40. Ricky Rubio
If you have the No. 5 and No. 6 picks in what turned out to be a quality draft, and you turn No. 5 into an asset that can't be realized for THREE YEARS because your No. 6 pick wasn't nearly as good as the No. 7 pick and also managed to drive your No. 5 pick to a foreign country, how is that anything other than an abject disaster? Bumbling GM David Kahn told Minnesota fans last week, "I don't expect to be a playoff team for at least two years." Great, just in time for the lockout and a new-wave NBA world with lower salaries and shorter contracts that's going to make Ricky say, "You know what? I think I'll just stay here for a couple more years and make three times as much money unless you trade me to a big-market team."
In fact, I thought about making Kahn the following bet: If Ricky Rubio plays even one minute for the Timberwolves, I will drive from Los Angeles to Minnesota for his first game while wearing a T-wolves jersey that says "KAHN" on the front and "No. 1" on the back. (It's an 1,835-mile trip. I looked it up.) But I don't want to root for the T-Wolves fans to lose Rubio; they've suffered enough. I hope I am wrong. I don't think I am.
(Follow-up story: Another NBA team sent someone to Spain to watch Rubio play for FC Barcelona a few weeks ago. The individual ran into one of Rubio's advisers and asked him how many times someone from Minnesota had come to see Rubio this season. The answer? Zero.)
Why does every ESPN NBA analyst say Flynn is no more than a 6th man scorer off the bench yet we're still praising Kahn for his moves. These guys get paid to be analysts, one is David Thorpe, who is a mentor to some players, the other is Bill Simmons, who every NBA player praises for his basketball knowledge. It would just seem hard to discredit two opinions like that when they would seem as valuable as valuable can be regarding opinions on basketball. To me this seems like another McFail move, what does everybody think of ESPN ragging on Flynn? Does he deserve it? How about Kahn, should we hang him from the rafters yet? I'm a pretty faithful Wolves fan, but Flynn has looked so tentative this year, like he doesn't know how to play, happy we didn't end up taking Derozan or Williams, but man, I'd love to have Curry or even Love's recommendation in Jennings right now. Just a little weary of our future, can we ever expect Kahn to put together a successful team, or is he in over his head? Also, wasn't he like the 6th or 7th choice for GM, why would we have any faith in him? Someone, please reassure me, hope it's Just A Fan, he actually seems to have insight none of us peons seem to have.