The Dunking With Wolves staff has been watching, waiting for Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor to make, well, a few decisions.
First there was the issue of choosing whether or not to renew President of Basketball Operations, David Kahn’s contract.
With that question long considered a formality, the next task, the one fans were most curious about, would be a quest to find a new POBO.
Would Taylor stay in his comfort zone and hire an old pal? Would the changes around the league penetrate most provincial of NBA owners? How would these decisions impact the franchise as it moves forward?
The Dunking With Wolves staff is, for the most part, quick with reactions. Ben Beecken was the quickest…
1.) What is your reaction to the decision by Glen Taylor to decline David Kahn’s option?
Ben Beecken: Moderately surprising, but the correct decision. Kahn served his purpose (saving Taylor money, clearing large contracts from the books, etc.), but was much worse at evaluating talent than even Taylor expected. Of course, he never had the background or experience to qualify for the job that Taylor hired him to do in the first place, but he still lasted longer than he ever should have.
2.) What is your reaction to the decision by Glen to hire Flip as his replacement?
Ben Beecken: Eh. Better than Kahn, to be sure. But we’ve been there, done that with Flip Saunders. It’s hard to say how much of the dearth of talent surrounding Kevin Garnett was selected by Flip, and how much was Kevin McHale’s doing. But we do know this: In 2009, Saunders was 100% on board with his Washington Wizards trading the number five overall pick (two days later, it became Ricky Rubio) to the Wolves for Randy Foye and Mike Miller. Awkward, I know.3.) What is your biggest hope or concern following these two moves and what can be done to address it?
Ben Beecken: If Rick Adelman returns, this is probably an upgrade, all things considered. It’s hard to imagine Saunders being worse than Kahn. He did advocate for drafting Garnett out of high school, after all. The only things I worry about are cap management (bad contracts, etc.), and given Saunders’ comments in his introductory press conference on Friday, I’m also a little concerned that he’ll dismantle more of the current roster than he should.
I still firmly believe that if the current roster was healthy, the team would have ended up with 45-50 wins. With a fully healthy Rubio in 2013-14 and if Andrei Kirilenko, Nikola Pekovic, and Chase Budinger all return, the Wolves should win more than 50 games rather easily. Messing with the core too much would be a mistake. Saunders was mostly right when he brought up the issue of roster balance, but it isn’t worth panicking over too much. We’ll talk later about what the team should do with the roster this off-season, but a complete overhaul is absolutely unnecessary.