OK, I'll start out this post with the same statement I made after the Darko signing and the draft: This season's status quo was a front court of Al Jefferson, Kevin Love, and DeMarcus Cousins with a wing cache of James Anderson or Luke Babbitt. This was before an additional first round pick, millions in cap space, and the Darko/Pek signings. No matter what Kahn does from here on out, his actions should always be viewed against what could have happened had he simply stayed put and drafted Cousins instead of Wes Johnson and, while we're at it, Steph Curry instead of Jonny Flynn. This isn't crying over spilled milk. We called these picks in real time and we were adamant that Kahn made a huge mistake in real time. It's how we judge the guy and we're sticking to it. The Hoopus draft record in the past two years would have landed the
That being said, Kahn's non-draft related moves have been better than advertised, especially when taken in aggregate. Also, let's not ignore the possibility that while Kahn may not have drafted the BPA at each step of the way (and I think it is clear that he hasn't), he hasn't exactly drafted a load of busts either. Go take a look at the 08/09 roster. Do you like what you see?
- Jonny Flynn/Ramon Sessions
- Martel Webster/Corey Brewer/Lazar Hayward/Wayne Ellington
- Wes Johnson/Michael Beasley/Corey Brewer
- Kevin Love/Michael Beasley/Ryan Hollins
- Darko Milicic/Nikola Pekovic
- Ricky Rubio/(Flynn/Sessions/Ridnour)
- Wes Jonhson/Webster
For Minnesota, I can’t argue with the idea of trading Jefferson. There was no way he could coexist in the same frontcourt as Kevin Love, and I’m a huge Love fan. Additionally, wiping away Jefferson’s $13 million opens the door to substantial cap space — they’ll have it right away but may not choose to use it until next summer. Alternatively, they can adopt the Oklahoma City model and rent out their cap space in return for more assets. And, of course, two first-rounders never hurt.
Regardless, a frontcourt with Love, Michael Beasley, Nikola Pekovic and Darko Milicic will be a considerable improvement on last season’s unit, at both ends of the floor. The Wolves likely will spend another year in the basement, but one can at least see the kernels of a foundation taking shape.