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Why yes, Minnesota Timberwolves, Darko Milicic will gladly take your $20 million, please and thank you

Jul 1, 2010, 1:07 PM EDT

David Kahn is the most dangerous GM in the world. Not in the Sam Presti or Daryl Morey way, either; you don’t need to worry about his diabolical scheming or adaptable strategy, but rather how much irreparable damage he’s capable of doing to his team in a short time.

Well, add another bad move to Kahn’s Wikipedia page, even if it is merely bad (as opposed to completely ludicrous) and could actually have been far worse: the Timberwolves will sign Darko Milicic to a four-year, $20 million contract.

I’m glad that Kahn and Kurt Rambis understand that pairing Al Jefferson and Kevin Love together is a plan doomed to fail, but signing Darko to a long-term deal isn’t likely to make the situation any better. The Wolves have now betrayed themselves at the negotiating table; with Love as Kahn’s chosen son, Darko locked into a long-term deal, and the newly-signed power forward/center Nikola Pekovic on the way, it’s more evident than ever that the Wolves need to move Al Jefferson. He’s no longer a luxury, but an absolute redundancy, and that could seriously undercut Kahn’s attempts to trade him this summer.

If we view the Darko signing in a vacuum though, it’s really not awful. It’s just too long. And probably too expensive. If Kahn wanted to keep Milicic around while the team looks for more suitable centers, that’s fine. Sign him to a two-year deal starting around $4 million or so (which is still generous). If the Wolves don’t regret this signing immediately, they surely will four years down the line when they’re still paying Darko decent money for indecent production.

The good news is that the last year of Milicic’s contract is partially unguaranteed, so there’s always the possibility that the Wolves could be paying him slightly less in his final year to do absolutely nothing. Yay.

Far worse however, is the fact that signing him essentially forfeits the Wolves’ place in free agency, and removes the possibility of signing rumored target Rudy Gay. The pursuit of Gay may have been a mistake to begin with, but if given the choice between Minnesota spending too much money on an athletic wing with room for growth or a depressing center whose claim to fame is not being absolutely horrible, I think you take the former. Maybe that’s just me.

Either way, the Wolves will only have around $5 million in cap room to play with, no salary cap exceptions to speak of, and little hope for additional change outside of a potential Al Jefferson trade (which may be hindered by this very move). This signing in itself may not be a franchise-killer, but in conjunction with all of Kahn’s move in total, I think it’s time we Kahn-proof his office. Take his computer and phone, stash away all sharp objects, and lock him in. Believe it or not, it could actually get worse before the summer’s end.

  1. Zack - Jul 1, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    I’m hoping there is an Eddy Curry trade to the T’wolves, just so I can read on July 1st, 2011 that he signed a extension.

  2. chiliD - Jul 1, 2010 at 2:52 PM

    David Kahn = Dunder-Mifflin’s Michael Scott
    BINGO! I think we have Steve Carrell’s replacement on “The Office”!!

  3. tb - Jul 1, 2010 at 3:39 PM

    idk if it was that bad… I mean, $5 mil a year really isn’t that much for a decent big man. I know its trendy to bash on Darko, but I think if you had bothered to put his stats on here it wouldn’t seem outlandish…
    decent fg%, good blocks pts in limited min. There are a lot worse big men in the NBA making more. Prob the the best move ever, but they could have done worse.

  4. freeagent - Jul 1, 2010 at 4:10 PM

    Rob, you are talking nonsense. Darko rules

  5. Falcon city - Jul 1, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    Im glad to see all of the media is still so jealous of Kahn that they blindly bash everything he does… this is a great deal at the end of the 4 years what will darko be ??? 25 this kid still has upside.. and for 5mill.. i will take that over what the BUCKS paid for gooden any day.

  6. Bill - Jul 1, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    I heard Kahn is looking into a sign and trade with the knicks with David lee for al which isn’t bad I heard they like love and Dario as backups and the othr two as starters which looks good I see the timberwolves in the playoffs maybe this year or maybe next.

  7. RajD - Jul 2, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    What you just said was the most insainly idiotic thing ever. I am now dumber for having read that.

  8. Ad Lee - Jul 3, 2010 at 10:40 AM

    Anyone who actually watched the Wolves this past year would have seen that Darko brought structure and court vision to the offense that was totally missing prior. Without a scoring threat from the wings, this didn’t show up in W’s. But Darko can be an effective center – he has a 5-ft hook shot that falls as someone mentioned at suprisingly high rate. He creates length problems for most other teams’ forwards. Most important – he fits with the “moving triangle” Rambis wants to see on offense. Rare court vision and passing abilities.
    Watch a couple games – you’ll know what I’m talking about.
    And if the hack writing the article has a better option for the Wolves, please offer it up, blow-hard.

  9. The Voice of Reason - Jul 5, 2010 at 6:28 AM

    Kahn – you absolute cretin!

  10. Brewhah - Jul 6, 2010 at 1:26 AM

    I am in agreement with Ad Lee. Is Darko the superstar he was supposed to be when the Pistons took him in front of ‘Melo, Bosh, and Wade?? No. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t worth an MLE. He played well in a limited run with the Wolves last season, and that was when he was just playing out his contract before hopping back across the lake, as he said he intended to do. He seemed to fit that triangle scheme better than any other Wolves post. If he is just an average center, how can we complain?? I haven’t forgotten Luc Longley, Felton Spencer, Paul Grant….. Let us not forget, there is still the peice we are not seeing, the whole reason for all these moves that don’t seem to make sense…. Kahn is putting together a team for Rubio to run. Do the math….

  11. Some Guy - Jul 9, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    Precisely. Khan is building for the future when a 20 year old will be running the team. Lots of young, athletic guys that fit into our offensive scheme.
    For all the bashing of Darko, he played admirably last season. He was thrust into a complicated offense midseason and figured it out better than any of the other established bigs. He was also playing catch up on conditioning, after sitting on the bench in New York left him in the worst shape of his life.
    We will see what the world thinks of this move in 6 months, after Darko has had a chance to really learn the offense and work on his conditioning.

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