The ‘David Kahn’ Era

David Kahn

When Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor named David Kahn the president of basketball operations, he expected to have a playoff-contending team by now. Instead, in his four years on the job he has made more trades than times Dwight Howard has changed his mind about being traded, drafted more point guards than an apartment complex could support, and traded away more draft picks than Jarrod Saltalamacchia has letters in his last name. And now, the T’wolves are in another transition of which I am about to get to.  [Read more…]

NBA Draft: Don’t draft No Orange “Heeled” Fighting Illini

Carmelo Anthony

I am doing a little research on previous drafts, trying to figure out which players will be successful in the NBA. Here is today’s post about NBA Draft Don’ts. [Read more…]

NBA Draft: Where Do The Charlotte Bobcats Go From Here?

Michael Jordan

The Charlotte Bobcats could not have had a worse season. Actually, if winning 7 of 66 games isn’t embarrassing enough, it would be even more embarrassing if the Bobcats didn’t end up getting the #1 pick in the June draft. This team has a lot of improving to do and it starts with cleaning house.

[Read more…]

NBA Trade Machine Challenge: Blow Up Pistons’ Roster

rip hamilton tayshaun prince

The Sports Guy refers to himself as the Picasso of ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine.  Well if he is Picasso then The Sports Bank’s Peter Christian and David Kay are the da Vinci and van Gogh of the trade machine (though neither would cut their own ear off while working on a trade… or at least I don’t think.)

In this new feature, Peter and David will play the role of NBA general manager since they are likely more intelligent than half of the GM’s out there.  One will propose a challenge to the other to make a trade happen with certain requirements and the other will accept the mission like he were Tom Cruise and explain why all parties involved would pull the trigger on the deal.
[Read more…]

Webster’s Return Has Enhanced the Play of Young Wolves Squad

Many fans of the Minnesota Timberwolves scratched their heads when the Wolves made the June 24th draft day trade of sending forward Ryan Gomes and the rights to Luke Babbitt to Portland in exchange for wing Martell Webster.

In his five seasons in Portland, Webster averaged just over 8 points per game, and an injury plagued 2008-09 campaign allowed Webster to only play in five minutes that season.

Webster had a very solid preseason in which he averaged 12.3 points in 26.7 minutes per game. Although comparing preseason stats with regular season success would be like comparing Degrassi to One Tree Hill, his preseason numbers did show the possibility of Webster being a consistent contributor to this young Timberwolves team. [Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

Quick Hits: Golden State 108, Minnesota 99

Quick hits from Tuesday’s 108-99 loss at Golden State:

Timberwolves blew another double-digit lead; led by 11 in the first half.

Monta Ellis is a stud. 34 points on 13 of 24 shooting. He also had 6 assists.

The Timberwolves are obviously missing an electric player of the likes of Monta Ellis.

Timberwolves continue to struggle to get out to shooters. Golden State was 11 for 22 from deep.

Kevin Love had 13 points and 14 rebounds for his 11th consecutive double double. He did have a poor night from the field shooting 6 for 18.

[Read more…]

NBA Draft Mailbag II

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By Paul M. Banks and David Kay

First off I’m from Canada, I live in Vancouver (Miss the Grizzlies)

NO ONE F***in Says “EH” in Canada

Everyone i know pronounces defense the same way the c makes no f**in difference to me

A-BOOT are you F***IN KIDDING ME

i know people who lived in toronto all their life then moved here and they don’t say f**in A-BOOT they say ABOUT not ABOOT

Did you get that s*** South Park or Some S***

F*** YOU

–Johnny Damon


WOW! With the exception of “The FSU Cowgirl” Jenn Sterger, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered someone online so filled with hatred and bitterness. It’s interesting you signed this email under such an obvious pseudonym, and your lack of syntax and sentence structure says quite a bit about yourself. Also, the prodigious cursing would make even Ozzie Guillen blush.

However, you’re barking up the wrong tree if you seek to extinguish bigotry and prejudice against Canadians. I literally had “O Canada” as my ring tone for a few months in 2006, and I plan to hopefully, have my bachelor party in Windsor, Ontario some day soon. jennsterger

If no one says “eh?” in Canada, how come they sell t-shirts with the phrase and a Canadian flag on it at tourist shops everywhere? You did succeed in destroying one Canadian stereotype: many of us Yanks believe your people to excessively polite. You on the other hand…

 
Los Angeles is the perfect market for Ricky Rubio (though I know he preferred NYK)…do you think LA would make the deal? Would you rather have Baron Davis and Eric Gordon or Baron Davis with Ricky Rubio as the future?

— Matt


With Baron and Gordon (or “Basketball Judas” as I call him, being a die-hard Illini and UI alum) you have a better traditional backcourt pairing. Davis can be a score-first point guard if needs be, but he’s better in a distributor role with EG focusing on wing play and off the ball. So this would create better continuity. On the flip side, I think Rubio has a lot more potential long-term.

So even though you’d have two “pure point guards,” watching Rubio highlights make me salivate and given how young he is- imagine what he could be in his prime? Gordon for Rubio straight-up is…advantage- Spaniard. I’ve covered the Big Ten extensively these past couple years, and witness Gordon’s sulking, slumping and sliding shooting percentages after Kelvin Sampson was fired making me wonder what type of maturity and toughness he truly has…Of course Rubio’s game translating to the league is still a wild card in itself.

–Paul

I agree that I would rather have Rubio. He has “special potential” if I can channel my inner-Fran Fraschilla. I don’t see Gordon as anything more than a complimentary scoring option who doesn’t do anything else on the floor.

–Davidgordon_s28_0823z

 

Great work! I’ve seen some pretty ridiculous mock drafts, but yours makes sense. Assuming all the teams stand pat with their picks, it could be a pretty close to accurate draft. If the Wolves end up with Thabeet and Curry, I would be very happy! Once again, nice work!

–Jeris

 

Thanks for the props and checking out our site. I take it you’re a T-Wolves fan. Be sure to check out www.thesportsbank.net  (another site I write for). It’s a Midwest site that has a bunch of Minnesota sports stuff on it, so check it out when you get a chance. I have a lot of friends who are T-Wolves fans and the write extensively about the ineptitude of David Kahn and his “interesting” point guard hoarding philosophy on draft night.
 

 

Mr.  Banks,
 
I am a huge fan of the NBA/NBA Draft and noticed your mock draft on walterfootball. I was wondering how you thought of Jonny Flynn on defense. On a scale of 1 – 10 how do you think he is on defense? Also on a scale of 1-10 how do you think Toney Douglas is on defense? Thanks!!!*Nov 21 - 00:05*

–Andre

 

I think Flynn was one of the best point guard in the country this season, but not really that spectacular on the defensive end. T’ Wolves GM David Kahn thinks he’ll be a great on-the-ball defender in the league though…which makes me think much less of Flynn defensively. Douglas, on the other hand is an outstanding defender- especially man to man. I rate him a 9.

 
Don’t you think this makes the most sense for the Cavs:

The Cavs need to trade for Shaq (Ben Wallace, Sahsa, and this years 2nd round pick). Shaq has only 1 year left on his contract so that gives Cleveland plenty of options for the summer of 2010 where as these rumors of Joe Smith or Antawn Jamison both leave Cleveland in trouble for 2010 if they do indeed try to go after Bosh or Yao. In addition to this, sign Rasheed Wallace to a 2 years deal at a mid-level contract. Try to resign Andy but not at 10 millon a yr that he wants. Then draft a SG/SF with our 1st round draft pick.

This player (I like your idea of drafting Meeks) needs to be able to knock down shots and contribute off the bench when D. West isn’t in the game. But this still leaves Cleveland with a huge hole after they trade Sasha and Wally is a free agent – they still need someone to be a backup for LeBron.

I say try to sign Wally to a cheap deal for 2 more years – I believe he knows that he is not going to make the same amount of money he made this year and he might be willing to give Cleveland a discount due to the fact that he wants to stay a Cav, otherwise they have to sign someone cheap to fill this position. The only other option is a sign and trade with Andy to try to find a backup to LBJ but this doesnt really make sense give the situation because it does not leave Cleveland with any bigs in a year of 2. This gives Cleveland:

C- Shaq, Z, Jackson
PF – R. Wallace, Andy, JJ
SF – LBJ, (sign someone / Wally?), Jawad Williams, JJ
SG – West, (Meeks / whoever we get in the draft), Gibson
PG – Mo Williams, Gibson, Kinsey

Any thoughts?

–t18andme

nbascrilla1
I think the Shaq trade makes a lot of sense for Cleveland if Phoenix is willing to pretty much give him away for thirty cents on the dollar, which they are reportedly not interested in doing. It would definitely be worth the risk in their bid to win a championship. Using the mid-level on Sheed makes sense, but if that happens, the odds of re-signing Varajeo go down unless one of them is willing to take a back-up role. No way Varajeo should be signed for more than $7 mil a year, and the Cavs are in a position of power since not a lot of teams have the cap flexibility to sign Varajeo for more than the mid-level exception which Cleveland can surely top.

At 30, the Cavs should draft a wing player whether it’s Sam Young, Derrick Brown, Wayne Ellington, Meeks, or Marcus Thornton. I’d lean towards Young or Brown since they are more multi-dimensional players where Meeks, Ellington, and Thornton are pretty much shooters and not great athletes or defenders. The only way I would bring Wally back is for a one-year deal at the league minimum. Especially in this financially strapped off-season, he doesn’t deserve a penny more than that.

The Minnesota Timberwolves draft: Logic is Thrown out the Window

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By Peter Christian

I’ve had more than 24 hours to digest the first round point guard smorgasbord that was the Minnesota Timberwolves draft platter. All I can still say is, “Ummm, OK?” and “Now what?”

I have run so many different theories as to the logic being dished in the Timberwolves draft room by the Anti-Brain Trust headed up by first time GM David Kahn (no, I know he was technically GM in Indiana a few years back, but that was in title only, he had absolutely NO SAY in the basketball decisions with Donnie Walsh and Larry Bird calling the shots) and honestly I think that I’m being far too generous with the optimistic spin I’ve put on the eyebrow raising decisions yesterday.

Before I get too far into my spinning and destroying, I want to go on record to say thank you to Chris Wallace, Sam Presti and Geoff Petrie for passing on a player that could become the best point guard on the planet:

Thank you fellas and see you back in the lottery next season, its decisions like that that ensure you will be counting your ping pong balls in early February rather than determining how you match-up against potential play-off opponents.

ricky_rubio1

I was so happy that the Wolves were in a position to draft Ricky Rubio that I may have uttered praising words of David Kahn. For anyone that heard them, please disregard what you heard and continue believing that I am the biggest proponent of raising awareness about his arrogance and basketball ineptitude.

Only minutes later however, the other shoe dropped, kind of. When the commissioner announced that the Wolves had selected Jonny Flynn with the sixth pick (over the expected pick of Stephen Curry) I immediately started thinking of trade opportunities. As time wore on and no rumors surfaced I was briefly scared that Kahn (from here on out referred to as The Idiot) was trying to secretly shop Rubio (which I’m denying is an option at this point, but with The Idiot, anything could happen)

flynn_withball_292_090626

I kind of talked myself into a combination of Rubio and Flynn until the 18th pick was announced, at which point I just started laughing like the Joker in “Batman” (the one with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson). It’s worth mentioning that after this pick I made the comment that I really like Sebastian Telfair as a 4th string point guard in the NBA. I think that is his ideal role in the league.

despair

Shortly thereafter I started brainstorming what The Idiot was doing. Did he mistake the 2009 NBA draft for a fantasy basketball draft? Was he really just really worried that he was going to “miss” on a point guard in one of the best point guard drafts ever, so he tried to take as many as possible to cover his ass? Was he just trying to prove a point to Timberwolves fans that in fact, it can get worse than having Kevin McHale as your team’s GM? No matter what the strategy was, it sucked. The Idiot illustrated in his first draft that he has no business making decisions to build a basketball team, because he was seemingly unaware that a) a successful team needs more than just a plethora of point guards and power forwards and b) that he can actually select players that play ANY position in the draft.

(note: I like the Wayne Ellington pick, a lot and the selection the guy named Henk is meaningless, let’s just deal with the fact that the Wolves had six picks and took a point guard with four of them).

In hindsight, I’ve come to the realization that the Wolves took Flynn as insurance for the possibility that Rubio isn’t too excited to live in Minnesota (which he isn’t) and that if they let Rubio stay in Spain for a year or two it isn’t the end of the world. Flynn can handle the point, Ellington might have a bit of an extended role as a #28 pick and the team can likely look forward to three first round picks next year (two of which should be in the top twenty).

Does that mean that I’m sold on the events that took place yesterday? Not a chance. Do I think The Idiot has a plan? Only if he just read that last paragraph.

Oh the wonders of being a Timberwolves fan.

NBA Draft Grades

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By: David Kay

Embarrased… Ashamed… Disappointed… I apologize for my poor showing with my final NBA mock draft.  After tying ESPN’s Chad Ford last year (we each picked 9 first round choices correctly), Ford OWNED me this year getting 13 right compared to my pathetic showing of six.  But like Teddy KGB in Rounders, I can admit when I have been defeated.  “He beat me.  Straight up.”

Anyway, with the craziness that was the 2009 NBA Draft in the books, it’s time to hand out some “grades.”  I say “grades” because I think it is way too early to use the regular A, B, C, D, F scale to judge a draft.  Plus, I’m all about straying from the norm.  So my grading scale is as followed:

LOVE IT
Makes Sense
Meh
Don’t Get it
REALLY???

Chicago Bulls Grades:


16. James Johnson, F, Wake Forest

The Bulls need a physical player down low. I think Blair would have been a safer pick, despite the whole “No ACL’s in his knees” rumors. Johnson needs to work on his jumper if he is gonna stick around. (Pick Grade: Makes Sense)

26. Taj Gibson, F, USC
They already took James Johnson, a physical power forward at 16, so how does Gibson fit? The Bulls needed to get a wing player in case they don’t re-sign Ben Gordon. I can’t believe Blair has fallen past the Bulls twice. (Pick Grade: Don’t Get It)

Other Draft Grades:

T’Wolves: Do you like the Ricky Rubio/Jonny Flynn combo in Minnesota?  I don’t.

Milwaukee: Brandon Jennings to the Bucks?  Meh

Detroit: Pistons draft Tayshaun Prince’s thinner, yes thinner, look-alike.

For every team’s grades, click here

FINAL 2009 NBA MOCK DRAFT

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by: David Kay

All your NBA Draft needs including my Final Mock Draft, prospect profiles, position rankings, and NBA team off-season needs are just a click away.

1. L.A. ClippersBlake Griffin, PF, Oklahoma, 6-10, So.
Poor Blake Griffin.  This has to be the worst case scenario for him.  The Clips are a destination where players just do not thrive.  They already have some talented big man in Chris Kaman, Marcus Camby, and Zach Randolph.  Maybe Griffin can be the spark and hard worker the Clipper franchise has been longing for for the past decade-plus.
Think: Amare Stoudamire

2. MemphisHasheem Thabeet, C, UConn, 7-3, Jr.
Since it appears the Griz are not trading this pick to Minnesota, Thabeet is the guy.  He could be the defensive presence Memphis badly needs.  I maintain Ricky Rubio is the second best prospect in the draft and the Griz will regret not selecting him or trading down to gain more assets.
Think: Ben Wallace, but six inches taller

3. Oklahoma City– Ricky Rubio, PG, Spain, 6-4, 1990
I get the feeling the Thunder GM Sam Presti is far too intelligent to let Rubio pass them.  Drafting the Spanish sensation means Russell Westbrook shifts to the two which may not be the ideal fit, but is worth doing to land Rubio.  P.S. Is it me or are the Thunder the best young team in the NBA if they land Rubio?
Think: Steve Nash

4. SacramentoTyreke Evans, G, Memphis, 6-5, Fr.
I am very high on Evans and apparently so are the Kings.  Sacramento needs a point guard which Evans played at Memphis, but is probably better suited as a two-guard in the NBA.  I would be curious to see how Evans and Kevin Martin would co-exist in the same backcourt.  If the Kings decide to take a more pure point guard, Jonny Flynn, Jrue Holiday, and Stephen Curry are all options.
Think: Manu Ginobli

5. Minnesota (from Washington)- Stephen Curry, G, Davidson, 6-3, Jr.
The T-Wolves have to be massively disappointing that they traded into this spot and didn’t land Rubio, Thabeet, OR Evans.  I’ve had more than one person say to me that Curry is in a way, a Randy Foye Part 2 which makes the trade with the Wiz a bit of a head scratcher.  Regardless, they need a point guard prospect with one of their top 6 picks.  Yeah, I know Curry isn’t even a real point guard.  Ish.
Think: Jason Terry

Here is the rest of my mock draft (don’t worry, you need not be an Insider like ESPN.com to access it)

Click here for prospect profiles.

Interested in position rankings?

How about NBA off-season team needs?

Will the Bulls Draft a Backup Point Guard?

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By Paul M. Banks

If there’s one position the Chicago Bulls don’t have a pressing need at, it’s point guard. The incumbent starter, Derrick Rose is the only player on the roster even remotely close to developing into a franchise player, and (SAT scandals and gang sign gestures aside) is the guy to build the team around. But the Bulls might see backup Kirk Hinrich move on soon and in today’s NBA, the “Golden Age of Point Guards” that we currently live in, it’s good to have two reliable point guards.

As former UCLA point guard and current draft prospect Darren Collison said at the NBA Draft Combine: “This is the draft you want to be in right now if you’re a point guard. Everyone’s getting so much credit, from Jonny Flynn, to me, to Eric Maynor right on down the list because everyone knows they need point guards to win ballgames, to take that next step. And teams need a first string and a second string the whole game to be solid, and all the point guards in this draft have the potential to do that.”

For teams currently needing a point guard, this crop of prospects is deeper than any draft this decade, possibly all-time. It could produce a couple players with the same impact as current young NBA floor generals Rose, Chris Paul and Deron Williams.

On Tuesday, the Bulls looked at (among others) Maynor, Wake Forest’s Jeff Teague, Greece’s Nick Calathes, St. Joseph’s Tasheed Carr, the 5’6” David Holston from Chicago State and Bryan Mullins from Southern Illinois via Downers Grove High School.

UCLA’s second, and more hyped point guard prospect, Jrue Holiday has also met with the team and expressed a strong interest to join the team at combine media day. However, he should be long picked by the time the Bulls are on the board.

bullscourt

Syracuse’s Jonny Flynn, one of the hottest point guard prospects around, figures to likely be gone by the time the Bulls pick at #16 on June 25th, and long gone when the Bulls pick again at #26. However, he worked out for the Bulls, met with the front office and was extremely vocal about his desire to play for the Bulls at the NBA Draft Combine. Flynn told the media how much he enjoys the Bulls up-tempo system and their young nucleus. He also described his game:

“I think I have some characteristics of Chris Paul. His tenacity, he’s hard as nails, fiery, fires his teammates up, he really knows how to get his teammates in position to where they can score, where they don’t have to do much to score. Look at David West and Tyson Chandler; where would they be without Chris Paul?”

As much as the Bulls need a scoring big, as much as point guard is the team’s strongest position, they have needs at guard- especially someone to be a backup running the point and/or provide scoring at the off guard position given the (increasingly likely) case that Ben Gordon departs.