It just seems like they never catch a break. Inconceivably, even with the greatest odds of walking out with the winning card and an enormous grin on his face, while possibly saving the franchise and his legacy with one combination of ping-pong balls, David Kahn was caught in the middle between a Hall-of-Fame-coach-firing GM and a chronically ill 14-old good luck charm for a team that was demoralized harder than any other before.
“This league has a habit, and I am just going to say habit, of producing some pretty incredible story lines,” Kahn said. “Last year it was Abe Pollin’s widow and this year it was a 14-year-old boy and the only thing we have in common is we have both been bar mitzvahed. We were done. I told Kevin: ‘We’re toast.’ This is not happening for us and I was right.”
But who can you blame? Kahn, obviously pissed at the outcome of tonight’s suspenseful events, nailed it right on the head. No one wants to wake up in the morning and see that the lonely Wolves ended up with the #1 pick. Rather the feel-good story — Americans love those — of the son of Cavailers’ owner, Dan Gilbert, is a real headline-catching type of way to sum up the night.
It’s just unfortunate things had to play out as they did. The tens of hundreds of Wolves fans, anxiously anticipating who may be in that second-to-last envelope as it was disclosed, were gunned down and their hope, perhaps, shattered, including my own to a certain extent. Wolves Nation desperately needed the top pick tonight. Not to fulfill their quest in the Irving Sweepstakes but rather to inject some life, some sort of passion, back into a fandom that once thrived rabidly thanks to the smallest sense of competition and, of course, a little lottery luck.
But things aren’t all that bad. Because, really, if it weren’t for bad luck, the Wolves would have no luck at all. Now the Wolves have to wander into unchartered waters a bit. Without a clear-cut choice with the second pick, the Wolves have tons of options to play with. The only thing with that is that our GM is somewhat of an ape: He decides on instinct, not upon reason, but that’s an entirely different story. Like I said, the Wolves really have some ways of turning this fortune into just that, a fortune. It all just comes down to careful and calculative decision-making. They could begin with trading the pick outright and moving down, hopefully picking up some veteran leadership in the process (Chad Ford already noted that Kahn immediately made this adamant upon learning our fate.) They could go with Williams, the projected #2 coming into the lottery, but then Kahn would face an imminent obstacle of choosing between seemingly redundant spitting images of each other in Williams and Beasley (Do you choose the clinically insane scoring machine or a similar type player with a better, smarter head on his shoulders?) Or they keep the pick and make a reach for a more pressing need, perhaps an upgrade at center with Kanter or improving the interior defense, which is a must, and take Biyombo. Both would be highly criticized as reaches but they’d fill needs. Simply put. (But are the Wolves really in a position to draft by need, though?)
It’ll be an interesting month coming up. Kahn now has the alarming task of signing Ricky Rubio before the CBA expires on May 31st, as well as gain some insight into what to do with this upcoming draft. But one thing is clear: They need help and they need it fast. A little luck and fortune wouldn’t hurt either.