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Wolves GM David Kahn hints at lottery fix. Fine on way.

May 18, 2011, 2:46 AM EDT

Timberwolves Kahn Basketball AP

What can get you in more trouble with David Stern than saying his referees are biased?

Saying the NBA Draft Lottery is fixed.

Which is pretty much what Minnesota Timberwolves GM David Kahn did after the lottery (where his team with the worst record fell to the No. 2 spot). Cleveland won the top spot.  Cavs owner Dan Gilbert had sent as a team representative his 14-year-old son Nick, who is battling Neurofibromatosis, a disease that causes the body’s nerves to grow potentially cancerous tumors.

“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.”

Kahn might as well get the checkbook out now. And for the record, saying widows and sick children who had to undergo chemotherapy get all the luck is just pretty stupid.

For the record, the league has gone to great lengths over the years to make this process as transparent as possible. Every team — including the Timberwolves — has a representative in the room watching the Keno machine (or whatever they wish to call it) pull out ping-pong balls. There are 14 balls, leading to 1,001 number combinations and those are assigned to teams based on percentages (Kahn and Minnesota had a 25 percent chance of winning, so they had 250 number combinations).

All of that to fight the perception that the draft lottery is fixed.

But the stigma of lottery fixes — going back to Patrick Ewing and the “frozen envelope theory” — remains with a lot of fans and will not shake easily. Kahn just reinforced it. And somebody is going to pay for that.

  1. purdueman - May 18, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    I agree with the T-Wolves; puppet master Stern manipulates everything that he can to insure that he gets what he wants. Why do you think Pao Gasol wound up on the Lakers when there were reportedly much better deals that were offered from other clubs at the time? Answer: To shut up Kobe’s trade demands and keep the networks happy by doing so.

    The T-Wolves are likely royally screwed though, because reports coming out of Cleveland today indicate that there’s only one non-guard worth taking in the first 5 picks, but a plethora of point guards. Hence, look for Cleveland to take a forward #1 overall and then simply pick the best of the remaining point guards at #4 overall (that’s what I’d do).

    That would leave the T-Wolves either stuck taking another guard (keep in mind that they still hold Ricky Rubio’s draft rights), or trading out of the spot. I’d be pissed too if I were Minnesota. Maybe they can trade the pick though to the point guard starved Lakers for La Mar Odom?

    Stern wanted Cleveland to get the #1 pick overall in the hopes of that helping to tone down all of the outrage over the entire La Bum James circus act last offseason, and Stern has tried to contract Minnesota in the past (so he’s not about to do them any favors!).

    The real underlying problem though is that there are simply too many teams that get to participate in the lottery. It should be no more than 8, but until such time as the number comes down, the NBA leaves themselves wide open to suspicion (and where there’s smoke, there’s always fire).

    • helinhater - May 18, 2011 at 4:25 PM

      Purdue Man –

      You’ve become my new favorite target because you’re such a fricking idiot.

      Keep reinforcing the notion that people in the Midwest are stupid…we all really appreciate it.

      • helinhater - May 18, 2011 at 4:27 PM

        By the way, Purdue Man – You’ve called yourself a Bulls fan…which I absolutely hate because it means we have something in common…

        But, bro, you do realize that the Bulls lottery could arguably be called the most sketchy of the lotteries…and yet, you say nothing about that.

        Please shut up.

        Purdue graduates would be thrilled.

      • purdueman - May 18, 2011 at 4:37 PM

        heinie (as in horses arse)… I guess I should be flattered that I’m now one of your “targets”, but that just shows what a useless existence you must be living.

        I’m from the mid-west, pal, but I’m embarrassed if you are from there too. I would have guessed from your last post that you were from Arkansas and your your Mama was your Aunt and your Papa was your brother.

      • purdueman - May 18, 2011 at 4:39 PM

        hieinie (as in horses arse)… why don’t you go find another forum to post on? There are hundreds of them… just have someone teach you how to use google search.

        If you don’t respect other peoples opinions that don’t align with your own, that would either make you a bigot and/or a loser who still lives with Mom with your room down in the basement. You better watch yourself, fella, because if your Mom finds out she may just take your internet access away and put you to bed without supper tonight! Loser.

      • lebronsinsecurity - May 18, 2011 at 6:20 PM

        Funny.. someone with the dumbest name on this site is going to try and talk trash.. At least Purdueman adds something to the conversation..

    • hoopsfanatic - May 18, 2011 at 4:25 PM


      I think it’s a bit much to proclaim that the NBA conspired to engineer the Pau Gasol trade. As I’ve attempted to explain to you previously, Memphis was able to turn around their team because of that trade. Besides the two first round draft picks, Memphis picked up Marc Gasol , and Kwame Brown’s expiring contract. Gasol will be a highly sought after restricted free-agent (well, he will be whenever a new CBA is signed). You have brought up before about the problems with guaranteed contracts. The fact that Brown was making $9 million in the final year of his contract meant that Memphis could remove $9 million in “dead weight” from their cap.

      If the league was going to “cheat” in order to help Cleveland, then I don’t think they did them too many favors giving Cleveland too high picks in a draft that is considered “weak” by a lot of draft experts. Who knows? Maybe the draft experts will be proven wrong, and years from now we will be amazed at the talent Cleveland obtained with those two high picks. However, right now, it appears Cleveland got the number one overall pick in a draft that lacks a future superstar.

      The problem with conspiracy theories is that they assume no one will talk. Look at what happened with Watergate? I find it hard to believe Stern and the NBA are conspiring to cheat, and yet, no one as talked. It basically defies logic.

      • purdueman - May 18, 2011 at 10:41 PM

        hoops… it’s a well known fact that there were other teams who offered more in the Pao Gasol trade than the Lakers could offer, yet (mysteriously), he wound up on the Lakers, shutting up Kobe from his then trade demands and making the NBA happy because that in turn made the networks happy. Connect the dots….

        As for Cleveland winding up with the overall #1 pick in this years draft? Doesn’t matter whether it turns out to be a “weak” draft or not, because perception is reality and the reality is that poor, poor jilted Cleveland wound up with the first overall pick.

    • purdueman - May 18, 2011 at 4:45 PM

      heiney… I’m sure you know nothing about any Big 10 graduates, much less Purdue graduates. In fact, from your posts the only way that I could imagine you receiving a college degree is by mail order or by buying one from one of the many so called internet universities that are springing up like con men chasing senior citizens.

  2. Fred - May 18, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    If the NBA wanted to fix the lottery to give the Cavs the #1 pick, why not bump their higher pick — you know, the one with the best lottery odds — to #1? Why bump up the pick that was sure to get all the tinfoil hat nuts in a tizzy?

    • purdueman - May 18, 2011 at 4:41 PM

      because it doesn’t matter and it looks less suspicious to fix the pick that the clippers received from the Paper-Clips, that’s why.

      • purdueman - May 18, 2011 at 4:42 PM

        correction… i was on a phone call when I was posting… of course I meant the pick that the Cavs received from the Paper-Clips in my previous post.

  3. jstrizzle - May 18, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    Really wasn’t that big a deal

  4. whatagreatfootballmind - May 18, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    Let’s clear the air on a few things here first.

    1. The roster is in fact better since Kahn has taken over. Before Kahn took over, McHale and Taylor completely ruined this team. It was so bad it will take Kahn another 3 years to get this roster right.

    2. Al Jefferson is completely overrated. With him and Kevin Love playing the same position, Kahn had to make a move. Kahn actually may have gotten this right. Love is a double double machine and an All-Star. Can anybody remind how Utah did after it dealt Williams and Jefferson was the center point of their offense? Oh yeah, they were in the lottery with the Wolves.

    3. Trading Al Jefferson for a 1st round pick. Maybe, just maybe we can get that pick next year. After all Kevin McHale traded a 1st round pick to the Clippers 5 years ago for Marko Jarcic and becomes the Clippers pick next year. So at least we do have a 1st round pick maybe.

    4. Trading just a second round pick to Miami for Beasley was a good move.

    5. Trade 2 huge contracts to Washington for basically Ricky Rubio. Rubio is the only player left involved in that deal with the team that player was traded to. Mike Miller is now with the Heat and Randy Foye is now a Clipper.

    6. Rubio has NEVER said he doesn’t want to come here. Rubio should wait another year. The NBA lockout will make the NFL lockout look like peanuts. If Rubio does wait another year he can negotitate his own contract and not the slotted salary he would get if he signs.

    7. Maybe, just maybe Kahn has gotten the Wolves down to the basically the cap floor because like what has been reported on this site a few times, the owners want a hard cap, significantly lower that any cap right now in the NBA. Teams are going to have to buy players out flooding the market with free agents. With only a handful of teams that would be able to sign a free agent because others will be a the cap, Kahn should be able to land a free agent here.

    8. Love, Beasley, Wes Johnson, Rubio, and draft pick/trade dejuour this team is slowly coming together.

    All you Kahn bashers, can bash all you want, but get your facts stright first.

  5. rapmusicmademedoit - May 25, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    too bad for Khan, at least he was telling the truth.the truth will always get you in trouble.

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