Tag:David Kahn
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: 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.

Posted on: July 23, 2010 12:43 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2010 3:18 pm
 

Kahn: Beasley just smoked too much pot that's all

Posted by Royce Young

"" In a radio interview 1500 ESPN Twin Cities , Minnesota general manager David Kahn started talking about Michael Beasley and how he's put some of his backage behind him. One of those things mentioned was Beasley having smoked a little too much marijuana in South Beach.

"He's a very young and immature kid who smoked too much marijuana and has told me that he's not smoking anymore, and I told him that I would trust him as long as that was the case," Kahn said Thursday during the interview.

Everyone remembers Beasley's famous picture he posted on Twitter that was showcasing a tattoo he had on his back but had a visible bag of marijuana on the table behind him. Or how Beasely got in trouble during the NBA's rookie symposium for smoking in his hotel room. As a result of both those situations, Beasley went to rehab for a brief period. Kahn went on about how Beasely is going to ditch the habit.

"He has developed a really good support system around him this past season in Miami. He's hired people to help him grow up. He is growing up -- he's not grown up. He's 21 ... and he just turned 21 last January, and if you think back, as I do all the time, to when I was 21 and if you had given me this kind of money and put me in this kind of world with these kinds of pressures attached to it and some of the demands, I don't know (that) I would have handled it any easier than, say, he has."

There's no real justified excuse for Beasley's immaturity, but it certainly is a plight we see often with young, rich and famous stars. Too much, too soon can get some folks in trouble.

However, Kahn may have messed up in mentioning it at all. As Tom Ziller of FanHouse so astutely points out , Article XXXIII, Section 3(f) of the league's collective bargaining agreement states that team employees are prohibited from disclosing "information regarding the use, possession, or distribution of a Prohibited Substance by a player," though it's not clear if Beasley's private talks to Kahn falls under these rules. Still, there could be an issue in regards to Kahn's comments.

However, Kahn makes the valid point that Beasley is a wonderfully talented basketball player that just needs to get things straightened out. He can absolutely be productive on the court, but most of that will only happen if he gets things in line off it.

Posted on: July 15, 2010 2:03 pm
 

David Kahn thinks Darko is "Manna from heaven"

Posted by Matt Moore

This is too easy. It really is. I could spend 250-500 words describing all the absolutely ridiculous content in the video below. I could talk about the insanity of comparing Vlade Divac, one of the greatest big men with touch in the league to Darko Milicic, a stone with two legs. I could talk about comparing Chris Webber's storied career to Darko's which is storied in the annals of draft busts. I could point out what Tom Haberstroh of HoopData.com did this morning, which is the unbelievable gap in assist percentage between Vlade/Webber and Darko. But really, the video tells the best story all by itself.

Highlights:

  • Darko Milicic is "Manna from heaven." 
  • Darko can pass "like Vlade"
  • Webber: "Vlade Divac?"
  • Darko's career similar to Chris Webber.
  • Chris Webber: Darko's career not similar to Chris Webber.
  • Webber: "Good luck"


Posted on: July 14, 2010 12:48 am
Edited on: July 14, 2010 1:03 am
 

Five GMs that could be the next to get the axe

Posted by Royce Young

Being in charge of a roster in any sport isn't as easy as us fans like to think it is. We have the ever-helpful tool of hindsight and we definitely use it every available opportunity.

And while GMs are often given time to develop their roster "vision" and plan, that doesn't mean they get forever, especially if the team stinks. Even if the plan is perfect, if the on-field or on-court results don't yield positivity, the chances of receiving a letter with the black spot on it increase exponentially. Ken Berger illustrates the ripple effect of firing a GM quite well in reference to the most recent dismissal, the Hornets' Jeff Bower.

So with four NBA general managers already being relieved of their duty this offseason, the obvious question is, who could be next? Who's on the hot seat and just how warm is it? Let's look at five captains that currently have warm backsides.

David Kahn, Minnesota Timberwolves

For whatever reason, I just feel like Kahn has some sort of trick up his sleeve. Surely these moves aren't really this nonsensical. Surely he has some sort of coherent plan, some kind of method to this madness. However, nothing indicates such a thing thus far.

With Tuesday's trade of former franchise man Al Jefferson to Utah for some draft picks and the rumored signing of a fourth point guard, Kahn's current reputation is nothing more than poster boy for clueless general managers. When writers are wondering if an avocado might make a better GM than you , that could be a warning that your seat is about to light on fire.

Donnie Walsh, New York Knicks

The pressure in New York is always higher. And plus when you campaign for a job behind the promise of luring LeBron James and then don't come through on that, things can tend to get a little dicey. But Walsh appears to have a quality plan. He's secured some cap space that will come in handy over the next few seasons when players like Carmelo Anthony become available.

However with the large signing of Amare Stoudemire and the overall deconstruction of the roster in order to build a winner through big signings, if Mike D'Antoni and crew don't deliver, Walsh may be putting his resume on CareerBuilder or actual might be retiring.

Joe Dumars, Detroit Pistons
Dumars was once considered one of the best and brighest in the GMs in the game. And then Allen Iverson happened. A trade that sent fan favorite and champion Chauncey Billups to Denver for a washing-but-not-quite-washed-up AI is what sent Dumars' into a tailspin. It was a bold move which I can definitely respect in a league where bold moves often don't happen, but simply put, it crashed and burned. Dumars then gave Richard Hamilton a curiously large extension, inked Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva for too much money and hired and fired a coach within a calendar year.

This year is big for Dumars. The Pistons landed a potentially excellent big man in Greg Monroe in the draft, plus have some promising young players like Jonas Jerebko and Rodney Stuckey. But Detroit isn't the type of town that handles being in the lottery multiple years very well. Sure Dumars brought home the big trophy in 2004, but in a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league, Dumars' teams haven't done a lot lately.

Ernie Grunfeld, Washington Wizards
Yep, Grunfeld was gifted John Wall. And yep, Wall could potentially save a lot of people's jobs because he's really, really good. But the thing is, when you land a talent of Wall's caliber, the pressure immediately shifts to the GM. He's got to supply his new, shiny toy complementing pieces to make sure he succeeds. And so far, the jury's out as to if Grunfeld is doing that.

He's obviously trying to move Gilbert Arenas and his albatross of a contract to better make room for Wall. He brought in Kirk Hinrich who could be an excellent player next to Wall. He also grabbed Yi Jianlian from New Jersey. But the team doesn't figure to be a whole lot better this upcoming season and with some expectation in Wall, if he doesn't develop, it could the end for Grunfeld.

Ed Stefanski, Philadelphia 76ers
Why Stefanski? Elton Brand. Elton Brand says it all. When you ink a player to a huge deal and then one year later are publically shopping that player to unload what everyone agrees is a "bad contract" that means you probably screwed the pooch. And when that contract will likely haunt the franchise for multiple years, then you really know it was bad. And of course the hiring of Eddie Jordan only to fire him months later definitely doesn't look great. Strike one and two.

The 76ers haven't been a truly relevant contender since 2003. And it's not like the 76ers don't have talent. There's just no cohesion to the roster in general. Andre Iguodala is a quality player, but he's clearly not a leading man. You can't fault Stefanski for trying though. He drastically overpaid for Brand, but that's because he thought he was a piece away. Though there's certainly honor in that, that stuff doesn't matter to a frustrated fanbase. Landing the second overall pick and Evan Turner could be huge for Stefanski but if Turner and the team comes along slowly, that could be strike three.


Posted on: July 13, 2010 4:38 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2010 4:56 pm
 

Wolves officially dish Jefferson for draft picks

Posted by Matt Moore

I've been accused of hating on the Minnesota Timberwolves, but nothing could be further from the case. I think small market teams like Minnesota need strong and smart leadership more than their colleagues in the big ol' cities. They need general managers that know how to get the most value out of their assets and can acquire talented players with a cohesive plan in place to contend within a set number of years.

By all indications, the Minnesota Timberwolves do not have that.

Ken Berger reports that the deal is done for Al Jefferson to be sent to Minnesota for a future 1st round pick from Utah, the Grizzlies' 1st rounder that the Jazz acquired for Ronnie Brewer last season, and a Traded Player Exception (Marc Spears of Yahoo! was first to report the terms of the deal, which we discussed last night).

Hey, they cleared cap space and got draft picks out of it! Good rebuilding move, right? Except the Wolves are not rebuilding. They've been in rebuild mode for three years. During that time, they've managed to bungle multiple drafts with the exception of Kevin Love... who, naturally is in management and coaching's doghouse for some bizarre reason. They dropped the bottom out of Jefferson's value and then traded him for picks. And that part's not a bad plan. If they were any good, in any way, at drafting.

The Wolves have drafted Corey Brewer, Jonny Flynn, Wayne Ellington, a player who currently is sitting on a beach in Spain sipping some sort of drink with an umbrella in it, and Wesley Johnson, probably the biggest reach of the 2010 draft. So pardon me if I'm not super thrilled at what David Kahn can do with more choices with which to stock up at positions he already has solidified.

Jefferson's market was non-existent, his defenders will say. Mostly because every team in the league knew that if they waited, his value would continue to drop. Utah came through with a stronger offer, because they were willing to spend it based on what Jefferson's worth. The Wolves, on the other hand, elected to go with Darko Milicic, Martell Webster, Michael Beasley, and Luke Ridnour (seriously ) as their big offseason additions. It's a cavalcade of marginal players who are overpaid, with one of the bigger headcases in recent mystery thrown in for good measure.

Meanwhile, Jefferson, with a 20+ PER and a range of post moves to go along with those question-mark knees (and youth to recover with) is headed to Utah to play with Deron Williams.

Maybe this master plan will work and the pieces that Kahn has assembled will play brilliantly while Al Jefferson flounders. Maybe Wesley Johnson is an elite player in the making.

Or maybe Wolves fans deserve better than to have a 3-D trainwreck played out before their very eyes.

Posted on: July 1, 2010 1:55 pm
 

Darko gets 4 years, $20 million from Wolves

On the "David Kahn: The Greatest Hit s" mixtape, there will be a plethora of sweet tunes. My favorites being "The Night I Drafted Three Point Guards " and "I Don't Love You Anymore, Al Jefferson." Of course none will rival his seminal diddy, "Please Come Home, Ricky Rubio " but his latest chart-topper is sure to bring music to people's ears. It's a rip-roaring sing-along. What's it called?

"Darko Milicic Is My Answer At Center, Now And Forever ."

Kahn today reached an agreement with Darko Milicic on a 4 year, $20 million dollar deal , Chad Ford of ESPN reports. That's a lot of green for a guy widely considered to be one of the biggest draft busts in modern history. Kahn has been enamored with Milicic since he traded for him last year. While downplaying (and destroying the trade value) of Al Jefferson and Kevin Love, Kahn feels that Darko is the center of the future for the Wolves.

Can't you see it? Darko and Ricky Rubio running the pick and roll, Darko clumsily lumbering towards the rim towards a misguided pass Rubio has trouble adjusting to agianst NBA length? Missed alley oops, poorly executed pick and rolls, and of course, wasted possessions with Darko in the block. It's a dream come true!

In all seriousness, this is the beginning of the end for Al Jefferson in Minnesota. He's assured to be gone now, it's just a matter of figuring out where to dump him and how much of a loss they're going to take on the promising young power forward with excellent touch. After all, who needs those thing when you've got a 7-foot Serbian who loves the idea of thretening referees and their daughters and who was ready to head back to Serbia this summer.

And the hits just keep on coming...

-Matt Moore


 
 
 
 
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