May 2, 2013, 4:16 PM EDT
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.
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!