Weird Science

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Posted by Sekou Smith

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – At least we are not alone.

Observers from around the globe are wondering the same thing.

What in the world is going on with the Minnesota Timberwolves?

It’s a fair question after a dizzying 14 months of action from ‘Wolves GM David Kahn, a crowd fave here at the hideout for his refusal to flinch in the face of so much opposition to the work he has done.

It’s a question that the locals are asking as well. Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune on Kahn:

He’s the guy who in 14 months on the job has ripped apart a roster inherited from Kevin McHale much the way a caffeinated fantasy-league owner might and completely remade it by trading away former centerpiece Al Jefferson to Utah for draft picks and keeping only Kevin Love and Corey Brewer.

Gone are Jefferson, Randy Foye, Mike Miller, Ryan Gomes, Craig Smith, Sebastian Telfair, Mark Madsen and many others.

Arrived are Michael Beasley, Martell Webster, Jonny Flynn, Darko Milicic, Wayne Ellington, Ramon Sessions/Luke Ridnour and first-round picks Wesley Johnson and Lazar Hayward and the looming aura of Ricky Rubio.

There’s no question these new Timberwolves are a resoundingly more athletic and better-shooting team than the ones that won a total of 61 games the first three seasons since Kevin Garnett was traded away.

But will they be remarkably better than last season’s 15-victory team?

And will Kahn — a former sportswriter and a lawyer who was a notably unorthodox hire — eventually be proven to be mad scientist or simply mad?

At this point, we’re going to run with the mad scientist option.

But we reserve the right to change, depending on what happens between now and the start of training camp.

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26 Comments

  1. Wolves Ball says:

    Just so everyone quits freaking out about the Lawson trade. We had already traded the pick to the nuggets and made the selection for them. For all the people that comment on this and don’t know how the draft works on draft day with trading picks you guys better up your basketball knowledge.

  2. ChicagoViking says:

    Wolves are way more athletic/better shooting/taller than they have been in years.

    Kahn has picked up more talent. The concern is youth and the triangle. I like getting Ridnour for some veteran leadership. Need to ship Sessions out and get a veteran big and see what happens.

    Maybe Beasley makes up for passing on Cousins.

  3. IMdaBOSS says:

    Evans was picked by Sac ahead of Mini’s pick. Kahn’s comparison of Darko’s passing to Divac is just dumb. Even with the bad trades and picks they still have a good young core to build around in Love, Beasley, Johnson.

  4. Nutty says:

    Excuse my double-post. I don’t know what was up with the NBA hangtime blog but it didn’t recognize my 1st post.

  5. Nutty says:

    As a long-time fan of the MN TWolves since it’s inauguration days of Pooh Richardson, Doug West, Tony Campbell, and even Scottie Brooks (current coach of yr for OKC), I’ve seen some good picks (more like luck) and horrendous picks. Fast-forward to recent times…What kills me is when a gem like Brandon Roy lands in your lap, then you trade him for Randy Roye (who eventually got traded not much longer) that becomes a wash-out and regular joe role player. Then O.J Mayo is available and picked by the Wolves, yet you trade away that pick for K Love. Now, I know Kevin is a really decent player but you need some style, substance, some unpredictability, and scoring for Pete’s sake. The Wolves have none of that. Heck, when I saw the Warriors game last year, the Wolves were terrible on defense … so damn frustrating. Then came last year’s draft. 3PG in the 1st round! I actually like the Rubio pick but HATE the Johnny Flynn pick. Seeing him in person was not impressive. Yeah, he played his little heart out in Syracuse with the college folok, but those are not the same players in the NBA–and it showed. Then the Wolves pick up Ty Lawson (which I was absolutely AMAZED he lasted so long) to my ecstatic excitement, and sure enough, just like the others he was traded. MN ALWAYS makes a wild pick/trade every singly damn year. This year was no different with signing DARKO to 4 years. Stupid. But I will credit the Wolves picking Corey Brewer who I liked in Florida and he can do it all. I might have had to divorce the Wolves had they traded him away after the KG fiasco. And I do like the Beasley pickup. Let’s not forget Wesley Johnson pick–an EXCELLENT choice since we lost #2 pick and was not able to get Turner (who will be bigger than Wall). Overall, the TWolves had made some dumb dumb moves after KG’s departure. I really wished Ty Lawson was a Wolf, but when Rubio comes to town–someday, hopefully–the Wolves will once again be an exciting team. BUT if the Wolves want to make another trade, get rid of FLYNN and KEEP Ramon Sessions! With Wesley, Sessions, Ridnour, Brewer, Love, Beasley, Webster, Ellington, and Lazar Haywood …. this team has some good young, ATHLETIC talent. I agree with shopping Big Al but signing Darko will be just another mistake added to the long list of ill-advised moves. I’m pretty sure the Fans can do better than Kahn at this point–sadly enough–and probably for a much lower fee.

  6. Nutty says:

    As a long-time fan of the MN TWolves since it’s inauguration days of Pooh Richardson, Doug West, Tony Campbell, and even Scottie Brooks (current coach of yr for OKC), I’ve seen some good picks (more like luck) and horrendous picks. Fast-forward to recent times…What kills me is when a gem like Brandon Roy lands in your lap, then you trade him for Randy Roye (who eventually got traded not much longer) that becomes a wash-out and regular joe role player. Then O.J Mayo is available and picked by the Wolves, yet you trade away that pick for K Love. Now, I know Kevin is a really decent player but you need some style, substance, some unpredictability, and scoring for Pete’s sake. The Wolves have none of that. Heck, when I saw the Warriors game last year, the Wolves were terrible on defense … so damn frustrating. Then came last year’s draft. 3PG in the 1st round! I actually like the Rubio pick but HATE the Johnny Flynn pick. Seeing him in person was not impressive. Yeah, he played his little heart out in Syracuse with the college folok, but those are not the same players in the NBA–and it showed. Then the Wolves pick up Ty Lawson (which I was absolutely AMAZED he lasted so long) to my ecstatic excitement, and sure enough, just like the others he was traded. MN ALWAYS makes a wild pick/trade every singly damn year. This year was no different with signing DARKO to 4 years. Stupid. But I will credit the Wolves picking Corey Brewer who I liked in Florida and he can do it all. I might have had to divorce the Wolves had they traded him away after the KG fiasco. And I do like the Beasley pickup. Let’s not forget Wesley Johnson pick–an EXCELLENT choice since we lost #2 pick and was not able to get Turner (who will be bigger than Wall). Overall, the TWolves had made some dumb dumb moves after KG’s departure. I really wished Ty Lawson was a Wolf, but when Rubio comes to town–someday, hopefully–the Wolves will once again be an exciting team. BUT if the Wolves want to make another trade, get rid of FLYNN and KEEP Ramon Sessions! With Wesley, Sessions, Ridnour, Brewer, Love, Beasley, Webster, Ellington, and Lazar Haywood …. this team has some good young, ATHLETIC talent. I agree with shopping Big Al but signing Darko will be just another mistake added to the long list of ill-advised moves. I’m pretty sure the Fans can do better than Kahn at this point.

  7. dustin says:

    we need kim kardashian

  8. dustin says:

    we need shannon brown or nate robinson or kevin durant or kobe bryant

  9. […] Luke Ridnour, David Kahn, Ricky Rubio, Wesley Johnson, Mike Miller, Martell Webster, Randy Foye / 12 Comments […]

  10. ngongo says:

    I also find it hard to understand what is kahn doing. last year draft, he picked both point guards(other say it’s alright if the other one is a scoring point guard), flynn and rubio. Maybe they could have evans a big PG plus jennings, a PG with scorer’s mentality that cam make sense. But both point guards? What can they do(especially with big guards and very dominating)? flynn is too small and too thin. rubio(in fairness to him he is making the hype) is weak on one-on-one. Now here we go with the trade, Al was I think the best low post scorer today(cause dwight never score that much in post up plays), their only true center and only inside presence because he and love can’t co-exist. But common love plays the same position with Beasley, almost the same with Darko. All of them can’t play defense well. All of them not a run and gun type of players. They almost play in the same spot. What about adding ridnour to their loaded PG spot(they still have ramon)? Martell Webster is I think the only good move so far by Kahn. It has gone from bad to worse unless he can pull a trick on his bag. They shoul have tried on tyson chandler who i think can fill out the void in their defence. They need a true center. He also has playoff experience with great coaches like skiles, scott and brown. He can also contribute to the community as what he did to new orleans. Common david try tyson. martell will be your main man and corey brewer. johny will be your court general, either beasley or love your low post option(which is most likely Michael) tyson will be your insurance guy on defense. And next season wolves will compete to atleat last spot in the playoff depending on how will your coach perform. ANd maybe one of them will challenge an all star apot.

  11. […] can leave the response, or trackback from your own […]

  12. […] Luke Ridnour, David Kahn, Ricky Rubio, Wesley Johnson, Mike Miller, Martell Webster, Randy Foye / 12 Comments […]

  13. […] Ridnour, Martell Webster, Michael Beasley, Mike Miller, Randy Foye, Ricky Rubio, Wesley Johnson / 12 Comments […]

  14. bballer says:

    there’s not much original on this blog; you take someone else’s article and make a comment about it; the noteworthy part of it is the comments supplied by the viewers; but I guess that is par for the course with today’s Internet, where the folks at YouTube got rich by showing others videos

  15. dudu says:

    Hey Sekou,

    I’m a big fan of your’s and I’ve been A READER OF YOUR (sorry didn’t mean to scream at you) blog for awhile now. I’m a bit disapppointed that your are not really taking any side and not sticking by what your really believe is going to happen in the following month…..yet this is your time…as a journalist you have to make your opinion clear even if that means you might be wrong….I a big Kobe fan…although I can’t spell for shizzle..sorry i’m French…but I truly believe the Heats can do it…daaaam if Wade did it with Shaq surely he can do it with Bosh and Lebron…ok they wont be facing Dallas in the Finals but I reckon this could be a real dynasty…ok I have no credentials…since I’m a nobody but I LOVE this game…and I bet 50 € Heat will win this year…wait that’s like 50’000 $..oops….

  16. CELTICS FAN says:

    this guy is playing the triangle but he also wants to wait for Ricky Rubio so that he then can also take a couple of years to learn it? I just don’t understand…

  17. CELTICS FAN says:

    HE PUT CHRIS WEBBER AND DARKO MILICIC IN THE SAME SENTENCE??? THAT’S SO DISRESPECTFUL WOW!

  18. CELTICS FAN says:

    I have no idea what this guy is doing…

  19. dan the man says:

    I feel sorry for Rambis.
    Kahn doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing!!

  20. Gus says:

    I think the wolves are a much better unit this year both athletically, shooting wise and probably defensively ( no one has ever accused Big Al of being a good defender). This is highlighted by the players who have left, none of these guys have played any significant roles in the places they’ve ended up and none of them will except maybe Miller with the Heat ( this won’t be the case with Al Jefferson, he will flourish in Utah with Williams).

    However, the one thing that does concern me is available minutes to help the now very young Wolves roster grow and the positions that those minutes will be available. For example Love, Beasley, Johnson/Brewer/Webster all deserve qualitiy minutes but where do you play them? Hopefully with Beasley’s skill set being much differnet to Love’s both of these guys can co-exist on the floor at the same time and hopefully the pairing isn’t the defensive farce that Jefferson/Love was. Johnson/Brewer/Webster is another issue at SF/SG. Johnson deserves minutes at SFand SG if just to see what the number 4 pick has to offer, but if Beasley’s at the 3 where does Johnson go?. Brewer was one of the leagues most improved players last year and was one of the most consistent Wolves. Recent edition Webster could do really well for this team as well and will hopefully get some significant minutes but the question again is where and next to who?.
    I still expect one more trade to be made with Sessions and probably other assets so we’ll have to wait and see if this frees up minutes or further confounds the issue.

  21. Joe's Momma says:

    Really, what the heck is this guy thinking??????

    I know PG’s can really change the outlook of a team, just as NOLA and UTAH, but this guy has gone PG crazy.

    He drafted like 14 PGs last year, and traded one that really looks like a steal for a late 1st rounder???

    Then he signs another PG last offseason, Sessions, only to now want to move him, then sign another PG in Ridnour.

    This guy is in way in over his head.

    I know that Big Al was a salary cap nightmare, but moving him for 2 1st round picks??? One of the best low post scorers in the league??? If him and the coach don’t fit, then move him for something of some substance. Not two picks, 1 which will end up being in the low teens, and then one in the 20s.

    I feel for Kurt Rambis.

    I defended Kahn last year with the draft, but made it hard when he shipped lawson to Denver for scraps. Then signs Sessions?? What the heck is he thinking.

    I like the Beasley pick up, but Riley would have moved him to Mars for the cap space after getting LBJ, he got lucky on that one.

    All the other moves he has made, he should have been fired after the 2009 draft, as soon as he picked Flynn, then Rubio.

    David Stern says, “Minnesota trades the #18 pick, Ty Lawson, to Denver. Oh, and he has since resigned”

  22. mp34 says:

    who cares about the timberwolves they have the worst GM in NBA history and they will be the next new jersey nets this seson and the years to come.

  23. social_justice says:

    This is a team with more promise, Love will be a better choice since they need a passing instead of just dumpingit down low and watch all the action, all the forgone players are bench guys anyway except Jefferson. They could have a preaty decent team right now, a cast of supplemental players who could develop more if they get the chance, if they could add a star and a 2nd option this is a promising start.

  24. pit says:

    i think kahn has good moves goin on he put together a squad that can run and shoot beasley is a good defender on the 3 good scorer on the 4 milllic is a legit 7 footer (something u cant coach) so i martell can be a ryan gomes like at the 2 pecherov can be a solid role player better then hollins wes shows potential of leadership but i think he’ll be a another corey brewer and with but the only thing that puzzles me is the ridnour signing why wuld we sign a point guard when we have two on roster already and hopefully one on the way could we just kept ty lawson for all this (he would of been better fit then ridnour and sessions) but kurt rambis coachin isnt the best (cuz he would learn to play with his talent not what he knows) i mean having a 5’11 point guard (j flynn) running the triangle isnt really smart. but hey my projection for our first playoff squad since 2004 is
    pg. ricky rubio
    sg. whoever we get with the llottery next year
    sf. wes johnson
    pf.kevin love
    c.darko millic
    6th man. j flynn
    backup pg ridnour
    backup sg corey brewer
    backup sf some one from the next draft
    backup pf michael beasley
    backup c pecherov

  25. JAZZone says:

    I would like to see the league adopt some sort of system like some international futbol leagues use… Basically, every four years let’s say, the worst team of the last 8 or 12 years loses it’s status as an NBA team and falls to the minor leagues (it wouldn’t affect realistic rebuilding teams) …and the best organization of the minor leagues takes their place… Obviously it would take even more revenue sharing and ‘financial ruin’ controls because owners are leasing stadiums and players at very high rates assuming they will be part of the NBA.

    Why not allow another city like Seattle or even a small market like Pittsburgh compete and win in a minor league system. It’s a beautiful thing because through winning year after year at that level with a solid front office in place, they would take what belongs to them … Instead an organization like the one in this story continues to baffle it’s own fans and the rest of us….and waste the precious years of talents like KG.

    Possibly there could be a fire sale every four years since the players under contract on the very worst team don’t deserve to be banished to the bush leagues.

  26. tracshortie says:

    I wondering when were they going to begin rebuilding. It seems after Garnette left that there was no hope for them and no one truly cared.