Here is the positive.... the negative is included in link above.
First, once the season begins, the team will essentially be in Kurt Rambis' hands, not Kahn's. The first-year coach had some trouble establishing a consistent rotation last season (limiting Love's minutes for the sake of Milicic was probably a mistake), but Rambis strikes me as a serious, well-respected teacher of the game who genuinely understands his young players. Not the type of guy to lose a team, in other words.
Second, even Kahn's riskiest moves aren't actually terribly risky. Johnson may not have Cousins' star potential but he is a thoughtful, alarmingly athletic player with a tall, gorgeous jumper and a deep desire to play Pippen-esque defense. You could do worse. You could also do worse than Beasley, who, despite those two mercurial years in Miami, remains a magnificently talented dude who is still on his rookie contract.
And while Darko has many, many shortcomings, I'm not sure that $5 million a year (only three of those years are guaranteed, by the way) is really so much to pay for a nimble, 25-year-old 7-footer with deft passing skills who happens to fit nicely into your offensive system. Is that really more laughable than paying Drew Gooden or Amir Johnson $30 million over five years?
It's fashionable at the moment to ridicule Kahn as an abrasive, unqualified hack. It's clear the man has had some awfully low moments this summer and that he and Rambis haven't yet found that transcendent player who will give meaning to their long-suffering franchise. And it's equally clear that the Wolves are going to lose a lot of games this season.
But if you scan this lineup -- Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic, Wes Johnson, Martell Webster, Corey Brewer, even Darko Milicic and Michael Beasley -- you'll find a lot of young, smart, athletic, hungry players. These are players who want to learn, who want to run, who want to move the ball and play defense. Aren't these just the type of players who would seem to fit well into Rambis' up-tempo-and-triangle offense? And when you consider the Wolves have roughly $10 million in cap space, doesn't the picture look a lot less ridiculous than this chaotic offseason might have suggested?
Am I just being naïve? Is it wrong for Wolves fans to hold on to even these tiny shreds of optimism? Let me tell you a story.
For the three years beginning with their six-game Western Conference finals loss to the Lakers in 2004 and ending with the Kevin Garnett trade of 2007, the Wolves slowly melted down. With very few exceptions (KG among them), the team became a nightmare of ball-hogging, extravagant contract demands, intentionally careless defense and mediocre effort. As the front office hemorrhaged draft picks, this collection of aging jump-shooters and corrosive personalities contributed to the firing of both Flip Saunders and Dwane Casey and helped hasten the KG era's sad, pathetic end. What I'm saying is: We've seen turmoil and this isn't it.