Morning Links: 1/13

I came across two articles this morning that I think have some relevance for Wolves fans:

The first is an interview by Golden State of Mind with Tim Kawakami, a Warriors beat writer. The mess of a front office in Golden State should be a guidepost to Glen Taylor. We don't have personality conflicts or power struggles between big names like Robert Rowell (Warriors' President) Don Nelson (Head Coach) and Chris Mullin (VP), but the lesson for Taylor is to ensure clarity with regard to the management structure.

Taylor clearly identified Jim Stack as the man who would be leading personnel decisions in the wake of Randy Wittman's firing and Kevin McHale's move to Head Coach. But with McHale still in a prominent position (and not willing to comment on the future) and Fred Hoiberg and Rob Babcock (formerly approximate equals with Stack on the front office depth chart) still involved, I think this should be considered a management group in transition.

We should all be thankful that the Gang of Four (McHale, Stack, Babcock and Hoiberg) hasn't shown that they're a group of power-grubbing manipulators on the order of the Warriors' current mess, but in order to convince the fans and the rest of the league that he has his act together Taylor will need to clarify the roles and responsibilities of his executives.

The Canis Hoopus Executive Search series will continue under this premise, with the ultimate assumption that clarity will come only from replacing the Country Club with brand new (read: outside) leadership.

The second article is from FourLetter's Chris Sheridan about the implications of OKC finding a thin trade market for a quality point guard (the last reports had them getting Jerry Stackhouse and a 2nd rounder for Earl Watson).

There's no shortage of 2009 and 2010 offseason talk here at Hoopus, so there are a couple points that Sheridan highlights in this quote that are worth keeping in mind:

I think what it tells you is that as we get to the deadline, we're going to see a ton of deals that are solely financially driven," said one league executive with knowledge of the Thunder-Mavs-Bobcats discussions. "Teams are cutting the bottom line, especially in light of the economy, the fact that the cap might stay flat this year and go down the following year, which means the luxury tax number will go down, too. If you have escalating deals and a de-escalating tax, that's the trend you're going to see.

So a flat or de-escalating salary cap and luxury tax means that the Wolves probably won't be looking to take on much long-term salary, especially with extensions for Randy Foye and Kevin Love looming down the road. In practical terms, I think it means the possibility of taking on a salary like Gerald Wallace's would require near-certainty that such a player would boost the Wolves to a significantly higher level of dominance in the league.

Put otherwise, I don't expect Taylor to be green-lighting a deal like that this season, or even this offseason. We may just have to wait patiently and see how the current core continues to grow.

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