We are 78-250 since KG left and have regressed over the past two years. While I think coaching has been a big problem, our roster is also a nightmare, imbalanced in the worst way, with lots of youth, no veteran leadership, and a need to play people out of position (Wes and Beasley). There has even been talk of trying Randolph at the 5. That would not work, as he would get demolished on a nightly basis due to lack of strength. If anything Randolph is a 3/4, not a 4/5. As excited as I am to finally (hopefully) be brining Rubio over, he will need 2-3 years to establish his game in the NBA and build chemistry with teammates. That means a lot more Ridnour next year, who could be a competent back-up. Adding more inexperienced players through the draft this year, even players that warrant the #2 pick, will doom us to failure and Love will bolt before we have a chance to even be competitive again.
I'll admit that I was seduced with the "blueprint" model and thought if you stockpile enough talent in a thoughtful way, and call them "assets", you can build a championship-caliber roster. Well, tear up the blueprint because we have drafted like crap (and been unlucky as always with lottery position), and now have arguably our 4 best players (Love, Beasley, Randolph, and Tolliver) at the same position. Kahn is the classic over-thinker, whose grandiose plan for some kind of special "championship roster" may have taken this franchise down a notch from McHale, which is quite an accomplishment. Kahn decided "long and athletic" was the way to go. I assume this was because Rubio literally fell into our lap. It makes some sense, but not without Rubio and arguably not with your star player not exactly fitting that mold.
When we had McHale, I used to crave some kind of "philosophy" we could build around, and now I long for a GM that can just get us back to being competitive by assembling a mix of good NBA players that know their role and play their true position. Even if it is just 40-45 win teams, mediocrity would feel better than misery.
I think we need to learn a lesson from three of the teams in our conference: Portland, Memphis, and OKC.
1. Portland tried to build through the draft, and while they are still competitive, it is not because of Roy/Oden/LMA/Fernandez/Bayless/Batun, that roster we were all jealous of at one point. It is because of LMA and three guys they got after they assembled their "core": Wes Mathews, Gerald Wallace, and Andre Miller, two of which are older veterans.
2. Memphis took out the Spurs and were one game away from the WCF this year without their young star Rudy Gay. Most would agree Memphis has a roster that appears to have been built with a blindfold and a handful of darts.
3. OKC didn't get to where they are with a blueprint, they lucked out and got Durant. So unless we think D Williams is going to be our Durant, we need to trade this pick. I for one do not think D Williams will even be able to see Kevin Durant's ceiling, much less touch it. Plus he adds to our stockpile of tweener forwards.
When you look at these three teams, you see a lot of random, unpredictable chaos. You don't see blueprints. You get lucky in the draft (OKC) or you make a few good trades (Portland and Memphis), that at one point didn't look like good trades (Memphis).
Here is my argument: We need an all-star vet to pair with Love, and at a potentially high cost to our blueprint and our payroll. Monta, Iggy, and Gay all have flaws in their games and large contracts, but they might be available for some of the assets we have without giving up Love and Rubio. If we do not add this type of player to our roster over the summer, we will have another GM with another blueprint, and Love will be sending us postcards from the West Coast.
Kahn has proven to be a decent trade-maker and a very poor drafter, with the exception of getting lucky once in the draft with Rubio. As fun and seductive as the NBA draft is, we need to give Kahn a shot at trading the #2 and possibly #20 pick for another star to pair with Love. The truth is, you are just as likely to find a star/franchise player at #6, or #15 or #23, as you are at #2. And the chances of finding a guy at #2 this year that ends up being better than Monta, Iggy or Gay is probably less than 20%. I'll put my money on Kahn making a better trade than a draft pick every day of the week, and twice on Sunday.
Bringing over Rubio and trading our pick(s) for another established star this summer will go a long way in Kahn redeeming himself. He can then say he traded Big Al and kept Love, somehow landed Rubio, and found another all-star caliber wing to pair with them both. Not bad.
Who is with me? Seriously, show of hands.