The case against David Kahn, without any reference to the number of draftees in a given year who play one position.• Who's worth more, Ty Lawson and Ryan Gomes or Martel Webster? We now know Lawson is a valuable player. Webster? He's been playing for a great coach yet has shown little. Maybe Babbitt can't defend and doesn't fit, but weren't there any other options? The team won 15 games last year.
• There's Flynn over Curry. Let's be big and move past that. Now what do you do with him? Kahn has admitted Jonny's not right for what they're trying to do. Then why not trade him to Indy for Paul George who's perfect for what you're trying to do? Then, at 16, they could have taken Eric Bledsoe or Avery Bradley to fill the back-up PG spot for a year and perhaps become an appreciating asset. Chad Ford on Bledsoe: "If he had gone to a school that didn't have John Wall as the starting point guard, I think he would've gone much higher -- he has more upside than, say, Jonny Flynn."
• Washington got a free draft pick for taking Hinrich from Chicago. Why didn't we? Hinrich costs money, yes, but he could have filled the Flynn slot and given the young team leadership and defense. In '11 he has an expiring contract they could dump when Rubio arrives. Then there's the carrot: the first round pick. The Wiz used it for Seraphin, the good stashable Euro. The Wolves could have, too, then taken Bledsoe and traded him to the Clippers for a future pick, as OKC did. Remember when Kahn told us how great future picks are? Maybe we'd have gotten ours back. Of course, LA wouldn't relinquish it unless anyone thought the Wolves may move beyond putrid by '11-'12.
• Oklahoma City picked up #11 and #18 for taking Peterson and Cook, just to say there were multiple opportunities out there.
• The 23rd pick. Kahn traded that and #56 to Washington for #30 and #35. Meanwhile, Atlanta--not traditionally known for their draft-night savvy, traded the next pick, #24, to the Nets for two better picks, #27 and #31. We got the poorer deal even without including #56. With that, they could still have likely taken Prestes plus nabbed, say, someone who's actually athletic like Alabi at #45.
• Oh, but if we took on salary, say for Hinrich or Tayshaun Prince or Elton Brand, it would mess with our cap room. Yet, we're using cap room for Webster and presumably Darko and Peks. Whom else will it be used for? Tyrus Thomas? If they wanted him, they could have had the bigger newer model, DMC. Josh Childress? Now they're set at small forward and don't need him. Rudy Gay? Not for how little room they have. Linus Klieza? Now I taste championship!
• Ah, but there's sign-and-trade. What does that get them, exactly? So Toronto loses Bosh and would take Big Al. If Bosh was willing to come here, great, but apparently even Kahn doesn't think that will happen. We could send Big Al to Memphis for Gay. Why do they want him? Why would the Jazz if they lose Boozer? Why would Atlanta if they lose Johnson? Why would Phoenix if they lose Stoudamire? Other teams can trade draft picks and the Wolves can't, unless they're far into the future.
• Or the Wolves could be the third team in a sign-and-trade. But then who's the second team, and who could they give us to make it worthwhile? Say, for Bosh. Which team who wants Bosh has anything to give us? The Lakers have Bynum, except his knees might be bad and if they weren't, Toronto would want him, not Al. Maybe we could get future draft picks. These would likely be from good teams, however, and we also know from last Wednesday that draft picks only lead to misery and heartbreak.
• What of the losers in the Free Agency Sweepstakes? They'll want Big Al, or so we're told. But what could they give us? Chicago has Deng--bleech. Miami has nothing. NY has Lee, but they'd have to prefer him to Al. NJ has Favors, yes. If NJ can't get Stoudamire, Lee or Boozer, maybe they'd want Al. Those are slim odds.
• Trade Al for a trade exception, as Ric Bucher says? What is that worth? When has anyone turned a trade exception into a difference-making player? We turned Terrell Brandon's insurance-covered contract into Latrell Sprewell, and that was a terrific deal. Fact is, you can't turn nothing into something.
• Speaking of which, whatever happened to all those expiring contracts from last year? Oh yeah, we let them expire.
I write this to say there's no reason to hope. KG said he should have left earlier. We all should have, too. Wait to see them play? Phooey. Life is too short. We can analyze what Kahn has done up to now--we're at the fourth great moment of opportunity, aren't we?--and say David Kahn is a fraud, different from McHale but no more competent.
Even if Kahn has a superior ability to accumulate assets, he has shown no ability to use them. He has told us a bad team has no business drafting for need, yet this year, he drafted for need. His best asset that has played in the NBA is apparently worth nothing. The Wolves' drafting pattern continues unabated--the guy they pick looks wrong on draft night and is proven wrong a season or two later. They continue to have management that insists they can spot talent where others haven't found it while ignoring talent clear to everyone. Last and least, Kahn's heralded ties to David Stern didn't do anything for Minnesota in the lottery.
The only explanation--perhaps Stop-n-Pop's connection can bear this out--is that the recent meeting of investors had more than 10 of them holding 10% apiece, that Glen Taylor is Zero Mostel and David Kahn (with wig) is Gene Wilder, and that this team is the NBA version of "Springtime for Hitler." There's no hope. I'd love to be wrong, but tickets couldn't be cheap enough to buy some just in case.