David Kahn is an Epic Failure


Minnesota Timberwolves President David Kahn

That headline might seem a bit harsh. It’s probably an understatement. If David Kahn was a movie he would be “Spiderman 3.” He had a huge opportunity to start this offseason with a bang to build a foundation for a team that needs to be wrapping it’s rebuild up, not continuing to deconstruct. In expected fashion, Kahn disappointed Timberwolves fans by giving them a night of scratching their heads, shaking their heads and screaming obscenities at his bad decisions.

By Peter Christian

Minnesota Timberwolves Draft Pick Wesley Johnson

As a possible ray of light, the Timberwolves selected Wesley Johnson with the 4th overall pick and addressed the fact that the team desperately needs a wing scoring option that is more consistent than Corey Brewer and Ryan Gomes. Then, like a punch to the nose that you see coming every inch of the way, the Wolves selected Luke Babbitt who just happens to play the same position as the guy they took 40 minutes previously. Cue the throwing of things against the wall.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: An NBA GM has multiple first round draft picks at his disposal and a plethora of holes to fill on his team. Surprisingly, said GM uses his first two picks to draft two players that play the exact same position and can’t realistically play at the same time then uses another pick later in the round to draft yet another player at the EXACT SAME position as the first two picks. As funny as that is… now imagine the GM did it two years in a row.

If you weren’t on board yet, that GM is David Kahn and he is torturing the entire fan base of the Minnesota Timberwolves with his lack of logic and complete disregard for the way to build a winning basketball franchise. He can pretend he’s focused on winning all he wants but he’s had the job of President/GM/Majority Moron in the Timberwolves front office for over a year now and he’s yet to take a single step in making the team better than when he took over.

Kevin Pritchard Fleeced David Kahn

After the selection of Babbitt, it was announced that the team had traded Babbitt’s rights to the Portland Trailblazers along with Ryan Gomes for Martell Webster. Yes, David Kahn traded 2 back ups for 1 back up. Depending which way you look at it, David Kahn gave up Luke Babbitt for free. Gomes and Webster play the same position, have a very similar cap figure and have very similar production. Straight up, that would be a fair trade. David Kahn felt the urge to sweeten the pot by throwing in Luke Babbitt for nothing.

Yes, the guy who preaches about using assets to build the right team just gave away a fairly valuable asset for nothing.

(Note: It’s worth mentioning that Kahn got fleeced in that deal by a GM in Kevin Pritchard who was in his last hours of holding his job before getting canned. Usually, the guy who is getting shown the door isn’t the one who is trying to better the team that he will not be a part of in 12 hours, but apparently Kahn doesn’t like making deals in which he gets the better end of the trade.)

As the Timberwolves fans were finishing up wiping the bile from their face after seeing their idiotic GM give their team away, David Stern announced that the team just selected Trevor Booker which caused another upchuck reaction. That reaction was softened when it was reported that that pick had been traded for the 30th and 35th picks to the Washington Wizards.

For those who kept track at home, that was a total of three “… the Minnesota Timberwolves select,” and two “the Minnesota Timberwolves have traded the rights to,” which resulted in one collaborative head scratching and two trips to the closest toilet.

Lazar Hayward

The 30th and 35th picks didn’t right the ship either. Instead of selecting a defensive center which the team so badly needs or a more offensively capable shooting guard the team took Lazar Hayward and Nemanja Bjelica. Both of whom will play small forward in the NBA.

Small Forward Running tally: 4 SF’s drafted, 2 SF’s traded, 1 SF acquired.

Let’s not get hasty and fail to point out that Kahn’s logic of the order of taking Hayward and Bjelica was ass backwards. Hayward, while an entertaining player in college, is not exactly expected to be a major contributor in the NBA. While Bjelica is likely going to be stuck in Europe for a couple years because he’s got a pretty ugly buyout on his current contract (and we all know how well Kahn does with those buyout negotiations). From a logistical standpoint, if those were the picks Kahn was going to make, it would have been much better for the team to take Bjelica with the 30th pick and Hayward with the 35th because it would led to the smaller cap figure. If Bjelica isn’t going to play this season, his contract as a first rounder doesn’t count against the 2010-11 cap and Hayward is then forced to earn his way onto the roster. Since it’s the other way around, Hayward’s contract is guaranteed and the team has to pay him for at least two years even if he doesn’t suit up.

The rest of the draft is rather inconsequential since it involved another player who isn’t going to play in North America for at least a year and another player who will have to work his ass off just to be a 12th man on the bench.

David Kahn Timberwolves

And after 900 words, the point is this: David Kahn has failed the Timberwolves organization. He acquired all his assets and draft picks last season so that he could rebuild and in turn has barely squat to show for it. Amidst all the laughable decisions he made during last year’s draft at least he could say he made choices to bolster the next year’s draft. This year he had 5 picks and turned that into 1 starter and 1 bench player. Kahn has pulled the trigger on 9 trades during his tenure as Timberwolves president and there is only one swap that I would concede worked out in his favor. And then there is the cap space he created, which is probably going to go to waste on a pair of mediocre players because no big name free agent will ever sign in Minnesota. It hasn’t happened in 20 years, it’s not going to start now.

So, if David Kahn is a poor drafting GM, he sucks at getting fair value in trades and can’t realistically use free agency to build the team, that means that he’s destined to fail at making the team a playoff team. Hell, he’s even destined to fail at making the team better than the day before he took over. And, I just threw up again.

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  1. Jesus Pete… I’m not a Timberwolves fan and this makes me want to blow my brains out. After the draft was over I thought to myself, the T-wolves didn’t do too bad. But you are right, they sucked again. This draft was weak after the top 5 and the guy they got from Portland is a little better than the guy they traded, but you know what he is. The right thing to do is take a swing at someone and hope they become a star. Everyone thought Brandon Jennings was going to suck last year and he was a star. Instead of going for someone you know will get you 6 points per game, take a swing and hope to get a star. Hell, anyone can score 6 points per game if they get minutes. I think Scalibrine averaged 4 this year. And he’s a cheeky, white, redhead.

    Factually, you did get one thing wrong however. The Blazers GM was actually fired BEFORE the draft. This makes your assessment even worse. Make sure your wife keeps you away from sharp objects for the next few days.


  2. David Khan says

    But at least I didn’t do something really smart like draft the guy with possibly the most talent in the draft who plays the hardest position to fill – center DeMarcus Cousins – then turn one of my 2 underachieving power forwards into a proven starter at small foward. amirite?

  3. Peter Christian says

    Sure David, that could have worked. Wes or DMC both would’ve filled a desperate need. The problem with the rest of your plan about trading Al or K-Love is in the execution, which you most definitely would’ve messed up. Good GM’s don’t lose trades, you do. You can do the math here, right?

  4. cna training says

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  5. I don’t think the T-Wolves are in that bad of a position. If Al Jefferson can stay healthy and become a better defender, I believe the front court can become your strength. Since Wes Johnson is a natural shooting guard and Corey Brewer can move to his natural position of small forward, you now have a lineup consisting of:

    Johnny Flynn
    Wesley Johnson
    Corey Brewer
    Kevin Love
    Al Jefferson

    and a bench consisting of:
    Martell Webster
    Lazar Hayward
    Ramon Sessions
    Wayne Ellington

    That’s plenty of talent that can build a solid team. You have a very capable starting lineup that can generate plenty of scoring and a solid bench. You guys also have plenty of cap space to make a few interesting moves this offseason, so don’t expect this to be your final roster. While I do agree that a defensive center is a bigger need, Demarcus Cousins is a high risk player, who David Khan probably would have gotten killed even more for picking. Wes Johnson was the much safer pick. Now the key becomes fitting all of these pieces together into a solid rotation by getting good coaching.

    While I do think that defense will remain a weakness for you guys, your ample scoring will at least make your team entertaining to watch and competitive with the top teams until you can find capable defenders.

  6. paulmbanks says

    I see your guys’ points, but then again I don’t think Peter was very harsh, I thought he was somewhat even-handed. When you treat the draft like it’s a fantasy draft 2 years in a row, you need to be slammed.

  7. my joy of hearing Lazar’s name called in the first round was quickly erased when I realized he was going to the T-Wolves who had already drafted and traded for a small forward earlier in the night… I’m convinced Kahn drafted Paulo Prestes solely because he plays in Spain where this kid named Rubio plays…

  8. @Priest: that’s a lineup consisting of a point guard, four forwards, and very little defense.

  9. Peter Christian says

    Priest, I appreciate the feedback but there is one major (ginormous, really) flaw in your argument: If you play Al Jefferson at center he’s going to be a defensive catastrophe that Minnesota hasn’t seen the likes of since the Halloween Blizzard of 1991. He will succumb to any and all opponents in the low post. Guaranteed. And I don’t think that the addition of only Wes to the starting lineup will be enough offense to put a reasonable dent in what was the worst scoring differential in the league last year, especially with Al Jefferson allowing 40+ point scorers every night.

  10. paulmbanks says


    I appreciate you responding to your commetns with Twitter style. SOLID.

    I like doing that sometimes

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