Flipping Kahn for Saunders: Dunking With Wolves Reaction Wrap-Up


Nov 2, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor looks on during the fourth quarter against the Sacramento Kings at the Target Center. The Timberwolves defeated the Kings 92-80. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

In the days following Glen Taylor’s dismissal of David Kahn and reunion with Flip Saunders, the Dunking with Wolves staff pondered their reactions, reflected on recent history and defined their hopes moving forward. These are my thoughts…

1.) What is your reaction to the decision by Glen Taylor to decline David Kahn’s option?

Most statements invoking Kahn’s name tend to lend themselves to hyperbole. You could build a strong case for buffoonery with his public comments, alone. You add up a list of all his transactions, focus in on his drafting, and it’s an open and shut case. The real question is: why did it take so long for Glen to decide he had to go?

The rationalization is that this year Team Adelman thought they had minimized the damage Kahn could do by taking away the draft pick, securing a few players they liked, and letting him play with his pipe-dreams of Roy and Batum. The way those moves backfired and were compounded by the damage of such horrendously poor drafting over the years — the cupboard was laid bare for all to see.

The truth is, Kahn lasted this long by saving Glen money. It’s sad and convenient that he could simply opt to decline Kahn’s option because the presence of Kahn in this organization made them more of a laughingstock. The stink of his reign will haunt Taylor until he decides to sell.

2.) What is your reaction to the decision by Glen Taylor to hire Flip Saunders?

It’s like hearing an old high school couple is getting back together ten years later. Sure, it’s a cute story, but it makes you wonder how small that comfort zone is. The idea that Taylor would be leading an all-out, exhaustive search for the guy on the bleeding edge of innovation was always laughable, but such a homer-hire is a little disappointing — the fact it comes with the added drama of Flip being a coach with an itch to get back on the bench, who has a history with the owner and the all-important one of us angle? If Adelman wasn’t a sure-fire Hall of Famer, there’d be a nice little quarterback controversy brewing.

On the plus side, he’s not Kahn. So Kevin Love could stick around after all.

 3.) What is your biggest hope or concern following these two moves and what can be done to address it?

Now that Glen has decided he wants to keep the team, he spends like it. I hope Flip wouldn’t be here if it was another slash and burn era. Adelman isn’t sticking around for a game of pinching pennies. No nonsense. It’s put up or shut up time. There have been some crystal clear, readily identifiable, easy to spot, eye-test failures on this roster. I don’t care about advanced scouting or fancy data computing and evaluation techniques if you don’t find a plus-defender, ball handler, or shooter with real, live shooting guard size, you may as well line up Luke Ridnour at the 2 again and hire Kahn back to be the team’s press secretary.

Just one player with one or more of those characteristics (plus-defender, ball handler, or shooter) should be had for any one, two or some combination of Jose Juan Barea and/or Ridnour, Derrick Williams, Brandon Roy’s contract, Greg Stiemsma’s waived non-pick and roll defending self, either of the two first-rounders, future second-rounders or rights to prospects the Wolves possess.

There have been clear needs on this Wolves roster for years. Now that Taylor has to pay to keep what quality players he has doesn’t mean those needs can’t competently be filled. It’s put up or shut up time.