The five stages of grief in the Kubler-Ross model are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Ordinarily, a grieving person experiences these sentiments in a chronological order that ends with acceptance. As a wolves fan I believe I am establishing a new paradigm in that I am cycling through these five stages of grief like Dennis Rodman does dresses. Just when I begin to accept that I am a hopeless masochist my heart attempts to deny the cold reality that the Wolves are awful and the future looks bleak. Fortunately, just as I was beginning cycle 400 of my grief, David Kahn's inactivity today jolted me back to reality. However, it is conceivable that I may merely have skipped a few stages such that I find myself immersed in anger and acceptance.
I have long felt that, in order for the wolves to become a contending team, they were going to have to get vastly lucky. It is extremely conspicuous that free agents do not want to play for Minnesota in its current state and that is unlikely to change. In addition, I am quite concerned that Taylor is becoming increasingly frugal in his old age. Accordingly, I have long contended our best chance at success was to draft as well as possible, take a flier on an underachieving player in the hopes they would blossom with the Wolves, and be opportunistic in the trade market. Today was a perfect time, as many other contributors to this blog have pointed out, to be aggressive. Wallace was traded to Portland for essentially nothing in my opinion (two late first-rounders and a washed up Pryzbilla), OJ Mayo could have been had for a first-round pick and an average talent (he was going to Indiana for McRoberts and their first-round pick), etc. Unfortunately, Kahn and Rambis have essentially pidgeonholed themselves so extensively they precluded themselves from having a chance to acquire either Wallace or Mayo.
I firmly believe that Kahn will let the Wolves become vulture fodder before he admits to making a mistake. As such, he will ensure Milicic plays minutes he hasn't earned, Beasley plays out of position, Johnson stays at the two spot, etc.., even though it is clearly detrimental to the team to do so simply as a matter of ego. In addition, he will continue to support Rambis even though there is no justifiable reason to do so as he is employing a system that is ostentatiously antithetical to his players "talents", and he can't even get a young team to play with a reasonable level of effort. Today was a clear manifestation of this reluctance to admit he was wrong as Kahn likely didn't even consider the possibility of acquiring Wallace because it would take Beasley out of the starting line-up even though he has long contended Beasley and Love can play together. Moreover, there was no way he was going to have a legitimate chance at Mayo because he overvalues Johnson, and his ability to make reasonable draft choices. Therein lies my frustration as I have completely lost faith in this organization and am completely confounded by the direction the front office is taking. This was no more evident in Kahn's most recent contention that this team's only needs were to "stabilize the point guard position and acquire an athletic 4/5". Nowhere did he mention how poorly the two guards on this team have played or the fact that we don't really have a legitimate 5 (the Darko ship crashed into a million pieces a long time ago for me). Moreover, I find the "stabilizing the point guard theme" disconcerting as I believe he thinks this merely involves trading Flynn away and praying Rubio comes over.
Early on I tried to rationalize Kahn's decisions in a positive light as I was impressed by how quickly he corrected our cap space issues, acquired Rubio for Miller/Foye (this was a huge coup many people overlook), acquired Beasley for two second-round picks, etc. However, I cannot refrain from pointing out that his blunders have proven remarkably costly and were unjustifiable. His decision to choose Flynn over Curry despite the fact everyone on the planet knew Curry was the far more talented of the two was preposterous. His choice of Johnson over Cousins, although mildly arguable, was incredibly costly as a team like the Wolves must take chances on a potentially transcendental talent like Cousins over the safe pick with very little upside (I don't care what anyone says here, but Johnson does not have that much upside). The bottom line is I firmly believe Kahn's ego in the context of his ineptitude has and will destroy our chances of becoming a contender in the next several years.
When I look to the future I see Love making the max, Beasley making near the max, Darko making four million dollars a year, Pekovic making nearly four million dollars a year, Ridnour making four million dollars a year, Rubio making around four million dollars a year (if he shows up) and a smaller cap. I see us making a lottery draft pick this summer that fails to have a big impact due to how weak the draft is, a complete inability to acquire a top flight talent and Kahn espousing more rhetoric about how we are just waiting to pounce when teams are forced to inexplicably relinquish their best players. For me the writing is on the wall inked from tears derived from the hearts of wolves fans. I am tired of watching Kahn search for different ways to say the same thing. It doesn't really matter how you get there if you always end up bent over in my humble opinion.
I apologize for the long diatribe. Let me conclude by saying I have been very impressed by the individuals that frequent this blog. You guys and gals have made it easier to endure the torture of being a Wolves fan.
Side notes before I end:
1) I wish Kahn would shut his freaking mouth when it comes to potential moves the Wolves are going to make. It completely destroys his trade leverage and increases the ability of alternative teams to compete with the Wolves for top flight talent as they know exactly where Kahn stands at all times. I mean I understand the concept of being transparent, but do you have to be completely naked all the time. Kahn really needs to take a page out of the Nets book who completed the trade for Williams without anyone knowing it. In fact, I would fire anyone in my organization who leaked anything about our trade positions.
2) I find it humerous that Kahn is shipping Flynn shortly after declaring him a potential all-star. He really is a slimy person to me as he has the ability to say outlandish comments without any semblance of remorse. Obviously, he was trying to increase Flynn's trade value before the deadline, but how stupid does he think everyone is? Does he really think he is just smarter than everyone else is?
3) I have said this before and received flack for it, but I will say it again. I believe Randolph is better than Milicic, Pekovic and Tolliver which is not saying very much.
4) I think the lack of basketball IQ on this team is significantly understated. In my opinion it is a huge issue on this team which always finds itself out of position on defense, and is largely epitomized by Flynn and Beasley who are basically basketball idiots to me even as I do like Beasley.