It's not that we don't like Wes at all. He's probably a good fit and a nice player. While he isn't quite the "star" I had hoped we would get, he has the potential to be a part of a good team.
So it's not the guy, it's the pick. Let me take a shot at refreshing your memory what actually went down on draft night a few years back ... the year of Brandon Roy ... and tell you why McHale was more impressive compared to Kahn.
In 2006, the Timberwolves had the 6th pick. Even though most of them have underwhelmed, the top 4 was pretty much a lock: Morrison, Bargnani, Ty Thomas and LMA were gonna be first. The Hawks then reached immensely for a big (Shelden Williams ... whom I'd trade for Shelden Cooper at this point .. love that show) and thus the Wolves were on the clock with Foye, Roy and Gay still on the clock.
At the time it was definitly perceived those 3 were in the same tier. Yes we now know they are definitly not in the same talent tier, in reality, but I truly believe that's how it was perceived.
So within the Tier, McHale had the Combo-guard Foye as the biggest need and put him up at the top. At this point I have to mention again, I'm not comparing the talent evaluation. A lot has been said about why they had Foye at the top of their board and all that. So I'm not comparing the talent evalution on Foye vs Wes ... I'm comparing the draft process.
You see, we did have Foye on top of our board. But still we didn't pick him. Why? McHale was smart enough to know that people behind us wanted Roy. He even had a deal in place with Houston that would have picked Foye with the 8th pick and packaged him with Luther Head for Roy. So even though McHale wanted Foye, he saw the value in letting him slip past and getting more value through a trade for the guy.
Blazers GM Pritchard saw through it and called the bluff, picking Foye and thus forcing a less lucrative trade for the Wolves. They did get a little extra for Foye but it was just a little cash.
Either way you slice it. McHale at least tried to get more for the guy he wanted ... and in fact, he did.
Fast forward to 2010 and we can clearly say Kahn just messed up badly.
The first huge mistake is this: how is it possible that the whole league knew, including the fans, that we were locked into Wes Johnson. Even McHale was able to keep everyone except Pritchard in the dark. No one really knew if we were going with Roy or Foye. Kahn couldn't convince anyone on Cousins vs Johnson. He didn't even try.
Wesley was absolutely not considered a consensus for the 5th pick at the time. If we wanted him (and we did) we should have kept our mouths shut 100% about it because...
The exact same scenario as in 2006 was present. We knew Detroit wanted Cousins. Detroit had the 7th pick. We could at least have drafted Cousins (like McHale drafted Roy) ... made a deal with Detroit that IF Johnson was there at #7 ... we would trade him (like McHale had with Houston) .. and in the probable scenario someone else picks Johnson ... you can still work out a trade that sends you a little bit more than just Wes Johnson (like Portland did)... even if it's just a 2nd rounder, even if it's just a little cash. I don't care. There's no way we could have walked away with less than what we have now if Kahn had had the guts to pick Cousins. Maybe the team that picks Johnson wants nothing to do with Cousins ... but you still walk away with Cousins .. I don't have to tell you anymore why we like him so much, it's been said before more than enough. Besides, even that was improbable because the most likely team to pick Johnson would have been Sacramento, who were widely considered to like Cousins.
Kahn just chickened out and played out his hand too early.
The only excuse Kahn has is that Cousins was an obvious bad fit for our current roster (while Roy was not on the 2006 roster), which would have made it obvious we were trading one of Cousins, Jefferson or Love. But it still doesn't excuse the pick. It only shows even more clearly that he overvalues Jefferson even more than we tought.
So Kahn, congratulations, you did the impossible. You surpassed McHale in draft-night misery on your 2nd go at it. I thought it was impossible, but you did it with flying colors.