Monday, April 12, 2010

Kahn's Words Damn McHale Further

It doesn't take a basketball genius to figure out that Kevin McHale was largely a failure at running the Timberwolves' basketball operation.

The proof is in the pudding. Yes, the Timberwolves had four 50-win seasons under the guidance of McHale and Flip Saunders, but they also flopped miserably towards the end, combining for just 46 wins in McHale's last two years stealing Glen Taylor's money.

New boss David Kahn made it clear from the start. He had to overhaul the roster and basically start over. The claim was he had a 17-month plan (instead of a five-year plan, I guess) to transform the Timberwolves.

It's a long, arduous process, but one Kahn feels he can make happen.

He won zero people over by drafting a player sixth overall -- Ricky Rubio -- who was a virtual lock to not play for the Timberwolves this season.

However, he continues to stick to his plan as he tries to rebuild the roster. With the team on the verge of tying a franchise record for worst record in a season, Kahn spoke candidly with the Minneapolis Star Tribune about the state of the franchise.

In doing so, Kahn opened up about what he feels is the team's biggest need, discussed the future of big man Al Jefferson (pictured right in happier days), and shows again how bad McHale was at this job.

After 15 victories and 64 losses, Kahn and (head coach Kurt) Rambis have concluded they need a player that Rambis compares from recent games to Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant or Miami's Dwyane Wade and Kahn calls "our Brandon Roy."

What Kahn probably realizes as he makes this all-too-unfortunately-true statement is that the Wolves had a real shot at their Brandon Roy.

They drafted Brandon Roy.

McHale then turned around and traded him for Randy Foye.


Kahn does have a point. Bad franchises like Minnesota don't just go out and sign free agents to fix the talent problem. No one wants to play for the Timberwolves, given their location and current state.

You have to build a quality team around a star player acquired in the draft. If the Wolves can get some lottery luck, they'll have Evan Turner fall into their lap this year, which would be outstanding. Otherwise, they may have to get creative.

Whether that's a draft-day deal that he is able to arrange, or a big free-agent he can talk into signing, or a trade he can figure out, Kahn will have to do something.

That's where Kahn will be tested. Can he forge ahead with this 17-month plan without finding a face for the basketball team? Probably not. He also can't afford to enter next season without the guy he at least believes can be the face.

But without a little love from the proverbial ping-pong balls, there doesn't appear to be much of a chance of this happening.

Looking back, it makes a fan even more irate at someone like McHale, who ran this franchise into the ground, never built a quality team around Kevin Garnett -- who was killing himself for this team every time he took the floor -- except for one season with Cassell and Sprewell both behaving and playing well, and made some of the poorest trades imaginable.

Dealing Roy for Foye only added to the problem, one that still exists for Kahn, and one that probably isn't going away anytime soon.

All that means is more of the same for Timberwolves fans.

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