Kahn on draft workouts and draft speculation, Rambis and Kahn leave this week for trip to scout Rubio and Pekovic, draft pick rumors and more
From Chad Ford/ESPN:
You can expect teams like the Minnesota Timberwolves, Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers, in particular, to make a strong push to get a deal done with Philly. As I wrote on Friday, the Sixers have been telling teams that they'll have to take back the remaining three years, $50 million of Elton Brand's contract to make it happen. But I wouldn't be surprised if the Sixers softened their stance by the draft. I don't see any team willing to take on Brand's contract at this point.
The Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves are each sitting on multiple picks in the first round. Word is Memphis is trying to move both the 25th and the 28th selections. Minnesota is trying to move the 23rd pick to avoid the guaranteed salary that selection would receive.
From the Timberwolves site: David Kahn on Monday's draft workouts
Question: Did you get to talk to these guys on a one-on-one basis?
"As part of our role as a host, we do get to interview each of the players for twenty minutes. So I sat in on a couple of interviews this morning, I'm going to be sitting in on a couple this evening. Especially with the guys we didn't see in Chicago... Interviews are great. I think it really does help you understand what makes a particular player tick. It can help a player clear up some reports that have been out there as to what happened in the player's perspective, if the player has had any problems in the past. Anytime you can sit down and just talk to somebody like a job interview, it's really valuable. I suspect it's valuable for the players too... It's a mixture, but it's more character and more personality with some basketball sprinkled in. At least that's the way we do it."
From Bob Sansevere/Pioneer Press: Questions with Bob Sansevere: Timberwolves' David Kahn
BS: Is your phone ringing off the hook with offers for the fourth pick?
DK: No. Just a lot of conversation. It started last week. It will only pick up and intensify as we move closer (to the draft).
BS: I've heard speculation about you moving up. Would the teams with the first and second pick: (Washington and Philadelphia) be willing to trade?
DK: I think it's highly, highly, highly unlikely that the first team does. I would be very surprised if Washington traded the pick. There's a new coach in Philadelphia; my sense is they won't. You never know. But I have no idea what they're thinking. They've told people they would listen. I don't know about three (New Jersey Nets). I also think a scenario could be in place where maybe we decide to move back at some point. Who knows? It's way too early.
Rambis traveled with Kahn to Chicago last week for the NBA's predraft camp. Rambis and Kahn are leaving town again Wednesday for an eight-day trip to Europe to scout point guard Ricky Rubio in the Spanish League playoffs and 6-foot-11 center-forward Nikola Pekovic in the Greek League playoffs.
Pekovic was a second-round draft pick of the Wolves in 2008. The 24-year-old native of Serbia-Montenegro is under contract one more season with Panathinaikos Athens and could be eligible to join the Wolves in 2010-11. Rubio, a first-round pick by the Wolves last year, has one year left on his contract with Regal FC Barcelona.
During the trip, Rambis and Kahn also are expected to make a stop in Serbia-Montenegro to visit free-agent center Darko Milicic, who indicated after his24-game stretch with the Wolves that he's leaning toward returning to the team.
From Kevin Lindsey/Bleacher Report: Minnesota Timberwolves President David Kahn's Moment of Truth
There once was no decision to make: College basketball players spent four years in school, used up their eligibility, and if they were good enough, turned pro. But that era is so far in the past, NBA basketball might have evolved into one of the few professions in the world in which a diploma is frequently regarded not as an accomplishment, but as a red flag.
To NBA scouts, getting a B.S. sometimes just means you're halfway to B-U-S-T.
"It can be a hindrance, if there is a perception that their development stopped at some point," Timberwolves president David Kahn said Monday as he oversaw workouts for a dozen NBA hopefuls at Target Center. "It can be a good thing or a bad thing."