My first posting to a site ever. I guess I got motivated by reading too many silly rants. Anyway, here goes it.
Wolves game plan:
Kahn's game plan is very complicated this summer and not just because of the obvious dearth of this past seasons team. There are the well documented Love/Jefferson court compatibility, the lack of a true star, the uncertainty of Rubio's arrival, ect.. Yet, I believe it's more complicated than that. There is a big picture strategy that I have no doubt has to be addressed. I, for one, believe Kahn has a great grasp of that challenge in hand.
What is this strategy? To set this team up not for this season, but to set it up for the following--his third year, and I believe final year of his contract (I may be mistaken). There are two reasons for this. The first is his job security. I can't imagine with some simple moves why this team can't show some improvement. Also, much like how a NFL coach gets at least two extra seasons after they draft a high rookie quarterback, I can't see Taylor not giving Kahn a chance to run the ship for Rubio's rookie season with us 18 months from now. If that team shows marked improvement he will get an extension. Secondly, our first round draft pick which conditionally is going to the Clippers next season. We have to make sure we keep this pick to add one more potential blue chip to the fold. Even if we improved 11 or 12 games in the win column we'd still have identical records to the two teams that jumped ahead of us in this years lottery. Now I grant you, I think its already pretty far fetched to think we wouldn't fall outside of the top 10 picks anyway, given the records of the teams that just missed the playoffs last season. But did anyone think Charlotte would make the playoffs this year? No way.
So Kahn has what seems to me a million moving targets that must be taken into account when it comes to his overall big picture strategy.
Rubio--he loves him, as do I, and he became even more important after we slid to number 4 in the lottery.
Big Al vs Love--Hey, I only watched Wolves games this year because of Love. But Jefferson HAS to be better with another offseason to get his power and bounce back. They can be on the same team, but there has to be a third power player with length to defend the long forwards/centers in this league. We got killed defensively inside last year. It was pathetic. So what do you do? More on that later....
What to do in the draft? Stay where we are, trade down, trade up, sell picks, stash away Euro's, trade picks for future picks, or some combination of any or all?
Cap space--what free agent is realistically going to come here on their own? Will we use the space to facilitate a sign and trade and gain future assets in exchange for paying some bad contracts? Do we use it this year or work it so we have it next year?
Next, how we shape a squad around this damned triangle offense. I'll be honest with you, I played basketball prep-wise my entire early life and can see/understand every other offense but this one. All I know for sure is that we are the only team that I'm aware of that uses this that doesn't or hasn't have someone name Kobe or MJ on it. Need good passing big guys in this offense? Yeah, that usually makes any offense look better.
Alright, so now my actual $.02.
So we really screwed up by taking Flynn before hiring a coach this year. I may not get this triangle thing but I definitely know this, Flynn doesn't fit it. Maybe offering the Pacers, who desperately need a PG, would love to swap him for the 10th pick? Sessions runs it better and by next year one of them has to go anyway so may as well deal from a position of strength today. And yes, I know you can only really have so many first rounders but....later.
First step. Sign Nikola Pekovic. We need to do that soon so we know just how many chips we are playing with. I'm not so much concerned with how he fits in right now. I watched him play one game and he seems pretty decent. Good size, runs the court, hustles, good post up. We simply just need to have him in the fold. He won't help us staying overseas any longer.
Second step. The draft. This draft is going to be alot like playing chicken. Philly is going to play on our desire to get Turner to try and take one of our core players. And for as much as I love Turner, I don't see any more greatness in him than the guys who will be available. Favors won't be there. So that leaves Cousins. Doesn't having a first name that sounds so much like Jamarcus scare you? It scares me. But if he is there I think we have to take him and coach him up. He could be a really great scorer and defender and complement either Love, Jefferson or both.
If we were able to unload Flynn for the Pacers 10th overall, I take Donatas Motiejunas and stash him in Europe for another year to gain more weight and another year of experience. Stretch power forwards are all the rage. Plus he has already looked really good against Cousins and Favors when they played each other.
Pick 16: The lanky Euro if we haven't traded Flynn. If we haven't traded Flynn or Motiejunas is already taken then we need a wing. There are a bunch projected to be here for this pick and I"m sure we'll work many of them against each other. Hayward, Babbit, Henry, or George could be decent players here.
Pick 23: I'm fine with some projections taking the Frenchman Saraphin and stashing him in Europe for a couple years. After seeing our assets mold together it may be a nice benefit to have a player ready to come over to either fill himself or be a nice trade piece. Personally, I think George falls this far as well.
Second round picks--do something with them but I don't really care what. Sell em, trade them for future second round picks, draft projects that may fill out a roster or play in the D-league or whatever. That is what management gets paid to figure out. Although us trading Calethes to Dallas seemed like a giveaway to me last year.
Free Agency: Gotta sign Darko!! Even if we have Cousins there will be minutes and leadership (at age 24?) from Darko. Plus he wants to play here. You have to take advantage of that. 2 years plus a team option at 4 million a year.
Big Al vs Love: two simple questions, which one fits the offense better? Which one can you get more value for? Kahn will be the one listening, coaxing offers, so only him and his team will know the answers to this. If the answer to both of those questions is the same player then you have to trade him.
12 months from now:
We have a core of Jefferson and Love (or their trade equivalent), Cousins, Sessions, Pekovic, Brewer. Rubio is on a plane here. We have the lanky Euro (Motiejunas) in the plane with him. We have a lottery selection that maybe we got lucky and got one of those studly freshmen wing players. We probably still have decent cap room. We have a couple other assets from this years draft lingering around depending on what else happens. We have team Euro, we have hope, and here we have your 2011 MN Timberwolves. Good luck Kahn, I'll be watching.