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Europe

So it's obviously difficult for us to attract top tier FAs like Lebron, Bosh, Wade, Lee, Gay, JJ, Boozer, Amare, Ridnour, etc. But Kahn seems to be on the right track (By accident? Who knows) in this regard. As long as he doesn't actually sign David Lee to an above market deal just to get him (recipe for an instantly untradeable contract!), we're golden. I don't think he will (constantly pointing out guys with bad contracts). I also think that part of his meetings are just to get teams to overreact to signings. We set up a meeting with Gay and Memphis offers him max before we have a chance to show him -the Twins- everything that is good about The Cities. We bring in Outlaw and NJ offers him a $7M/yr contract (what?!).

Well people can complain all they want about how we signed Darko to a $20M partially guaranteed deal. But what's the downside to that? Obviously a lot less than if Gay or JJ decide to take 'er easy now that they got paid. Anywho, the upside to this deal: More Euros! Europe has to be our farm system for the top FAs that we can't get over here. We got Rubio (only slightly reluctantly). We got Pek and Darko. We're talking about trading for Batum. Kahn is going to offer a deal for Seraphin (Just let me have this!). So why not go for the big fish? Tiago Splitter. Assuming Love is gone in any deal for Batum, what do we have to offer? Let's take a look.

Jefferson. They may have some interest in making a final run at a championship with Duncan/Jefferson. I'm confident that Pop could get the most out of Jefferson on both ends (the man is just a studly coach). He'd be next to one of the best post defenders in the game and surrounded by solid shooting and playmaking. Not quite enough.

Enter Sessions for Parker. Three team trades? Parker goes elsewhere (NY for Gallinari?) with an asset going back to SA. So basically we trade Jefferson and Sessions (Also Hollins depending on the contract coming back) and take back a contract (Eddy Curry? Let the Knicks pursue a couple more 2nd/3rd tier FAs)).

 

The trade is hammered out below (in italics), but this really doesn't pertain to my point of the post, just an example, so read if you'd like to or pass it over and continue with my ramblings below:

To MN:
Tiago Splitter
Eddy Curry's FA (no, that does not stand for Free Agent)

To SA:
Jefferson
Sessions
Gallinari

To NY:
Parker
Hollins

NY does it for obvious reasons (more so if they get Lebron without a S&T): Win now with Parker and Amare and also just swap the cap space of Parker for Curry so they still have cap space to spare (Shaq (The Big Apple?), Richard Jefferson, has Pierce signed yet?, Ty Thomas, Brad Miller, Josh Howard?, Scola, Haslem, Redick, Korver, Mike Miller, lopsided salary trades, etc). Lots of options and all they really have to give up is Gallinari while swapping Curry for Hollins' extra year.

SA might do it if they can't settle a deal with Splitter and just want to move on. They get a great young Euro SF prospect in return, a solid PG replacement (just seems like a Popovich player, doesn't he?), and a great fit in the post next to Duncan who could find new life in SA.

We do it to swap Jefferson out for good to settle the debate, while getting slightly more than an expiring for him (And we get rid of 2 years of Hollins). Not incredible value, but we get to solidify our frontcourt with perhaps 2 of the best post players in all of Europe (does Darko count as one of those still?). Pekovic/Splitter/Darko would certainly be an interesting frontcourt (get Seraphin in there and have fun!). GREAT post defense, but might still have some trouble guarding the stretch fours and 3/4s of the world. Still, an obvious upgrade in talent if we swap Love for Batum (fairly evenish).

 

Anyways! That was not the point of the post, just an idea of how we could take advantage and get perhaps the best C in all of Europe. My point is that we should really start taking advantage of Europe so we can start some sort of a goodwill position for the future. Lots of Euros come here and tell their friends that it's not as bad as they had heard (though the cold still sucks). Set a nice foundation of Rubio/Batum/Bjelica/Pekovic/Splitter and maybe Vesley next year (Screw Barnes, we aren't getting the first pick anyways!)? The Minnesota Eurowolves? Beat Prokhorov at his own game. We certainly have a headstart on him.

Our undeserved reputation is already set in stone among most US players, so why not change that tone and take advantage of a huge source of talent before it's too late? Ronzone has great relationships abroad and is a HUGE step in the right direction. Pete Philo is also a big plus for us. I'm just saying that there are a lot more opportunities for us to take advantage of if we focus on recruiting players from abroad than by hoping we can sign a second or third tier guy every big FA period. Heck, if we do this thing right, we might even have some Euros Kobeing to come to MN (though that's probably not likely).

In summary, Europe seems like the best source of talent available to us (assuming we don't hit the jackpot in a draft) and probably the most accessible as well. We've made moves in the right direction, whether that was our point or not. As a couple added bonuses (fun word): we'd get a lot more votes for allstar games every year (What I like to call the Yao Effect), we'd get more international exposure, our viewership would be extended far beyond the midwest (Even though it already is! Just more so), CH would probably also see an upswing in new and interesting contributors with unique perspectives and more scouting info that is not readily available to us.

 

So what do you think of my ideas here? The trade? The broader idea? Is this what Kahn already has in mind and how he recruited Ronzone so easily? Any other targets already in the NBA that we should go after (Dirk/Gasol(s) pipedreams? Cut out Splitter and get Gallinari for ourselves? I'd vote no for that, but anything is possible in fantasy land. Sign an older Euro whose rights are not owned?)? Sound off!

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