Today marks 2nd trade deadline in a row in which Kahn was silent. However, if you observed the kinds of deals that were made, it might become clearer that this wasn't the time where the Wolves were going to make some noise. Disappointing? Sure, of course. The season is over, basically. Whenever Kahn fails to make a forward move, it brings about an immediate (and, frankly, deserved) high quantity of cynical outcry from the fanbase. The Wolves are playing a PG at the 2 spot for the 2nd year in a row, and there seemed to be some deals out there that may have helped the team. But aside from the Houston Rockets adding a top 5 pick for role players and the Suns reuniting the Morris twins, today marked a series of trades that were by and by more about cap savings and teams maximizing the return on players they knew they could not afford to retain in free agency next season; or shopping them and failing to net said return because the asking prices were too humorous for print. In other words, the players available did not fit with the Wolves' payroll, nor the opposite (the exception being Brandon Roy's now wasted expiring deal. We thank Brandon Roy for getting paid $1 million per game of organized sport and being a resident Arby's/AT&T spokesman so he could have his Moonlight Graham moment. Now please leave).
For a team such as the Wolves, facing 2 players in need of raises (Pek and Chase), the prospect of adding a 3rd player in need of a notable extension that would double or perhaps triple his 2012-2013 salary was not overly appealing. Gerald Henderson and JJ Redick come to mind, here. Again, does this make the fact that a script was almost formulaically written for the Wolves to send Barea to Boston for Courtney Lee any less disappointing? Of course not. Paying customers shouldn't have to suffer through money moves/non-moves and gift wrapped talent being shipped off due to cap rules, and then listen to ridiculous bull&%*@ from ownership that "winning is priority #1." The purpose of this is not to come up with some kind of excuse for management to continue to sit on its hands, or justify/warrant the lack of activity when the needs are so mind-numbingly obvious. It is merely to say that, based on what we saw transpire with other teams (Houston being the usual and obvious exception of course), does it kinda/sorta surprise you that the deadline came and passed with no trade? It really shouldn't. This was the most boring trade deadline since the 2000 deadline that saw only a single deal made. Sebastain Telfair was trending on Twitter today.
The big, burning question mired in speculation and rumor quietly impacting all of this is the fate of Nikola Pekovic. As Zach over at AWAW astutely noted the other day, with a Pek and Chase extension looming, the Wolves are very soon going to find themselves inches from luxury tax territory. Sure, a few moves here and there and getting rid of Luke or Barea will change this quickly, but the incoming future salary commitments are poised to increase the Wolves' total payroll anywhere from $10-16 million over what it currently is today. What the big worry is at this point, is that the Wolves are not going to re-sign Pekovic and will instead make a move to acquire a wildly inferior player to replace him this offseason such as the laughably terrible Timofey Mozgov. And there is no defending his level of awfulness. Please, spare the "well he was good in the Olympics!" talk or the "if he reunites with the Russians he will unlock his powered up version!" No. Just no. Stop. He is awful. Pekovic may get hurt from time to time. He may miss some bunnies. But re-signing him is an absolute must-happen this summer and if a lack of move today helped solidify his future in Minnesota by virtue of salary implications, I am absolutely fine with us not making a panic move for an average shooting guard who likely moves nary a needle for us in the future. As for who that guard will be down the line, I again point to the pool of quality guards slated to go in the top 10 of this draft: McElmore, Mohammed, Smart and Oladipo. Any of these guys would be great additions to the squad. But in all reality, Chase Budinger is your starting 2 with Shved and perhaps a FA pickup such as Anthony Morrow off the bench to nail 3's. Who knows what happens with the pick with Kahn involved and a Plumlee brother waiting to be selected.
So, while the lack of move is disappointing, it is not surprising. The market was as dry as can be and the prices were too high. Sure, the Wolves could have overpaid for a rental of JJ Redick (rumor was the Wolves could have had him for the improving D Will and a 1st rounder), but then what? Watch him sign elsewhere for $7-8 million per year? A tough pill to swallow that likely doesn't end favorably for the Wolves, as very, very, very, very, very, very, very...........very few things do.
The ominous upcoming offseason is what should be of greater concern. Are the Wolves going to pony up for Pek? Will Adelman even continue to coach this team given his age and family issues? What on earth do we do if he leaves given this team was built to his wishes? Terry Porter as the Wolves coach? How will this failed season impact not only Glen Taylor, but his even-more-penny-pinching minority owners' willingness to improve the hole at shooting guard from a financial standpoint? Just what is there to this Timofey Mozgov stuff? Not to paint a doomsday scenario here, but this trade deadline may soon be the least of our worries. Let us hope that Glen surprises again as he did last summer.
Hey!!! I finally get to see the old Bloguin Roster back in biz so I can pop in on my ole buddy College Wolf!!! You guys rule! Keep on keepin' on and all that! Your fans in Philly missed ya!
Good idea for the Wolves not to make any moves. Sad to say, but the Wolves are not headed anywhere this season so adding a new face would have been counterproductive at best. All Minnesota needs ids to get healthy for next season and try to give it another go with this current roster.
Well reasoned thoughts...You win.
I'm going to start following Houston or another team with a real GM and owner. The Wolves will just be like my cognitively challenged little friend I pat on the head, cheer on when he's throwing ice cubes at the sun to cool down, and expect absolutely nothing good from. ever.
@slapdoghoops Good comment, thanks for stopping by and commenting!
@Daddyfatsax Kahn is not as bad as people portray him to be. Remember he was the one who drafted Ricky Rubio, right? He also signed AK47, a major contributor thus far. If the team were healthy and winning, I am sure that you would be applauding him.
But you are looking at a single tree in David Kahn's "Forest of Ineptitude." He is FAR WORSE than people portray him to be. Perhaps the worst NBA executive in league history. I couldn't care less if he made some good moves this last offseason. Congratulations, you did your job? It's the 3-year body of work that is foul beyond belief and has, to spare no hyperbole, destroyed this next wave of rebuilding for the Wolves and made them a 6-8 seed, first round team AT BEST even if the team plays healthy all year (which they definitely will not, even next season, by the way).
The absolute only way this team can crack the upper standings is by scoring through the draft this summer, and we all know how that fares with Kahn in charge. I have it on good authority that he views no wing in this draft where the Wolves are currently projected as a difference maker which is, of course, absurd. He will take a white big, and that white big will probably suck. Doomsday cries? Of course. Have I ever really been wrong about these things? No.
There are paragraphs and paragraphs worth of defense to the above, but those are worth no one's time at this point in the season.
@WallyWorld is winning this discussion, and its not even freakin close. Kahn is a total epic failure. If someone can't see that, then I just feel bad for them.
@slapdoghoops @WallyWorld @Daddyfatsax Alright, I appreciate your views. But saying Jonny Flynn had an amazing rookie year, and that the Chase Budinger trade was "masterful" is a bit strong on the hyperbole. Budinger has played six games this season. Bad luck for sure, Chase is a really good bench swingman, but in no way can you call trading a first round pick for 6 games a masterful move. And defending the Flynn pick is never good form. Flynn was awful his rookie year, he just happened to average double figure scoring. The Wolves won 15 games out of 82 with him at the helm. Kahn passed on Stephen Curry and was booed at Target Center for doing so at the draft party. It was a disaster of a move at the time, and remains perhaps the worst lottery misstep in franchise history. Worse than Roy/Foye perhaps. And it was blatantly obvious how bad of a pick it was at the time. Roy was a mistake, and I was one of very few who was irrationally excited about it. Almost everyone knew it was a move that had zero upside. In hindsight, I was a moron. We coaxed a guy out of retirement who could barely walk, used $5 million in cap room on a position of DIRE need for a risk when we were trying to get into the playoffs when there were MYRIAD safer options available for even less money. It was a stupid risk and documented that it was Kahn's move, not Ricks, by Glen Taylor. Surprise, surprise. The list goes on and on and on: Wes Johnson (and trading a 1st just to get rid of him), DARKO MILICIC, pissing off Love, trading Ty Lawson for the pick that got us Webster the following year, trading $11 million in cap space and Corey Brewer, Koufos for Anthony Randolph and gifting NY Melo, trading away Norris Cole, Chandler Parsons, and the stud Euro Center (his name escapes me) so we could amass cash to buyout Kurt Rambis, not trading Derrick Williams yet and watching his value deteriorate like a new car off the lot, turning down Martell Webster for Andre Iguodala in a trade, trading Al Jefferson for 2 non-lottery 1st rounders.... on and on and on. Kahn got Rubio. He hired Adelman. He signed Shved. He traded Ellington for DC. He signed Kirilenko. Good. Again, he had three years and it culminated in a team that finishes 6-8th seed at best when healthy and a wealth of assets (mostly assembled by the McHale regime, by the way) completely destroyed. He isn't enthused by the wing talent in this draft. This is bad. I apologize for the doomsday attitude but you are so, so, so far off on your take it is actually making me legitimately upset (which is fail). If we go into the offseason with Kahn having to decide Pek's fate and another top 8 pick....eesh. The only thing we know is that the odds are overhwhelmingly high that it will be a total disaster.
@WallyWorld @Daddyfatsax Ypu still have not really explained to me how Kahn is inept? Financially the Wolves are fine as they arenot over the salary cap and most of Kahn's draft picks have panned out pretty well in the last three years. Johnny Flynn had an amazing rookie year and when he started to falter, Kahn easily found a way to get rid of him. Ricky Rubio, who many thought could be a bust, prove everyone wrong by becoming one of the best rookie pointr guards in the league. he probably would have been in the wunning for ROY if he did not fall to injury midway into the season.
You mention the signing of Brandon Roy as a mistake; however, if you look at the amount of his contract and its size, it can be considered a solid calculated risk that went awry. All the wolves stand to lose is just 10 million this year and next if Roy never plays again, Trading Wayne Ellington for Dante Cunningham was pure genius giving up a mistake of a draft pick for a young up and coming player who comes off the bench currently averages 8 and 4 per game. If Kevin Love were healthy, the Wolves would have had quite an intimidating front court to say the least.
Picking up Chase Buddinger at a relatively low cost was also a masterful stroke of genius on Kahn's part. If he had not been lost early in the season, no one would have cared whether or not Brandon Roy would have been able to play because Budd would have stepped in his place. And Nikola Pekovic can be considered as one of the best finds in T-Wolves History. He's playing like an All Star and is only getting paid under 5$ million. From what I have mentioned thus far, Kahn's track record has not seemed as THAT bad.
Let's not forget him picking up up Alexey Shved in the draft which has proven to be a steal as Shved's performance have thus far exceeded expectations. Altogther all of Kahn's personel move have prove to be for the better and if it were not for all the bad luck that came his team's way, the Wolves could have probably been competing for first place in the NW Division against the OKC Thunder. Most of your arguments on why Khan has been supposedly so terrible is not really based on any facts because the facts completely contradict everything that you have maintained thus far.
@Daddyfatsax Say what u want, but you can't blame Kahn for what happened. He could not control the injuries.