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It’s official: David Kahn let go as Minnesota GM; Flip Saunders to step in

May 2, 2013, 4:16 PM EDT

davidkahn

It’s not a surprise. We told you it was coming. But it is still the end of an era we all enjoyed, even if we enjoyed mocking most of the time.

David Kahn has been let go as the general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves the team has confirmed, something first reported by the Associated Press and Adrian Wojnaroski of Yahoo Sports).

Long-time NBA coach Flip Saunders will step in as the new GM, although those negotiations are not final.

There are a few things going on here. One is that Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is looking to sell the Timberwolves, but in a way where someone would come in as a minority owner for a few years then eventually take control of the organization. Saunders had fronted one such group (he was the basketball guy, not the money guy) and there seems to be something to that.

This also comes back to Kevin Love — in a couple of years he can opt out of his deal. The Timberwolves want to both win and keep him (they need to win to  keep him). They need a GM who has and can build on a better relationship to keep their star player, otherwise Minnesota is in the awkward a position of having to trade him before he bolts.

Of course, there is no shortage of GM blunders by Kahn that could have led to him being relieved of his duties, most of them on draft night. This is a team that had a string of top 5 picks but has yet to make the playoffs (to be fair, injuries did in any chance of that this season).

Remember the year Kahn had the No. 5 and No. 6 picks and took Ricky Rubio first then followed it up with Jonny Flynn? He left Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings, DeMar DeRozan and Jrue Holiday on the board with that pick (Flynn played last season in Australia). Kahn had the No. 4 pick in 2010 and took Wesley Johnson (instead of DeMarcus Cousins or Greg Monroe). He had the No. 2 pick in 2011 and took Derrick Williams, who hasn’t lived up to that status.

It wasn’t all blunders. Kahn drafted Rubio and hired Rick Adelman. He put together what would have been a solid team this season save for the injuries.

Minnesota has the potential to be very good in the next couple years, but there were questions about whether Kahn could keep that together. So Minnesota has gone another direction.

In remembrance of this day, I feel I need to channel James T. Kirk one last time: KAAAAAAAHHHHHHNNNNNN!

  1. jcmeyer10 - May 2, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    This just in Bill Simmons has resigned from Grantland due to lack of material to write about in the NBA with Khan’s firing.

  2. aewing1 - May 2, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Other than the Stephen Curry whiff all the players you mentioned aren’t that great. Jennings is a chucker and shoots a horrible fg%, DeMar is average at best. Jrue Holliday is pretty good but would the Timberwolves really need ANOTHER point guard. At the time of the Wes Johnson pick it seemed like the right idea. They needed someone who could shoot from the outside. At the end of the 12-13 season Wes played pretty well although it was for a crappy Suns team. DeMarcus is a diva, they have Pek. Cousins probably would’ve went off the deep end riding the pine.

  3. albertmn - May 2, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    To be fair, a lot of times complaints about a draft are revisionist history. Often, people will point to players taken late in the first round or into the second round and wonder why a team didn’t pick that player with their top 5 or top 10 pick. But, a bunch of other teams passed as well, so it isn’t like that player was a slam dunk draft prospect (pun intended). Derrick Williams was considered by nearly every “expert” to be the obvious #2 pick in his draft, and it just hasn’t worked out that way.

    But, I have no defense for Kahn when it comes to the Flynn and Wes Johnson picks, although some other team would have likely taken them in the first round if the Wolves hadn’t. It isn’t like those guys weren’t on any teams list. It just turns out they don’t have it.

    All that said, it was definitely time for a trade and I hope Flip does a good job. With as many draft issues as they have had, it could well be the scouting department that needs a makeover as much as a change at the top.

  4. lakerluver - May 2, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    Flip is on the clock. They better start winning real soon or Love is a goner.

  5. 4thquartermagic - May 2, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Dude made some awful, awful picks.

    Minnesota has to be encouraged by this firing no?

    • jcmeyer10 - May 2, 2013 at 5:13 PM

      Hell yah. Khan drafted Flynn, Rubio and Lawson in the same year and picked Flynn over Lawson. Imagine a Lawson-Rubio backcourt!

      Dude is a running joke and he has finally been run out of town.

      • 4thquartermagic - May 2, 2013 at 5:17 PM

        That would be an electric backcourt for sure.

        Mix in a little Love and that team would’ve be tough to beat/fun to watch.

        But as a Nuggets fan I will cheers to you Mr. Kahn. Thank you for Lawson.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - May 2, 2013 at 7:58 PM

        Kahn didn’t pick Lawson for the Wolves. He selected him to trade for the Nuggets.

  6. aboogy123456 - May 2, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    I know Khan has made some horrible moves in the past but people may overlook some of his good moves because it’s popular to trash him. First of all, the year that he drafted 3 pgs, Ty lawson was drafted for a trade, they were never drafting him with the expectation to play for minnesota. In that same draft, Flynn was a bust but they got Rubio who will be part of the franchise for years to come. I actually like the team that they have started to put together in the last couple of years. Love was a steal, pekovic was a steal, shved was a steal, and they went hard after batum who played great this year. kirilenko has been good for them too. Despite being in frigid minnesota, I think with adelman and rubio and their style of basketball, it’s actually becoming a somewhat attractive place for guys to play.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - May 2, 2013 at 6:15 PM

      I get what your trying to say and mostly agree however,

      Kevin McHale is the one who selected OJ Mayo for Memphis and traded Marko Jarić (thank God!!) Antoine Walker, and Greg Buckner for Kevin Love, Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal, and Jason Collins.

      Kevin McHale is the one who selected Nikola Pekovic after trading Mario Chalmers to Miami for two future second-round draft picks (one of which was Pekovic and the other Kahn traded to Dallas the following season) and cash considerations.

  7. aboogy123456 - May 2, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    And kevin love is no superstar…he’s may be the best role player in the league, but he’s a b level star. Minnesota has been trying forever to get a superstar but it’s the hardest thing to do in the league. That’s why I was on these boards arguing that the lakers have to sign dwight. Just because you have good draft picks doesn’t mean you will land a franchise cornerstone.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - May 2, 2013 at 6:16 PM

      When healthy Kevin Love > Blake Griffin

      • aboogy123456 - May 2, 2013 at 6:25 PM

        definitely agree with you there. I love Griffin’s passing skills and team first attitude, but he’s no superstar either. I think the big issue with the Clippers is that they have way too much money invested in their frontcourt when those guys aren’t really good at defense or have a post game.

      • aboogy123456 - May 2, 2013 at 6:26 PM

        definitely agree with you there. I love Griffin’s passing skills and team first attitude, but he’s no superstar either

      • lakerluver - May 2, 2013 at 6:54 PM

        I agree. I love BG, no pun intended, but give me Love.

      • bkunza - May 2, 2013 at 8:17 PM

        Blake Griffin the most overrated player in the NBA. All he can do is dunk!

      • aboogy123456 - May 3, 2013 at 8:14 AM

        definitely agree with you guys. I love Griffin’s passing skills and team first attitude, but he’s no superstar either.

    • lakerluver - May 2, 2013 at 6:52 PM

      Love is no superstar?! I beg to differ. Put Love in a lineup with players that compliment his skills and you will see just how good he is. Just for argument sake, put Love and Dwight in PURPLE AND GOLD together. Their skills would mesh perfectly.

  8. saint1997 - May 2, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Maybe Flip will hire some African Americans for his ball club

    • 4thquartermagic - May 2, 2013 at 5:59 PM

      Ha no chance. I mean what kind of strategy would that be? So illogical to hire some brothas to play basketball.

    • patfic15 - May 2, 2013 at 6:33 PM

      Yes. That must be the problem.

  9. thekingdave - May 2, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Kevin McHale acquired Kevin Love on draft day 2008 for OJ Mayo so the point is moot.

    • vapor54 - May 3, 2013 at 8:34 AM

      Mchale was so-so. Twolves recycling Flip is lackluster.

  10. Mr. Wright 212 - May 2, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Oh well, Lakers can’t “rob” them for Williams, Shved and a pick now.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - May 2, 2013 at 7:56 PM

      Not sure what Williams you’ve been watching, but he could be had for a couple of game used balls and a pair of Nike

  11. scottieplongballs - May 2, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    You cant be a great GM if you cant evaluate talent. In this league you cant bat .500 and expect to keep your job. You cant miss on that many top 5 picks. #ThisIsCetiAlpha5!

  12. coryfor3 - May 2, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    Don’t forget signing Roy

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