T-wolves fans weary of the wrath of KahnPublished 10:43am Thursday, May 2, 2013
In the Minnesota sports world, the phrase ‘Wrath of Khan’ conjures up more than just images of the famed Mongol conqueror, Genghis Khan. More appropriately, it brings to mind Timberwolves GM David Kahn’s scorched-earth style management of the team’s roster over the past four last-place seasons, and whether he should be welcomed back for a fifth.
In a sloppy piece of journalism late last week, NBA.com prematurely reported that Kahn was being axed in favor of Flip Saunders- a throwback to the T-Wolves’ glory days (relatively speaking). While it remains unconfirmed, the speculation compels us to take a quick look back at Khan’s tenure.
There aren’t many positives here, but since Minnesota sports fans are eternal optimists, we’ll start with those. By bringing in Andrei Kirilenko and Chase Budinger last offseason, Kahn assembled some compelling pieces to surround stars Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio and build off a momentum building 2011-12 campaign.
Unfortunately, Kahn’s rosters from year to year have lacked the continuity necessary to create a team identity or chemistry. Annual roster purges and refills have brought us ho-hums and ding-dongs such as Michael Beasley, Darko Milicic, Sebastian Telfair, Martell Webster and other players who would have been out of the NBA long beforehand if it weren’t for Kahn signing them. Perhaps the most disturbing move was Khan’s controversial refusal to sign Love to a maximum length deal.
Then there’s his frightening draft record- of the 10 players drafted under Kahn, only two remain on the roster. The basketball world is still sore from laughing after Khan drafted three point guards in the 2009 draft’s first round- and managed to pass twice on three pointer extraordinaire Stephen Curry. Rubio has generated excitement, but the selections of Johnny Flynn (traded for a pair of used gym socks and out of the league now) and Ty Lawson (traded to Denver where he is now quality player) are indicative of why being a T-Wolves fan necessitates the continual banging of one’s head against a wall.