David Kahn, the enigma wrapped in a mystery sandwiched in a riddle with a side of conundrum...
Much has been written about the Timberwolves GM over the past year, particularly this summer. The general consensus in the media is that he's a fool with all the charm and class of a used car salesman who's in completely over his head. The general consensus among Wolves fans seems to be split between between the optimists who believe in his "plan" and, well, "KAAAAAAAAAAHHHHN!" So what is it about the Kahn Man that has everyone so fired up? When Kevin McHale was running the show, he clearly had less vision. For eleven years, he failed to build a winning team around a bonafide Top 5 talent. And while McHale wasn't necessarily given a free pass, he was never met with the venom being spewed in Kahn's direction. In all actuality, I think you'd be hard pressed to find a Wolves fan who preferred McFail over the Kahnster. So what gives? Are we simply more frustrated six years into the re-re-re-re-re-rebuilding process than we were three years ago? Is it easier to to mock and degrade someone who looks like he probably got daily swirlies in high school than it is to rag on a legendary NBA World Champion?
I'll admit, I've done my share of Kahn-bashing. I hated this year's draft, I'm highly suspicious of the Big Al trade, and, there's no way I could pass on the comedic potential of the David Kahn Interview (Part 1 and Part 2). However, I can't say that I've lost all faith in the man. A lot of the things he does certainly make me scratch my head, but if you stop, take a step back, and look at the puzzle he's piecing together, you can almost start to see something that resembles a legitimate NBA team.
So is David Kahn the idiot most people think he is? Is he the genius we all desperately hoped he would be when he first took this job? Or is he simply your prototypical NBA GM who tends to make dumb long-term moves to save his job in the short-term? That's the question I'm going to attempt to answer as I review Kahn's moves over the past 13 months.
Item #1 - The 2009 Draft
By far, the biggest rip on Kahn is his selection of Ricky Rubio and Johnny Flynn back-to-back in 2009. Here's where I start to lie and say that I adamantly believed that Kahn should've drafted Curry at #6 when a look back through my archives clearly show that I wanted DeRozan at that pick. (Oh wait, I'm confusing myself with another Wolves blogger. Nevermind.) Actually, I'm not going to rip Kahn for the Flynn pick at all. Hindsight is 20/20 in the draft and you can always find a player that should have been drafted earlier. Honestly, Kahn should be praised for putting us in the position to draft Rubio in the first place. Randy Foye and Mike Miller to Washington for the #5 pick was an absolute steal. As far as all the late-round shenanigans go, I'm going to put them on the back burner as well.
The bottom line is that in 2009, the #1 player that we as Wolves fans wanted was Ricky Rubio. We got him. Yes, we have to wait for him, and yes, it's still possible that he decides to stay in Spain and never come to the NBA. However, chances are, he'll be a Timberwolf at some point. In the NBA, you can make 50 good small moves and it won't necessarily make you an "elite" team. It's nailing the big moves that matter. Walking away from that draft with Ricky Rubio was something that we had no business doing, given our situation. David Kahn deserves a lot of credit for that.
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