Tag:Darko Milicic
Posted on: January 14, 2011 1:28 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2011 1:31 pm
 

The Game Changer: Heat bomb without LeBron James

LeBron James and the Miami Heat finally lose, Elvis Night in Detroit, Blake Griffin throws down a double-pump dunk past Dwyane Wade, and the San Antonio Spurs run a gorgeous play for a big basket. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer. 

THE BIG ONE: MIAMI HEAT LOSE AGAIN

LeBron James was out with a sprained ankle. It was the second night of a back-to-back. The team plane landed in the wee hours of the morning. The game was played at high altitude. 

There are a litany of excuses, and reasons, that the Miami Heat got clobbered by the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night on national television, 130-102, but, in the aftermath, James' absence will serve as the lightning rod.  

Without their leading scorer and best play-maker, the Heat looked listless, settled for bad shots, couldn't really guard anybody, played deeper into their bench than they usually do, and generally didn't get up for the moment. What's more, the other two parts of the Big 3, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, were -25 and -26 respectively, combining for just 40 points when 75 or so was needed. 

James' absence and the promise of his return makes this loss a lot easier to take for the Heat and their fans, although it's got to be a touch disconcerting for James, who came to Miami with the idea he was seeking out teammates who could meaningfully help him shoulder the load. But it's not panic time, by any means, as James surely understands that a Big 3 makes for a contender and any Big 2, no matter how big, is only good enough to be a pretender in the top-heavy NBA.

As for Heat coach Eric Spoelstra? Well, he doesn't appear to be taking the loss very well.

eric-spoelstra


GO-GO-GADGET LINES OF THE NIGHT:


Russell Westbrook: 32 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assists, one steal and two blocks in 42 minutes in an Oklahoma City Thunder home win over the Orlando Magic.

Kevin Love: 35 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists in 41 minutes in a Minnesota Timberwolves home win over the Washington Wizards.

Dwight Howard: 39 points, 18 rebounds, two blocks in 43 minutes in an Orlando Magic road loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

DON'T MISS:

WHIMSY:

This is a pretty breathtaking ensemble from LeBron James: winter coat, dress pants, dress shoe and Nike flip flop, necessitated by his sprained ankle, of course. It's likely this is the first time in the history of the universe that someone has ever worn this outfit.
lebron-james-coat

HIGHLIGHT REEL:


I'm not sure if Minnesota Timberwolves center Darko Milicic is a future All-Star, but he did manage to tip a jump ball into the wrong hoop, scoring two points for the opposition. Insane and so unlucky. Unfortunately, in typical Darko fashion, this weird news becomes the headline on a night when he put up 14 points and 11 rebounds. 




FINAL THOUGHT:

A great quote from Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy, on Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant after he went off for 36 points on 17 shots last night. "What haunts me are guys like Kevin Durant,” Van Gundy said. “So, I would say this building is haunted because of guys like him, as are most of the buildings in the NBA. I haven’t run into a haunted hotel, just haunted arenas.” Via DailyThunder.com.
Posted on: January 14, 2011 9:19 am
 

Shootaround 1.14.11: Worries abound

The Bulls miss Noah on offense, beards abound, J.O. may need surgery, and the Hornets need a big uptick in fans, still. All this and more in today's Shootaround. 
Posted by Matt Moore


You know why the Bulls miss Joakim Noah? Because their offense is struggling. Noah goes out and their offense falls off. How weird is that?

The best beards from NBA D-League's Showcase

Darko Milicic won the opening tip last night. A bit too much. He ended up scoring on his own goal with it. Whoops. The Wolves won and Darko was big down the stretch. But can you imagine if the Wolves had lost by two points?

George Karl thinks the Carmelo Anthony trade could fall through. If Ujiri's previous actions have been any indication, though, Karl will be the last to know. 

In case you missed it, Ben Golliver broke down the most efficient scorers in the NBA. It's well worth a read. 

Jermaine O'Neal may not be able to avoid having surgery on an ailing knee. 

Speaking of injured Celtics bigs, Danny Ainge is surprised Boston's bigs started missing games with injuries this soon. And he should be. After all, they're only 7,000 years old. 

Orlando Pinstriped Post asks what more Magic fans want from Jameer Nelson.

One of what will be many looks at Rondo versus Rose for the next three years.

The Hornets still need to average 14, 915 fans in attendance over the next five games to avoid the elimination of the buyout penalty for their arena. Their attendance on Wednesday? 13, 688. 
Posted on: January 3, 2011 8:49 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2011 2:31 pm
 

David Kahn predicts Darko will be an NBA All-Star

Minnesota Timberwolves President David Kahn predicts center Darko Milicic will be an NBA All-Star in the future. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Minnesota Timberwolves President David Kahn is well known for saying and doing things that don't make any sense, and he was up to his old tricks once again during Monday night's Fox Sports North telecast of the Timberwolves' game against the Boston Celtics.

During the second quarter, Kahn joined Tom Hanneman and Jim Petersen to chat about a number of topics. The conversation eventually turned to center Darko Milicic, a player whose name has become virtually synonymous with draft bust, but whom Kahn gave a massive contract to last summer. Here's how the conversation unfolded.
Petersen: "Darko Milicic has also been a huge find. He's been a great influence on this team. The size of Darko Milicic against Shaquille O'Neal is so unbelievably handy in this ballgame, you can see what Darko is becoming. He's come a long way and I think you guys have a lot of credit to be had for bringing Darko here to Minnesota."
Kahn: "Thank you, Jim, but I met with Darko today because I hadn't talked to him in awhile, and I think there's just still so much more to come. And I think that we expect it out of him. It's not enough, is what I'm trying to say. We think that Darko can actually get to sort of a near All-Star if not All-Star level. There's not a lot of quality centers in our sport. There's no reason to think that a year from now if Darko were to continue his trajectory upwards, he couldn't be in the mix about a year from now for the All-Star game."
Petersen: "All you've got to do is look at the Western Conference ballot for the All-Star game and see that there's not a lot of good centers. Darko's got a chance to be a very good center in the Western Conference."

Can't believe your eyes reading that transcript? Watch the video to hear the exchange for yourself.



Previously, of course, Kahn referred to Milicic as "manna from heaven," so perhaps we shouldn't be that surprised by this bold declaration. Still, it's ridiculous. Milicic will never, ever, ever be voted in by the fans, and the coaches who select the All-Star reserves are notorious for favoring players from winning teams or those with big numbers. 

On the season, Milicic is averaging 9.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 24.2 minutes per game. The Timberwolves sported a 9-25 record entering Monday night's game against the Celtics. 

In case you were wondering, the Timberwolves franchise has only had four separate players selected to an All-Star game during its 22 seasons of existence, and hasn't had an NBA All-Star since 2007, when Kevin Garnett was selected.
Posted on: September 22, 2010 3:43 pm
 

Preseason Primers: Timberwolves

Posted by Royce Young

Minnesota continues to be an odd place of transition. No one really knows what's going on in the front office and it doesn't really seem like anyone inside the fanbase really cares at this point. While the outside world criticizes David Kahn, Wolves fans remain faithful. They're already said they aren't contenders, but can they at least be decent? Not likely.


Training camp site: Mankato, MN

Training camp starts: Sept. 25

Key additions: Wesley Johnson (draft), Michael Beasley (trade), Luke Ridnour (free agent), Martell Webster (trade)

Key subtractions: Ramon Sessions (trade), Al Jefferson (trade), Ryan Gomes (free agent)

Likely starting lineup: Jonny Flynn, PG; Wesley Johnson, SG; Corey Brewer, SF; Kevin Love, PF; Darko Milicic, C

Player to watch: Michael Beasley. Supposedly, Beasley has had a basketball rebirth. David Kahn said Beasley is off smoking pot and has regained focus in Minnesota. Everyone knows Beasley has serious basketball ability. He was one of the most dominant college freshmen ever. But it hasn't translated yet. With a new situation and a new view on basketball, maybe he starts to find his way.

KAAAAAAAAHN?: KAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHN!!!

Camp battles: Kevin Love has quietly been a little miffed with his role in Minnesota saying he felt more valuable to Team USA than to the Wolves. Right now, it's looking like he'll start. But Michael Beasley could push him for the spot.

Biggest strength: Transparency and honesty! Just kidding. But seriously, they've already pretty much admitted they're going to stink, so why should anyone else think different. The one thing the Wolves might do well is run the floor. They brought in Luke Ridnour to lead that charge and there's a good amount of athleticism on the wings in Corey Brewer, Wes Johnson and Beasley to get out in transition.

Glaring weakness: Scoring. Who puts the ball in the basket for the Wolves? Corey Brewer has shown flashes of being able to score, but on a mediocre team he would be the third or fourth option. And in Minny you're telling me he's the primary? Oh boy.

Jonny Flynn can create and score a little, same goes for Ridnour, Wayne Ellington can shoot, Martell Webster can put it in the basket some and we don't really know about Wesley Johnson. For the most part, it's a cast of average to below average scorers at best, so finding points could be difficult for the Wolves.
Posted on: August 26, 2010 10:31 am
Edited on: August 26, 2010 11:13 am
 

Pop Quiz: Who's the worst?

Posted by Matt Moore

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...

Who will be the worst team in the NBA this season?


It's a depressing question, isn't it? Who's going to fail more than any other? Someone has to win the fewest number of games this year. So who's on the list?

The Returning Champ: The New Jersey Nets

You can't just let the reigning "champs" off the list without giving them a chance to repeat! The Nets were the worst team in the league last year, only able to avoid the worst mark of all time due to a late surge. It was a startling development, one that baffled a lot of NBA heads, because the team really did have talent. But for whatever reason (injury, chemistry, coaching, pure terrible luck), it never came together and the team plummeted into the depths. So are they doomed to repeat history?

The Nets struck out in free agency for the top names but still brought in good players. Anthony Morrow, Jordan Farmar, Travis Outlaw, and Troy Murphy will all be suiting up for the Nets alongside Devin Harris, Terrence Williams, and Brook Lopez. With the development of the younger players, the addition of a few talented veterans, and a more demanding coach in Avery Johnson, the Nets may not be in position to push for the playoffs, but they are unlikely to repeat as the worst team in the NBA.

The New Kids: The Toronto Raptors


Our first victim of the free-agency summer of doom. After losing Chris Bosh to the triad, GM Brian Colangelo went on a firesale. He ditched Hedo Turkoglu for Leandro Barbosa and sent Marco Belinelli for Julian Wright. He did spend some money, though, giving Amir Johnson a hefty new deal and bringing Linas Kleiza back from overseas. The Raptors lost a huge chunk of salary, and weren't that great to begin with. They are teetering on the abyss. Will they fall off?

Bear in mind that we're talking the worst here. Not bad, but the worst. And the Raptors could assuredly reach that mark if everything were to go wrong. But there are bright spots. Andrea Bargnani, for all his rebound-void, yogurty, forceless  weaknesses, can still hit from anywhere on the floor, and might actually get to play where he's best (high-post and mid-range) with Bosh gone instead of trying to impersonate a traditional center. DeMar DeRozan has the athleticism and range to be able to become a leader. Sonny Weems continues to impress, Amir Johnson will forever be lauded as the next great (whistle) defensive player (whistle) if only he could (whistle) stop fouling (whistle). If the Raptors drop off a cliff, it'll be because the chemistry wasn't fit to hold, or because the real problem in Toronto hasn't been Colangelo's roster, but Triano's coaching.

The Dark Horse: The Washington Wizards


How could any team with John Wall be the worst team in the league? When you have as fragile a chemistry set as this team does. That's how. The Wizards are a long shot to burrow into the trash heap the furthest, but with Gilbert Arenas anything but a sure thing, there's just no telling how this is going to work out. We thought the biggest concern with Arenas last year was if he could stay healthy a full season. We didn't even get to answer that. Andray Blatche is the third best player on the team, and that could go any number of ways. He could be a consistent scorer, working in tandem with Wall, and showcasing the scoring ability he showed last season. Or he could become a space cadet again. JaVale McGee showed great things in Summer League, but he's yet to prove he can be someone to be relied on as the primary big.

Wall is likely to be good enough to drag this team out of the very basement, and if everything were to go right (and I mean everything), the Wizards could find themselves in contention for the playoffs. But if another chemistry blow-up happens and Flip Saunders is unable to contain the damage and get through, the Wizards could be a two-year disaster.

The Favorite: The Minnesota Timberwolves


Okay, let's try the opposite. Let's try and figure out how the Wolves could avoid being the worst team in the league. Option No. 1, another team has a rash of injuries that makes Houston seem like Phoenix. Okay, barring that, Option No.2, we need the following to occur:

A. Luke Ridnour picks up where he left off in Milwaukee, being a solid game manager and reliable shooter.
B. Martell Webster slides in and immediately begins to contribute as he did in Portland, providing the perimeter scoring missing in Minny last year.
C. Wesley Johnson was in fact, the best player available at 3, better or at least within range of DeMarcus Cousins only without the chemistry problems, and is able to pick up the pro game's speed and awareness necessary to contribute.
D. Jonny Flynn recovers on schedule from hip surgery.
E. Kurt Rambis and David Kahn get over whatever problems they had with Kevin Love last season, and Love is allowed to be on the floor and become the player everyone else believes he is.
F. Darko Milicic actually was worth five years and $20 million, and alongside Love makes for a stout front court.
G. The triangle, one of the more complex and difficult systems to run, which has only been successful for two teams under one coach with the best or second best player in the league at all times, magically works for a lottery team lacking in both veteran smarts and talent.
H. Mike Beasley really was just misunderstood.

That's a lot that needs to go right. Wolves fans tend to think the media picks on them because of their market. As a proponent of small markets, I'm here to say that's not the case. It's because this team is bad. It was built badly, with bad contracts for bad players, with a bad system for its personnel, and it needs significant upgrades at nearly every position and at multiple depth levels in order to make itself right. The Wolves could come together and shove it in the faces of all the doubters. But until we see the actual manifestation of all the supposed potential the roster holds, your Minnesota Timberwolves are expected to be the worst team in the NBA this season.


Posted on: August 5, 2010 4:31 pm
 

The lockout discount

Posted by Matt Moore

Ken Berger's report on the upcoming meeting of the players' union and ownership is probably only going to go as well as the last meeting did. Here's a little dramatic re-enactment of that exchange:

Players' union: "Psshaw!"

Owners: (GUFFAW!)

Players' union: "As if!"

Owners: (Rabble rabble!)

Etc.

But among the information KB passed along , there is the one that keeps coming to life:

Like partygoers ordering the last few rounds of drinks on the Titanic, owners doled out more than $1 billion in salary commitments during free agency. Five-year deals north of $30 million for the likes of Channing Frye, Drew Gooden, Amir Johnson and Travis Outlaw were among the head-scratchers -- or, as one person on the players' side of the debate called it, "the height of stupidity" for owners heading into a labor fight.

In politics, I'm told there is a drive to create easy-to-digest slogans. And "You gave Darko Milicic $20 million" is the union's new rallying cry. And it's certainly a valid one. But wrapped up in all this two-faced jesterdom is a question that started bugging me. KB notes that teams gave out up to a billion dollars in free agent money this summer. But then later, there's this sobering, theoretically unrelated note, again, something we know but that bears repeating:


"There's a concept known as the self-fulfilling prophecy," one of the people involved in bargaining said. "When you have both parties saying there's going to be a lockout, the likelihood of it happening is very high. ... My interpretation is, I don't think either one of these guys is ready to move."

So just to go over this once more. The ownership group lays out $1 billion dollars the summer of free agency and takes on water for it. At the same time, the ownership group is steadfastly moving towards a lockout with seemingly no concern over how long it will go on. Anyone else picking up a paradigm here? The owners gave out a considerable amount of money over a given number of years... but are almost positive they will not be giving the full amount.

A lockout season prorates the players' pay. With players paid twice a month, if the lockout lasts into half the season, that scrapes off half that first year's salary. Take a swing at how much less those salaries become depending on how long the lockout lasts? Meanwhile, the ownership group negotiates for a tougher deal which will curtail spending in the future. So we've got a primary element of the union's case that probably won't be true. It won't stop the union from being able to use it as an argument, but then, the more the union uses it, the more likely a lockout becomes, which of course, drops the price off the contracts.

Even if the lockout only lasts a month into the season, that could drop millions off a team's payroll. Combine that with whatever revisions the owners force the players to concede, particularly those top-end players, since they aren't making their presence felt at the meetings, and there's a pattern forming here. The owners seem like they're a step behind. But it's possible that Berger's source was right:


"[The owners] are not remotely worried. They're fully prepared to shut the thing down."



The union's campaign slogan may ring true in theory, but it's possible the owners are a step ahead, regardless of how these talks develop.
Posted on: July 29, 2010 1:59 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2010 1:57 pm
 

Offseason Reviews: Northwest Division

Posted by Royce Young



The Northwest Division has become one of the best and most competitive divisions in the league. There's rising teams, star power, a traditional great and then there's the Timberwolves. Regardless, it's a fairly fascinating groups of teams that all had quite different summers.

Utah Jazz

Added : Al Jefferson (trade), Raja Bell (free agency), Gordon Hayward (draft)
Lost : Kyle Korver (free agency), Ronnie Brewer (free agency), Carlos Boozer (free agency), Wesley Matthews

Philosophy : "Keep on keepin' on."

Lose one star player, replace him with another. It's just how this Jazz train keeps on a'rollin'. Utah scored Al Jefferson for relatively nothing and he replaces the exported Carlos Boozer quite well. The Jazz love that pick and roll and Jefferson should be able to team with Deron Williams to keep it at a high level. They also signed Raja Bell who is a pesky defensive player. However, losing Wesley Matthews stings a bit just because he was a rookie last year and appears to have a promising future ahead. But Utah just didn't want to pay the price tag to keep him.

Drafting Gordon Hayward certainly helps as he'll look to fill some of the void left by Matthews and Kyle Korver who signed with Chicago. This offseason was more of just scrambling to maintain in Utah and with the Jefferson deal, it looks like it should do that. A lot depends on the progression of Hayward because he'll see meaningful minutes, but the Jazz didn't let a mass exodus to Chicago burn down their walls.

Grade : B

Denver Nuggets

Added : Al Harrington (free agency), Shelden Williams (free agency), Brian Butch (free agency), George Karl's returned good health (hopefully)
Lost : Johan Petro (free agency), Malik Allen (free agency), Joey Graham (free agency)

Philosophy : "Staying good, but not great."

Denver is a team that feels like it's a piece away. Just one player to push them over the edge from good, competitive playoff team to great, actual contender team. So they signed Al Harrington. Is he that piece? Eh...

The reality is the Nuggets will be good. Their starting five has Chauncey Billups, Arron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Harrington and Nene. That's pretty darn solid. Then instant offense with J.R. Smith off the bench, defense in Chris Andersen and quality players in Kenyon Martin and Ty Lawson. That's a pretty stout roster. But is that really good enough? This is clearly a 50-win team and it's destined for a top five seed in the West. But can it get to the Western Finals, which of course is the goal for a squad of this caliber? Again, eh...

Grade : C+

Portland Trail Blazers

Added : Luke Babbitt (draft), Eliot Williams (draft), Wesley Matthews (free agency), Marcus Camby (re-signed)
Lost : Martell Webster (trade), Juwan Howard (free agency), Travis Diener (free agency),

Philosophy : "Get right."

If there was a goal for the Blazers this offseason, it was simple. It wasn't to sign a big name or move up in the draft. It wasn't to restructure or make a big trade. It was just to get healthy.

Nobody dealt with the adversity Portland did last year. Greg Oden. Joel Pryzbilla. Brandon Roy. Nic Batum. Rudy Fernandez. All of those players missed at least some significant time because of an injury. And yet, the Blazers won 50 games and made the playoffs. That's... impressive.

But Portland didn't sit on its hands this summer. The Blazers re-signed Marcus Camby, who was huge for them down the stretch. The traded Martell Webster to grab Luke Babbitt, an extremely promising and gifted forward from Nevada. They inked Wesley Matthews to a big deal, who is someone that will give them a little scoring insurance and wing defender help. The turned over the front office and hopefully remedied any tense situations between ownership and management. Now there are talks they'll lose Fernandez who sees the logjam in the backcourt in Portland, but Matthews and Williams are worth replacements.

All in all, not a bad offseason for the Blazers. Is it enough to push ahead in the West? That depends on the factors that snuck up and bit them last year: health.

Grade : B+

Oklahoma City Thunder

Added : Cole Aldrich (trade/draft), Morris Peterson (trade), Royal Ivey (free agency), Daequan Cook (trade), Kevin Durant (contract extension)
Lost : Kevin Ollie (retirement), Etan Thomas (free agency), Kyle Weaver (waived)

Philosophy : "If you think it's good now, just wait until we grow up."

Most saw the Thunder's cap space and expected something. Something big. Something grand to take them from up-and-comer to favorite in the West. Maybe go grab Chris Bosh. Maybe make a run at Amar'e Stoudemire. Maybe flag down Carlos Boozer. Instead, Oklahoma City did what it does best: stuck to the plan.

Rather than blowing its extra cap room, OKC deferred to utilizing its assets to move up in the draft and fill a need from the ground up. This is a franchise that is absolutely committed to the long term and to player development. Most agreed the Thunder needed an tough, physical inside prescence to defend the paint and rebound. So what did they do? They went and got the best player at those two things in the draft in Cole Aldrich.

Another underrated move from OKC was acquiring Daequan Cook from Miami. The Heat were looking to dump any contract player to anyone to make room for basketball free agency apocolypse, so the Thunder got a former 3-point champ and shooting specialist at a discount price of a single second-round pick.

Oh, and one other thing: They signed Kevin Durant to a five-year extension. I'd say in terms of what the Thunder's goals were before the summer started and how it finished, they'd say mission accomplished.

Grade : B+

Minnesota Timberwolves

Added : Darko Milicic (re-signed), Michael Beasley (trade), Luke Ridnour (free agency), Delonte West (trade), Sebastian Telfair (trade), Lazar Hayward (draft), Kosta Koufos (trade), Martell Webster (trade), Wesley Johnson (draft),
Lost : Ramon Sessions (trade), Ryan Hollins (trade), Al Jefferson (trade), Delonte West (waived), Ryan Gomes (free agency), Damien Wilkins (free agency), Sasha Pavlovic (free agency), Brian Cardinal (free agency), Alando Tucket (waived), what remaining respect David Kahn had from media and fans of the NBA

Philosophy : "..."

Honestly, you know what David Kahn reminds me of a bit? Someone that likes playing fantasy football just so he can call other players, offer up deals, trade players and sign others off waivers. Sometimes it seems like Kahn makes moves just for the sake of not getting bored.

No one can determine a real plan from here. My best guess at what he's doing is trying to put together a roster Ricky Rubio likes and then build a team around that. That's all I can figure. They have a bunch of draft picks and some cap space, but those things aren't great when the man in charge doesn't know what to do with it.

What exactly is going on there though? What's the point of signing Sessions and then signing Ridnour just to trade Sessions? I don't get it. Basically Kahn traded a player he signed for $16 million for Sebastian Telfair. Huh? Then of course the Darko deal. What? Then drafting Wesley Johnson only to bring in a player via trade in Webster that plays the same position. Come again? Then trading Al Jefferson, the face of your franchise, for a couple draft picks. Excuse me?

There's just no rhyme or reason to all this right now. I have no idea what to grade it because I have no idea what the questions even are. Did they get better? I don't know. Did they get worse? I don't really know. Did they set themselves up for the future? I have no idea.

If Sam Presti and Daryl Morey are playing chess and everyone else is playing checkers, right now it looks like everyone else is playing checkers and David Kahn is playing duck-duck-goose.

Grade : D-
Posted on: July 23, 2010 4:39 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2010 6:01 pm
 

Kahn fined $50k for Beasley comments

Posted by Matt Moore

David Kahn's summer of love continues.

After giving Darko Milicic the gift of $20 million dollars, then giving Miami the gift of being able to sign a bunch of talented veteran free agents by taking on Michael Beasley, and giving the Utah Jazz a great up-and-coming low-post scorer in Al Jefferson, the Wolves GM has now decided to give a big ol' gift right back to the NBA.

The NBA today fined David Kahn $50,000 and the Minnesota Timberwolves $50,000 following Kahns' comments on Thursday regarding Michael Beasley and his marijuana use. As we told you when we brought you Kahn's comments on the Minneapolis radio show, and via Tom Ziller, the CBA prohibits team officials from discussing drug use with the media.

You're going to be hard pressed with someone that thinks that what Kahn was saying was wrong. It was an honest observation about a player he's taken a lot of flack for trading for. He's a kid that's gone through a tremendous amount of scrutiny, and Kahn was just being honest and reasonable about his situation. But the CBA outlines this stuff pretty clearly, and for a good reason. Drug use is a personal issue, and especially with someone with a history of it like Beasley, openly discussing it not only hurts his brand and business ventures, but it harms his family and image. Even if everyone thought the same thing about Beasley, there's a huge line between referencing it vaguely and outlining it specifically. Kahn should know that.

Then again, he should also know not to give Darko Milicic $20 million and not to acquire Luke Ridnour when he has four point guards on roster, but hey, it's Kahn.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com