When David Kahn speaks, the world listens. The Minnesota Timberwolves' general manager had a press conference Wednesday as his team prepares for the final game of its season. As our wonderful Wolves blog Canis Hoopus frequently notes, Minnesota's 2010 and 2011 seasons constitute the fourth-worst two-year span in NBA history. Since Kahn took over in 2009, the Wolves have 32 wins (with one game left this season).
Via Hoopus, here's Kahn on the state of the team:
We're ahead of where we thought we'd be with the roster.
The roster, mind you, has been completely remodeled since Kahn took over. Kahn inherited a 24-58 roster, and turned it into a 15-67 roster, which he has improved to a 17-65 (barring a win Wednesday) roster. The current Wolves have two players from the 2008-09, pre-Kahn edition: Kevin Love, an All-Star acquired by Kahn's predecessor Kevin McHale, and Sebastian Telfair, who has been traded a couple of times in the past two seasons. Everyone else is gone.
Kahn unloaded all of those crummy players, sure. And what does he have to show for it? A 17-win team that hasn't seen even decent production from any of Kahn's myriad draft picks. In 2009, Kahn took Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn with the No. 5 and 6 picks; Rubio remains in Spain, and Flynn has been a disaster. (Ty Lawson was Kahn's No. 18 pick in that draft; Kahn traded him to Denver on draft night for a 2011 pick that became Luke Babbitt, who was traded to Portland for Martell Webster, who this season produced far less than Lawson while being older and more than twice as expensive.)
In 2010, Kahn passed up DeMarcus Cousins for Wesley Johnson at No. 4 because of a frontcourt glut. Kahn then signed Darko Milicic to a $20 million deal, traded Al Jefferson for cap space, part of which he used to acquire Michael Beasley and the rest of which he used to facilitate a deal for Anthony Randolph. These -- Beasley and Randolph -- are good moves on their own. Add the context of what Kahn passed up and gave up, and it's UGLY.
This is Kahn saying things went well over the two years, and the Wolves are ahead of where he thought they'd be. I hate to imagine what would have happened if things had gone wrong.