Big news on this fine, humid Thursday evening. Just 24 hours after the Wild shocked the hockey world, Kahn dishes out $60 million to two superb potential free agent acquisitions in a double-move designed to remodel the Wolves destitute wing positions.
According to several reports and allegedly first reported by Jason Quick of The Oregonian, the Wolves have come to an agreement with 3-time All-Star and recent retiree Brandon Roy on a 2-year contract reportedly worth just over $10 million. I mention Roy first because he is the only sure bet here to be in a Wolves uniform next season as Batum is only getting the offer sheet that Portland will likely match. Roy, as you know, was drafted by the Wolves in 2006 and quickly traded for Randy Foye in what was arguably the worst trade in franchise history. Roy had a terrific run in Portland as a multiple all-star and was forced into early retirement due to a degenerative knee condition. Now, after a year off and a series of high-profile, experimental knee treatments, Roy will give it a go again. My take: an absolute superb risk. Only the deeply cynical Wolves fans can dislike this as it involved a below average salary and a potential high return at the position the Wolves struggled mightily at. The contract will likely eat into cap space, but this is a good move to make. However, expectations must be tempered, as Roy will likely miss chunks of time over these two years. Regardless, this is a really solid signing and quality risk to take. TWB-approved.
Minutes later (and had you even attempted to run and grab something to drink you would have missed it) it was reported by the AP that the Wolves agreed to terms on an offer sheet with Nic Batum worth $45 million + bonuses and a well-reported desire for Batum to resume his career in Minnesota alongside Roy, Rubio and Darko Milicic. Just hours ago, fans were tying the noose after it was reported Portland would match any offer. Yours truly, your self-proclaimed resident Debbie Downer McWetblanket thought most hope was lost. How quickly things change. Portland is likely to match this offer, but at the very least it is a good, strong offer the Wolves shouldn't even flinch at giving. Kahn is calling Portland's bluff and bless him for doing so. Why not? What is nice about the new CBA is restricted free agent contract decisions must be made now 3-days after the offer sheet is signed vs. 7 in the previous CBA. This will help the Wolves pursue their contingency plans quicker if and when Portland decides to match the offer prior to July 14th (3 days after the moratorium period ends and Batum is likely signed). I am glad this was reported in tandem with the Roy signing. That makes the Batum offer sheet/match implications a brighter move in context.
A bad day for the Wolves turned into a great day. Hats off to David Kahn for Roy, and 45 million hats off to Kahn if we get Batum out of this.
It's about time. It feels weird writing something optimistic.
Worst trade in Wolves history: Ray Allen for Stephon Marbury. It's a little different since Allen and Marbury ended up as all-star, while Roy was an all-star and Foye is a scrub, but if the Wolves had built around a KG/Allen core instead of a KG/Marbury core, we wouldn't be sitting here with one out of 25 seasons for this franchise where we actually won a playoff series. If we kept Roy instead of Foye, it still may only be 1 for 25, given the disarray of the rest of the roster and Roy's quick decline.
@DeROK82 Not at ALL man....Marbury was a huge stud for three years. If you are using pure hindsight, then an argument can be made. I can't even begin to criticize that deal for its implications even at the time. Roy/Foye was questionable to bad at the time because the Wolves didn't get anything but cash in the trade and Roy was way better. Hindsight factors into the equation.
If you want to use hindsight to your advantage, then what became of the KG deal was the absolute worst trade in franchise history. There is nothing left now other than Chase Budinger via Al Jefferson.
The Cassell/Jaric trade essentially left us with a bad contract and cost us Austin Rivers.
Foye/Roy was bad, but the Wolves were so inept and resource-deprived at that point that even a KG/Roy combo would have maybe netted us another first-round exit or two at best.
The KG trade was horribly lop-sided, no doubt. Still, it allowed the Wolves to fully implode vs. being stuck picking 8th or 9th every year. We probably don't have K. Love right now without fully blowing things up.
In terms of what we likely ended up losing out on - legitimate championship contending year after year, playoff success, etc. nothing is worse in retrospect than the Allen/Marbury trade.
@DeROK82 Cassel trade was a worse piece of GMing, but I agree based purely on opportunity costs you are right.
Others have touched on this, but Blazers have nothing but contempt for Minnesota's bid for RFA Nicolas Batum. Sorry, Nic, you're staying.
How dare a team try to take a player from the mighty Paul Allen!
@roundhouse I thought this should have been the play all along, too. But I'm glad Kahn is at least giving it a shot and making it difficult for a division rival to pay their guy something they are comfortable with.
Why match him? Portland's idea of a rebuild is to build around two role players (Batum and Aldrige-a star, but not an Alpha or even a Beta, really), with one being overpaid (Batum)? Batum and Aldridge are just good enough to screw them in the lottery. Don't match, hope Indiana don't Hibbert, and play the lottery odds.
Then again I also told you all that Martell Webster was a budding legit role player and that Kevin Love should be traded for David Lee and Anthony Randolph...
BATUM. Yes, please! I've had a man-crush on him going on two years now. After Iggy, he's pretty much exactly what this team needs. And he's only 23 years old to boot. Great signing, but I can't imagine Portland doesn't matter the offer. :-( Besides Aldridge, Batum is their best building block for the future.
As for Roy... I guess I'll withhold judgement for now. I'm not sold though, and I'm not getting my hopes up. The main problem is that he's not healthy... he has no knees. (Literally.) We're talking like 10-15 minutes per game. Maybe 20 minutes with rest days. And certainly not much (anything?) on back to backs...
@CollegeWolf Roy did just over 20 MPG during his last couple months with Portland. He's had a year off to let them take a break plus there is more appreciate of the situation now. That seems like the baseline.
If the Wolves play it smart and give him rest days every so often on weeks with 4-5 games and the 30 mpg seems very doable. Roy will retire again if he body only allows him 10 minutes. If for once we can be semi-healthy we should have plenty of bodies to do Luke/JJ for long stretches in the middle of the game and have Roy ready to roll for crunch time.
@Pants80 He can't get better though, that's the thing. He doesn't have cartilage in his knees, they grind on eac other. Its incredibly painful and dehabilitating. He needs new knees.
@Pants80 He can't rehab it or 'get better.' he has to live with them as is, and just hope he can play through the pain. Also, the ACL is one of 4 tendons in the knee, so being born without it is different than not having cartilage which causes your knee bones to grind together. Extremely painful and limiting.
@WallyWorld @Pants80 That's a fair take WW. Different injuries, but a good Penny comparison too. I am hoping for more good than bad, but whatever happens there will certainly be some frustration.
@Pants80 @CollegeWolf This wasn't my observation so I won't take credit for it: but this could be a Penny Hardaway type of situation. Penny was obviously a huge stud but then actually played well as a role player for a number of years and still had some nice years after his knee problems. Also missed a ton of games, especially in the later years.
It has been 10 years though and Roy has undergone breakthrough knee treatments and took a year off to rehab.
Who cares about upside potential? Roy is already good. As long as he can come in and win a few games a year with Rubio/Love 4th quarter heroics this is an excellent move and will be a terrific story to be in the midst of as a fan base. But ';m guessing there will be plenty of frustration along the way.
But overall, and don't get me wrong... this is definitely good news overall. Contrary to popular belief, someone in the front office of this organization is at least doing something.
@CollegeWolf So when bad stuff happens it's 100% Kahn's fault and when good stuff happens it's "someone in the front office?" You are so blind with hate, dude.
@Wolfenstein Might have been Kahn, might not. Tons of people here have been calling Budinger an "Adelman move"... So what did Kahn do? I guess maybe he was the one that called Morey to trade, which the Rockets gladly agreed to.