With the news that the Minnesota Timberwolves are indeed shipping off Al Jefferson to the Utah Jazz for quite literally nothing (i.e., a trade exception and two first-round picks), it's time to recap the David Kahn era. He really is a gift from the comedy gods. Since taking over operations last year, Kahn has done the following:
- Traded Mike Miller and Randy Foye for the 5th pick in the 2009 Draft
- Drafted Ricky Rubio (a point guard) 5th overall, who has refused to play for Minnesota
- Drafted Jonny Flynn (another point guard) 6th overall, passing on the consensus better player in Stephen Curry
- Drafted Ty Lawson (another point guard) 18th overall, traded him to the Nuggets for a future first-rounder
- Drafted Nick Calathes (another point guard) 45th overall, who went overseas to play in Greece before the T'Wolves traded his rights to the Mavs for a future second-rounder
- Signed Ramon Sessions (another point guard) to a four-year, $16 million deal
- Signed Sasha Pavlovic (not a point guard!) to a one-year deal
- Traded Jason Hart (another point guard) for Alando Tucker...who was subsequently waived
- Traded Brian Cardinal for THE Darko Milicic
- Drafted Wes Johnson (a small forward) fourth overall in 2010, passing on the much better and much younger Demarcus Cousins
- Traded the 16th pick to the Blazers for Martell Webster (another small forward)
- Drafted Lazar Hayward (another small forward) with the 30th pick
- Traded for Michael Beasley (possibly a small forward, maybe a power forward) for a future second-rounder, giving the Miami Heat the cap room to sign Mike Miller
- Re-signed Darko Milicic to a four-year, $20 million deal
- Gave away Al Jefferson for
nothingtwo first-rounders from the Jazz and a trade exception
- Signed Luke Ridnour (another point guard) to a four-year, $16 million deal
If NBA teams were only allowed to play point guards and small forwards, Kahn would be assembling a juggernaut. Instead, he's routinely passed on the best player available in the draft, signed redundant players to ridiculous contracts in free agency, traded for ostensibly "talented" players who have zero motivation (Darko, Beasley), and now -- in a tour de force of ineptitude -- given away his best player for not even pennies on the dollar.
And it'd be one thing if Kahn's repeated idiocy was only sending Timberwolves fans into fits of existential angst and despair -- that would be bad enough -- but his continual inability to realize that HE is the chump at the table has upset the balance of power in the NBA. As Tom Ziller points out at AOL Fanhouse:
Meanwhile, if Jefferson does make it to Salt Lake, the Western Conference will have finally gotten one massive improved contender. The Spurs have added Tiago Splitter and the Mavericks Ian Mahinmi, but Jefferson is a big fish, really bolstering a weakened Utah frontcourt.
Dynasties are built on the shoulders of idiots in the NBA. That's not to say the Jazz are suddenly legit title contenders, but just that when good teams fleece savvy-challenged GMs of good players, that it creates competitive disadvantages. Think of the Lakers and Pau Gasol -- they went from first-round exits to the NBA Finals thanks to landing an elite player without having to give up any of their core players in return.
Moral of the story: if you want to win an NBA championship, get David Kahn on the phone. Of course, Pat Riley already knows this lesson.