David Kahn Hired to Ruin Minnesota Timberwolves

A guest post by Yoshito Tsuji, Edited by Susan Shan

On May 22, 2009, the Minnesota Timberwolves made a fateful decision to hire David Kahn as President of Basketball Operations. Minnesota wanted Kahn to ruin the franchise. Ruin, not run.

Kahn was poised to provide much needed talent to support his up-and-coming big man, Al Jefferson. The T-wolves went into the 2009 NBA Draft with the No. 5 and No. 6 picks (along with the No. 18 and No. 28 picks), and the rest is history.

Beginning of the End
Minnesota drafted Stephen Curry and Brandon Jennings, creating a future All-Star backcourt for the next decade. Oh no, wait, Kahn decided to take Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn instead, forever solidifying the pair as the trivia answer to the question, “Minnesota missed out on Stephen Curry and/or Brandon Jennings for which two point guards?”

Rubio, of course, decided to stay overseas to prepare for the NBA. I believe their conversation went something like this:

“Hi, Ricky, we’re really excited to have you play for us next year in Minnesota!” Kahn exclaimed.
“Is this some kind of joke?” Rubio asked. “I told you morons that I wasn’t going to play for Minnesota.”
Silence.
“Oh, okay, I’ll just say that you want to prepare more for the NBA. How’s that sound? Ricky? Ricky?? RICKY???”
Dial tone.

Later that night, the T-wolves selected Ty Lawson with the 18th pick. Instead of keeping Lawson, Kahn traded him for a future first round pick. That pick turned out to be Luke Babbitt, the 16th pick in the 2010 draft. Babbitt was then traded to Portland along with Ryan Gomes for Martell Webster this past June.

Kahn also traded 25-year-old Al Jefferson (the centerpiece of the Kevin Garnett deal just three years ago) to the Utah Jazz for two future first round picks and a big bag of chips better known as Kosta Koufos.

To help ease the burden of giving up the team’s best player, Kahn signed the Serbian Superstar Darko Milicic to a $20 million, four-year deal that made all of Minnesota throw up.

Minnesota is a Haven For Good Characters
Kahn wasn’t done. He thought he was working for the Miami Heat when he traded two future second round picks (2011 and 2014) for Michael Beasley and his drug addiction. Kahn even delighted in his own trade by paying a $50,000 fine in order to proclaim Beasley as “a very young and immature kid who smoked too much marijuana.” I’m sure that’s the type of player you want to market to fans.

Trading for players with good character is a recurring theme for the team. Kahn recently traded Ramon Sessions, Ryan Hollins, and a future second round pick to the franchise formerly known as the Cleveland Cavaliers for Delonte West and Sebastian Telfair. It is unclear how adding West and Telfair help Minnesota on the court, but I have theories.

Theory No. 1: Having West and Telfair means that Minnesota doesn’t have to play Sessions and Hollins ever again.

Theory No. 2: David Kahn wanted Delonte West around in case another player’s mom got lonely. But that’s really for another blog.

Theory No. 3: Kahn thought West and Telfair would provide increased safety to the team. West recently pleaded guilty after going for a relaxing motorcycle ride around Maryland with two handguns, a shotgun, a bowie knife, and 112 shotgun shells. Telfair, on the other hand, is well known for his “Jailblazer” days when he mistakenly brought a loaded handgun onto the team plane in a pillowcase. The next year, he was investigated for the shooting of the rapper Fabolous in a Manhattan club. The year after that, he was arrested for driving with a suspended license and possessing a loaded handgun.

Theory No. 4: Kahn has hated Minnesota fans his entire life and wants to completely destroy the franchise and its fans. To summarize, Kahn’s recent moves include re-signing (and completely overpaying) the biggest bust in lottery history, two guys who carry loaded handguns around, a drug addict, and yet another point guard in Luke Ridnour ($16 million, four-year deal). Ridnour “fits perfectly with who we aim to be,” Kahn said. That is, the aim to be worse than the Nets.

Outside of Kahn, T-wolves Have Been Unlucky
Although David “Dr. Evil” Kahn has tried to destroy the Minnesota Timberwolves franchise in five years or less, he isn’t the only one to blame. History hasn’t been kind to the T-wolves. Outside of getting Garnett, the team hasn’t had the best luck.

The infamous attempt to sign Joe Smith under the table (which cost them five first round picks and $3.5 million in fines), the Kevin McHale era, trading Brandon Roy for Randy Foye, and trading O.J. Mayo for Kevin Love in a multi-player deal has haunted the franchise.

Ultimately, the T-wolves are a revolving door when it comes to players. The incessant trading of players and prospects for future picks and bums is a neverending cycle.

To further illustrate the futility of their decisions, what is left of the Kevin Garnett trade is this: Martell Webster, Wayne Ellington, a couple of future first round picks (which will probably get traded for more future picks), and Kosta Koufos chips. Okay, they also re-acquired Sebastian Telfair, who was part of the original KG deal. But when you trade away your franchise player and one of the best players in franchise history, you would hope that you had at least one All-Star to show for it.

Minnesota’s Future
Instead, the great fans of Minnesota are left with the constant trading of their young stars, a lot of losses, and the agony of knowing that they once drafted or could have drafted some of the best young stars in the NBA.

There’s still hope for players like Wesley Johnson, Corey Brewer, Love, Flynn, Rubio, and Nikola Pekovic to develop into stars one day, but fans have to hope it’s in Minnesota and not somewhere else.

There’s no word on Dr. Evil’s next move, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on ESPN for a one-hour special to discuss the future of the Minnesota Timberwolves. I can only assume that he’ll be taking the franchise and his “talents” to South Beach.

Things could be worse. You could be a Seattle SuperSonics fan.

Yoshito Tsuji has been an avid sports fan his entire life. His ultimate dream is to become an NBA GM one day.

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