Alright fellow Howlers, are ready for the most exciting Wolves week, since, since… since I can remember?
For a Wolves fan after 5 excruciating year after our beloved playoff run, this is going to be like going from the lazy river to the log chute ride, or the Wild Thing.
All signs point to a very exciting Thursday night with the Wolves to be in the middle of all the action. I’m expecting we make at least 2 trades, and probably even 3.
A couple of looks around the league to see what the most current rumblings are in relation to the Wolves:
From Jerry Zgoda over the weekend:
And if you believe the rattle and hum around the league as the NBA draft approaches Thursday night, nobody has been more active working the phones than Kahn, a neophyte basketball boss who apparently is bandying about trade proposals as if he has just drafted a fantasy-league team….
…League executives elsewhere speculate Kahn is intent on establishing this team as his own with signature moves on draft night that potentially will exchange three first-round picks, expiring contracts and players already on the roster into two top-six picks, the Wolves’ own sixth and either Washington’s fifth, Oklahoma City’s third or Memphis’ second that could bring Connecticut center Hasheem Thabeet or Spanish guard Ricky Rubio to Minnesota.
I love that line on it being like a fantasy-league team, I wish I had written it first. Isn’t this all we could ask for from Kahn Wolves fans? Someone who comes in and looks at this team with a very sober view, with no affiliations to any of the players, other than for their talent or trade value?
As for working the phones Zgoda quotes Kahn as saying:
“It has nothing to do with me making some sort of splash,” Kahn said. “It’s the job. We have a team that won 24 games last season, and it’s important we’re hyperactive in figuring out what options there are for us. It has nothing to do with anything beyond that.
“I hope we’re active. I hope that we are doing what I said we would do, and that’s be aggressive. I know we’ve been on the phones a lot, but I don’t know how that stacks up against anybody else.”
As a fantasy player myself the idea is simple. The more you talk to anyone and everyone the more ideas you get on what kind of trade value a player has and what you might be able to do. Sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring just doesn’t make any sense. Which is probably why McHale did it for so long. Again I stress that it mean nothing without some action connected to it but all signs point to Kahn completely reinventing the Wolves and quickly at that.
But what about these rumors that no one is untouchable, that he might even trade Al Jefferson or Kevin Love?
Well I ask you this, if Lebron were on the table and Cleveland would accept Big Al and Senor Amore for him would you trade them? Hell yes you would. The point here is that Kahn isn’t giving either of these guys away. But if there were a deal that couldn’t be refused why wouldn’t he take it?
Does anyone disagree that Jefferson is the second best player on a championship team, much like Gasol was this year? (And I would argue Gasol is even better) If you don’t disagree and the goal is a championship why wouldn’t you be open to moving him for top-level superstar talent.
Do I think there are any superstars that will be available on draft day? No. I don’t see Jefferson or Love being moved but I wouldn’t be surprised if Kahn had a conversation or two about with either one of them during the night.
The good news Wolves fans? As Kahn goes on to say in Zgoda’s piece, this is only the begininng:
“This roster is likely to change a lot over the next 16 months… We’ll add a piece or two or three next week, but it won’t be the end of it. I expect to see continual change over the next 16 months. Whatever we do next week, we’ll be far from a finished product.”
Other rumblings of note:
From the great Jonathan Givony at DraftExpress.com
The wildcard in all this are the Minnesota Timberwolves, who could throw a wrench in things by trading up to #2 to take Ricky Rubio. Sources say that Rubio’s camp has warmed up significantly to David Kahn and the Timberwolves organization as of late, and that they would not be opposed to him landing there. The catch is that the rookie scale salary slot of the #6 pick would not be sufficient in terms of satisfying Rubio’s gigantic buyout from DKV Joventut, so Kahn would have to trade into the top three to make that happen.
At this point, Kahn is holding firm on not putting Kevin Love on the table for the right to move up in the draft, and is instead trying to acquire another pick to entice Memphis to swap with them. As other media outlets have reported, they are targeting Washington’s #5 pick, but are only offering some combination of Randy Foye, Mike Miller and the #18 pick, which probably won’t get it done.
…According to an NBA source, super active Minnesota Timberwolves GM David Kahn has offered Mike Miller to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Chris Kaman. The Clippers shot down that trade, but countered with Marcus Camby.
It’s very good to hear that Rubio’s camp is warming up to him being a MN Timberwolf as I really think the Wolves are going to make the move to get him. As for the Wolves targeting Washington’s pick I think it’s likely that Kahn finds a way to get it done either directly or through a 3-way deal. And I can’t help but think that Miller for Kaman would help the Wolves fill up the middle and give them a nice 3 man rotation similar to the one I described with Jefferson, Love and Chris Andersen. It’ll be interesting to see if the Clippers get desperate enough to move one of their big men that the Wolves could get Kaman on draft day.
I’ll have more on these topics in my updated State of the Wolves Part II due out tomorrow and in my Draft Preview on Wednesday.
One other piece of Wolves news is that Demar DeRozan canceled his workout today. After reading John Hollinger’s draft player rater piece at ESPN (Insider) though, I’m not broken up about it at all. Good luck to the GM that takes him on Thursday as he rated out as merely the 54th best player in the draft (out of the collegians that is.)