In the months before Favre mania set in -- a two-year period, by the way, that was totally worth it no matter what you might think now of how it turned out -- Wolves boss David Kahn did the exact same thing Childress did with Jackson by nabbing teenage point guard Ricky Rubio of Spain with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2009 draft.
For better or worse, Rubio has become Kahn's legacy. Kahn has jettisoned every meaningful player from the 2008-09 Wolves except for Kevin Love -- who also happens to have been nabbed in a draft-day trade by his predecessor, Kevin McHale, and who also happens to be the team's best player by far, its only star and -- arguably -- its only bona fide starter if you think Michael Beasley is better-suited for a sixth-man role and Wes Johnson needs to show a little more in his second year.
Rubio represents the possibility for stability and stardom at the point guard position, a sore spot on Kahn's ledger through two seasons. He represents a marketable new face. More than anything, though, he represents the potential validation of Kahn's theory of accumulating assets early on, regardless of how everything fit together, and then solving the puzzle when the time was right.
So while there might not be a particularly hard and fast deadline today in terms of signing Rubio, the clock is surely ticking this summer. At least getting Rubio into uniform and on the court (presuming we have an NBA season) buys Kahn another year to see what the youngster can do (Rubio, remember, will only turn 21 in October) and allows for the possibility of a plan to take shape. Rubio at the point. Give Johnson another look at shooting guard and see if better help around him will help him flourish. Draft Derrick Williams and roll him out at small forward. Kevin Love at the power forward. Luke Ridnour (point), Martell Webster (shooting) and Michael Beasley (super combo forward sub, playing 30 minutes a game) and Anthony Randolph (stealing minutes at the 3-5 and maybe even starting at center depending on matchups) providing depth. Hope that Darko/Pek/someone else? can guard the rim and bang down low.
There's still a chance Rubio won't be able to cut it, which would also be a rough blow to Kahn's plan and job security. For now, though, this franchise needs to take a step forward. And that can't happen if Rubio is in Spain for another year. At least Childress got to see Jackson on the field to find out his plan didn't work.