Mark Bartelstein said his client “had a great visit” and was “really impressed” by the pitch put on by team president David Kahn, coach Kurt Rambis and the rest of the Timberwolves.
“You have to give David Kahn and Kurt a tremendous amount of credit,” Bartelstein said. “They had an impressive proposal and really showed a lot of enthusiasm.”
David Kahn and the Wolves spent the afternoon touring David Lee and his agent around town. Not only was Lee impressed with the city, but also he took a liking to Kahn’s pitch about our rebuilding process.
“Realistically it is a little bit of a different sales pitch,” Bartelstein said. “Other teams like the Bulls, Miami, New Jersey, they’ve got the ability to add a star player and David. They’re in a little different position in terms of being able to compete right away.”
Kahn did a good job of getting Lee in for this meeting. Rudy Gay’s cancellation with the Timberwolves had fans believing that Kahn and the Wolves will never be able to get a higher-tiered free agent to town. But bringing Lee in had fans speculating that Kahn’s plan is for real, even though it fails to follow any conventional way of rebuilding.
“I very much want people to come here and see the upgraded facilities, to meet Glen, to have a feel for the entire organization,” Kahn said. “I think there are a lot of quality people that work here and are connected to this organization. The more they can meet those people during this process, I think, the better.”
Lee had a very good visit; the facts present themselves. But there is a problem with the Wolves and Lee’s likewise interest in each other. Yesterday the news broke of the New York Knicks offering Amar’e Stoudemire a max contract up around 5 years, $100 million. If the Wolves are looking to acquire Lee, which has to happen via sign-and-trade due to our slashed cap space from the signings of Darko and Pekovic, they have to give something of value to the Knicks. And if Jefferson is the center of any package, the Knicks may turn it down because they have Stoudemire on the hook. Unless they deal for Jefferson thinking Stoudemire could play the 5, but that scenario is unlikely and destined to fail anyway (But who knows, it is the Knicks after all.)
Even though Kahn did a wonderful job at showing Lee around town and wooing him into our horrible rebuilding ways, the chances of a deal going through are slim-to-none. The fact that the Knicks are on the verge of acquiring one of the best power forwards in the game, they won’t want to deal with the Wolves by going through the hassle of signing Lee and then trading for another 4 in Jefferson.
This isn’t about actually acquiring Lee, though. Just the fact that Kahn brought in and showed the organization and city to a big-name free agent is a giant step forward. So even though none of us can foresee Kahn’s actual plan, the fact that he’s trying to turn this thing around gives me the go-ahead to put some confidence in the guy