The T’Wolves Jonny Flynn Conundrum


In NBA 2K11 for PS3 there is a feature in the “association” mode that shows the trade value for each player on the team. Five stars are the most a player can have (Kevin Durant), and the least is one star (Ryan Hollins).

My buddy Eren and I spend Friday night trying to build up a Cleveland Cavaliers dynasty by slowly growing the amount of stars we had for our whole team. In essence the whole point was to acquire a 2 star to get a 3 star, and so on and so forth.

Essentially that is what a General Manager’s job is in the NBA; try to acquire the most trade value as possible for their team.

David Kahn’s job is no different then what we were trying to do.

When Kahn drafted point guards Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn 5th and 6th overall respectively in the 2009 NBA draft, his reasoning was that he wanted to draft the best available players. Translation, he wanted to draft the players with the highest trade value.

After recovering from hip surgery, Flynn is set to make his debut sometime this week. Resulting in a surplus of point guards.

Both Luke Ridnour and Sebastian Telfair have exceeded expectations.

Ridnour is averaging 10.9 points per game, and a 1.84 assist to turnover ratio in 28.9 minutes per night. Whereas Telfair is averaging 7.7 points per game, and a 1.8 assist to turnover ratio in 21.7 minutes per night.

In his rookie campaign, Flynn averaged 13.5 points per game, and a 1.52 assist to turnover ratio in 28.9 minutes per night; decent numbers for a rookie season. But also stats that won’t stop David Kahn from listening to offers.

Kahn has consistently stated that he believes Rubio will begin his career with the Timberwolves. The moment Rubio signs his contract with the Timberwolves, Flynn’s trade value drops instantaneously. Teams around the league will know that Flynn is on the trading block, resulting in less value other teams need to offer to acquire him.

With that being said, wouldn’t it make more sense that Kahn tries to shop Flynn before Rubio arrives?

As it stands now, Flynn is a glorified backup point guard in the grand scheme of the Timberwolves’ rebuilding project. That is if Kahn really believes Rubio will start his career in Minneapolis.

The Timberwolves aren’t in win now mode this year, nor will they be next year. So losing a few more games due to Flynn’s absence wouldn’t be the end of the world.

If I was Kahn I would listen to offers on Flynn all the way up to February’s trade deadline. Once Flynn, 21, shows that he his healthy, his trade value will never be higher.

Flynn does bring quickness and an ability to get to the rim, something neither Ridnour nor Telfair have proven this year.

Ridnour and Telfair also got eaten up by Paul M. Banks’ boy Derrick Rose (21 points, 7 assists in 30 minutes) on Saturday night; showing their inability to keep up with the lighting-fast point guard.

Telfair is only 25, and is coming into his own as a solid backup point guard.

I’m also not opposed to Ridnour being the backup point guard to Ricky Rubio. Last season Ridnour excelled in the tutoring of point guard Brandon Jennings in Milwaukee during Jennings’ transition from the Euro League to the NBA. He could succeed at doing the same for Rubio.

Kahn’s stance on Rubio means that this season is practically an open tryout to be his backup. A role that Flynn would excel at, but if the right offer comes Kahn would need to jump at the opportunity.

Building an NBA team is all about accumulating trade value. David Kahn needs to start trading his two and three stars to add a four star, because in Kahn’s opinion another four-star will be on the way shortly.

If Flynn’s game shows a significant improvement from last year, it may become Rubio’s value that will need to be dealt.

-Brett Cloutier

You can follow Brett on Twitter, or follow his podcast.

He can be contacted at


  1. Peter Christian says

    Brett, all great points… to bad Kahn won’t follow any of your logic. He’s more likely to do the exact opposite of what you proposed. In the world of shelled nuts, Kahn’s the really arrogant looking empty shell.

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