Iowa State
Bowling Green 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Penn State 7:00 PM
Minnesota
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Air Force
Boise State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Utah State 8:00 PM
Wyoming
San Diego State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Nevada 9:00 PM
UNLV
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local team is currently the biggest disappointment?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close