The David Kahn era is finally over in Minnesota
T-Wolves fans are rejoicing that the guy who compared Darko Milicic to Chris Webber and whiffed on pretty much every first round pick he had is gone while executives around the league are disappointed that they might actually have to make fair trades with Minnesota now.
Here's a look at some of the highlights from Kahn's mysterious tenure as Timberwolves GM:
He was hired following the 2008-09 season and immediately made his mark on the team during the '09 draft. He picked two point guards in a row at number 5 and 6 in Ricky Rubio and Johnny Flynn.
I'll give Kahn a little credit here; he was able to trade Mike Miller and Randy Foye, two solid role players, to Washington for the pick that became Rubio the day before the draft.
But then he continued his one-man run on point guards by picking another one, Ty Lawson, at number 18. Lawson, who is clearly the best of the bunch in hindsight, was shipped to Denver for a future first round pick that became Luke Babbitt. I think it's safe to say that makes up for the credit he deserves for the Rubio for Miller and Foye trade.
In 2010, things got weird. In February, Kahn traded Brian Cardinal to the Knicks for Darko Milicic and cash. He must have thought he was so sneaky when, a month later, he brought Cardinal back as a free agent. So essentially the team made money and got a player for free, but somehow got worse with the trade.
Following his trade for Darko and their acquisition of Michael "potential" Beasley, Kahn made his worst move yet. He shipped Al Jefferson to Utah in exchange for Kosta Koufos and two first round picks that eventually became Donatas Motiejunas and Terrence Jones (who eventually was traded for Chase Budinger).
His explanation was: "With Kevin Love and Michael Beasley on the team, there wouldn't have been enough playing time for everybody to showcase Al (Jefferson)."
Right, because teams with multiple talented big men never do well in the NBA.
In February 2011, Kahn showed that he was a selfless facilitator when the T-wolves were the third team in the Carmelo Anthony trade. They received a 2015 second round pick, Eddie Curry, and Anthony Randolph while sending Koufos to Denver and Corey Brewer to the Knicks.
A few months later, Kahn made a wise(ish) move. He finally recognized, or at least appeared to recognize, that his previous moves may not have been so brilliant and he traded Flynn and and the draft rights to Motiejunas to Houston for a future 1st round pick, Brad Miller, and Chandler Parsons. He then shipped Parsons right back for cash.
The 2011 draft was another classic David Kahn performance. First he publicly suggested that the NBA rigged the draft lottery in favor a 14-year old after his team finished with the worst record and then used the second overall pick on Derrick Williams.
The Timberwolves did not have a first round pick in 2012 because they traded it to the Cli'ppers back in 2005, but let's blame that on Kahn anyway.
It's easy to question front office decisions in retrospect. Hindsight is 20/20 and every team makes mistakes. But David Kahn is extraordinary. The man made 28 trades in his four seasons as GM and maybe two of them helped the team (getting Rubio and cutting their losses with Flynn).
What's most depressing for Minnesota fans is that they still have several nice pieces despite the madness and they could have been one of the bright young contenders out west if things went differently. Al Jefferson and Ty Lawson could have brought the team real value in return (or stayed and helped the team directly) and the Wesley Johnson and Derrick Williams picks could have been used to draft better players, just to name a few missed opportunities.
So congratulations, Wolves fans, you are finally free of Kahn after the four longest years in recent history. As for the rest of us, we will miss his ridiculous comments and his bone-headed moves even more.