David Kahn Speaks with Jonah Ballow - from Timberwolves.com.
Jonah Ballow had a sit down with Wolves President of Basketball Operations, David Kahn. There are a some interesting parts of this interview which are highlighted below.
Jonah Ballow: And you believe [Ricky] Rubio is a year away from this season coming over to play for the Minnesota Timberwolves?
David Kahn: I do, and there was nothing at that dinner that would indicate otherwise. I was pretty direct with him on that front, I think that he feels especially after making his decision last summer that this should be a two-year process in terms of staying in Barcelona for two years and I think he’s now thinking himself that in a year from now, that’s the right time to come.
Jonah Ballow: And what about [Nikola] Pekovic and [Darko] Milicic and what they are going to do as far as their future with this ball club?
David Kahn: Pekovic would like to come to the NBA now, I think he’s at the right frame of mind and right moment, he’s 24 years old, he turns 25 this off-season, and I think he’s very ready. Darko wants to come back to us. And that’s a good thing, he said so at the end of this seasons and reaffirmed it at the end of this trip and so come July 1st when it’s time to do free-agency that’s something that we will have to start dealing with, but there’s a sense and chance that both of those players, Nikola and Darko, could be back with us, in Darko’s case back with us and Nikola for the first time
Jonah Ballow: A bunch of players came into the Target Center to work out not only for this team but for several teams, what did you see in those workouts and now what is the plan looking ahead to bring in some of the top elite guys into the Target Center in the next couple of weeks?
David Kahn: Well, as you indicated, most of the very top players don’t go to the group workouts, you have to work them out individually, so coming this Sunday in earnest we will have a parade of players coming, not all identified for the 4th pick, some will be for the 16th and some will be for the 23rd pick, we are having a lot of players come in so we can see them and so the coaching staff can see them as well. I thought that the draft workouts were very helpful in terms of further identifying people that we would be interested in, and we just have a lot of work to do preparing for the draft and also seeing what kind of opportunities are available via trades.
Jonah Ballow: A little bit more than two weeks away from the draft, do you believe the focus is a bit more narrow, now that you’ve returned from the Europe trip and we’re getting close to that June 24th date?
David Kahn: Sure. I think that with each passing day and week things begin to crystallize in terms of what’s happening with the draft and how guys are shaking out in what order and what picks are worth and also the direction you want to take the ball club and what may be available in terms of trade.
Jonah Ballow: You were asked during the workouts if you would be surprised on draft night if the team had No. 4, 16, and 23. Do you still feel the same way?
David Kahn: Yes, I think it’s highly unlikely that will have the exact same three picks. That could be what happens but I just think that is unlikely. I think we will be aggressive and I think other teams will be aggressive because it takes two to make a deal. With so many picks, we have a lot of opportunities to do a lot of different types of things and I’m still just trying to figure out what to do at this point. The likely scenario is we will be aggressive and active.
Nikola Pekovic was an imaginary person to me until a couple weeks ago – like most of the European players the Wolves pick. But I have had a chance to read about him and I am intrigued. Here are Pekovic’s “stats”:
- 250 pounds
- 12.8 ppg over the entire season and all competitions
- 3.5 rpg
- 2P%: 60.7%
- FT%: 72.7%
I am sure everyone is asking how this guy can only averaged 3.5 rebounds a game at 6’11”. But based what I can get from the team site, he was the leading scorer. So my bet is that he was not needed to rebound as much and focused on scoring.
It is tough to get a feel for what the players average with so many different competitions and that fact that the site lists stats as totals, not averages. Looks like the team played in the Greek League, a Greek Cup – which if it is like soccer is a tournament with all the teams in Greece, and then Euro League. A total of 51 games and his team lost to Rubio’s Barca squad in the Euro League Final. I would like to see him in person and based on what Kahn said, he will be in a Wolves jersey this year.
As for the draft talk, nothing is really new or surprising. Kahn is aggressive and he have all heard the rumors of trades involving picks. So I believe him when he says “…I think it’s highly unlikely that will have the exact same three picks.” It also makes me worry a bit.
Philly Not Looking to Trade No. 2 Pick – From ESPN.
There has been plenty of speculation that the 76ers could move down in the draft from the No. 2 spot, however president and general manager Ed Stefanski says he’s not shopping the pick.
“We’re listening to anybody who calls, but we have not shopped the No. 2 pick whatsoever,” Stefanski told the Philadelphia Daily News Tuesday. “We don’t shut our phones off, but it would take a blockbuster for us to consider moving the pick.”
That does not mean they won’t trade the No.2 pick, it’s just that the Sixers are positioning themselves to appear they really want/need this pick. And I team wants it, a trade offer must be substantial and that team will have to take Elton Brand’s contract or some other garbage The Sixers want to get ride.
Warriors Like Xavier Henry at No.6 – From YahooSports.com Mark J Miller
The Golden State Warriors have the sixth pick in the NBA draft on June 24 and are thinking of taking young University of Kansas guard Xavier Henry, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Warriors general manager Larry Riley tells the paper that the team will go with the best player available rather than filling a hole on the team, which means Henry, the 19-year-old shooting-guard, is a possibility for a team that doesn’t need a shooting guard.
“They made it clear that they were really interested in me,” Henry told the Mercury News. “I think I showed them everything they wanted to see. I think I should at least be in contention for it.”
While Henry would be a great pick for the Wolves at No. 16, I am not sure why the Warriors are so interested in him at No. 6 when they have so many scorers. Then again the Warriors are not known as a defensive juggernaut.
Most mock drafts have Henry drafted between No. 10 and No. 17.
Kevin Seraphin Gets Measured – From DraftExpress Twitter feed.
Kevin Seraphin is in Treviso getting measured. Came out 6-9 in shoes, 278, w/7-3 wingspan, 9-1 standing reach. Walking normal, knee is fine.
Seraphin was measured, but because of his knee, he did not play at the Adidas EuroCamp. His measurements are impressive. Remember, he is only 20 years-old.
Then there was this Tweet;
Spoke to Kevin Seraphin’s agent Bouna N’diaye, says they’re wide open still. He’ll stay in if they find a good team in 1st that likes him.
I did not know he was debating staying in the draft, maybe the knee is putting a stop to everything since he us unable to workout for teams. I like this guy at No. 23, but I would love him at No. 45. Physical he is ready, emotional he seems ready. I am just not sure his “game” is ready.
Then again the Wolves drafted Ndudi Ebi at No. 26. Yeah, I said it.