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Tuesday , Apr , 24 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Glen Taylor: Timberwolves picking up option on David Kahn

Wolves owner Glen Taylor said the team has already informed or is informing president of basketball operations David Kahn that it has picked up Kahn's option for next season.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
Not long ago, it seemed unlikely David Kahn would return to the Minnesota Timberwolves' front office.

In fact, Kahn was a league-wide laughingstock. Somewhere between the depths of Isiah Thomas and incompetence of Stu Jackson.
 
After all, he spent months waffling on whether to fire or keep Coach Kurt Rambis, even asking the former Laker to produce a homework assignment before ultimately giving him the pink-slip.

Kevin Love was unsure about inking an extension, while nobody knew if Ricky Rubio was worth the two-year wait and fifth overall pick in the draft lottery.  

Yet, somehow, it worked. Rick Adelman brought stability to the sideline. Love, in large part because of his weight loss, took another step in the superstar pecking order. And Rubio lived up to expectations before sustaining a season-ending injury.

The Timberwolves were relevant for most of 2012 and in the playoff hunt for large stretches of the season. So Kahn deserves to be back in 2013. Who knows what happens next, though?

The former media scribe signed a three year deal in 2009 with two additional options for 2013 and 2014. All bets could be off if the Timberwolves fail to qualify for the playoffs next year.

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Sunday , Jan , 01 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James on T-Wolves: ‘They’re going to be a really good team’

"They're (the Minnesota Timberwolves) going to be a really good team," James said. "If it's not this year, soon."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There's good news. And there's bad news.

The good: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are right that the Minnesota Timberwolves absolutely have the talent to compete in the Western Conference.

After all, JJ Barea, Mike Beasley, Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, and Derrick Williams are young, skilled, and dynamic.

Now the bad: good organizations have direction from the top creating a trickle down effect. To contend, not just compete, the Timberwolves need direction from ownership and the front office.

Unfortunately, the Minnesota franchise is owned by Glen Taylor, who is one of the worst owners in sports.

For instance, Taylor couldn’t provide Hall of Fame post Kevin Garnett with a supporting cast, chased The Big Ticket out of town, empowered Kevin McHale who fired defensive guru Dwyane Casey after forty games, and, worst of all, hired David Kahn as GM.

Speaking of Kahn, he has yet to prove he can manage. Sure, he has drafted well, but the former reporter looked unprofessional when he let former coach Kurt Rambis languish for months.

James and Wade are correct -the Wolves have talent. Sadly, talent isn't enough.

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Saturday , Aug , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Minnesota to hire Rick Adelman?

Rick Adelman is definitely interested in #Wolves job, from great source, he has made calls to line up potential assistants.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It would appear the Timberwolves have their coach. Most importantly, it would appear they have the right coach.

Reports indicate that Rick Adelman, the veteran sideline boss, is phoning contacts around the league to find assistants to join him in Minnesota.

So it would seem Adelman and Minnesota, the NBA’s one-time laughingstock, will soon make their union official. If this occurs, all parties deserve credit.

Minnesota executive David Kahn should be praised for hiring the best coach available, and avoiding the temptation to hire his former mentor in Larry Brown.

Minnesota owner Glen Taylor should be commended for meeting Adelman’s considerable salary demands while also honouring the final two years on Kurt Rambis’ pact.

Adelman could have retired, however, he opted for the challenge of turning around lowly Minnesota and developing young pieces like Mike Beasley, Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, and Derrick Williams.

Adelman joining Minnesota would be good for all involved. Hopefully, it happens and the NBA's version of Siberia can begin a much-needed turnaround.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Aug , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jerry Krause: David Kahn ‘Screwed’ Kurt Rambis

"When you take on the triangle, you have to have your whole organization geared toward it," said Krause. "It takes a very specific kind of player to play in it. I saw the Minnesota guy hire Rambis, after he took two players in the draft who couldn’t possibly ever run the triangle. I have no idea if Rambis is a good coach or not, but Kahn screwed him right off the bat." He's referring to Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn, who are not natural fits, in yet another public black eye for Kahn.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Just the latest evidence Minnesota Timberwolves Executive David Kahn hasn't a clue.

At the Hall of Fame induction, Jerry Krause, the former Chicago Bulls GM, criticized Kahn for not giving former coach Kurt Rambis the players to run the Triple Post.

Rambis, of course, was recently fired by Kahn. Not before Kahn made him wait two months to hear his fate -even having Rambis submit a homework assignment before turfing him.

Krause is right: the Triple Post works if you have players with specific skill-sets and strong basketball IQs.

For instance, Luc Longley, Will Purdue, and Bill Wennington weren’t flashy or talented, but were smart, resourceful, and could pass.

B.J. Armstrong, Steve Kerr, and John Paxson could knock down shots, play off the ball, and knew their limitations.

Unfortunately, the Wolves were full of youngsters, who struggled with the pro' game and were no match for the complicated, intricate Triple Post.

So, according to Krause, Kahn is lost. Well, the architect of the six-time champion Bulls has the pedigree to say what he likes.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Jul , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Will Wolves appease Love and pay Adelman?

If they're willing to pay $4-5 million a year, the pick clearly seems to be former Houston coach Rick Adelman, a candidate who meets all of Kahn's criteria for style of play, winning track record and the unspoken but important Kevin Love Factor.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is a minor boondoggle by Minnesota Timberwolves standards, but a boondoggle nonetheless.

GM David Kahn has publicly stated owner Glen Taylor, who has never thrown money around, will dig deep into his pockets to pay the right coach.

Fat chance.

Can you see Taylor paying a top candidate $4-5 million annually for a minimum of three years, while also honouring the final $4 million owed to former coach Kurt Rambis?

So why would Kahn state that the Wolves would hire a pricey option like Rick Adelman, who enjoyed success with the Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, and, most recently, the Houston Rockets?

Now the Wolves are stuck. If they hire a less expensive coach, for whatever reason, they’ll get criticized. If they hire an expensive coach, like Adelman, they’ll get criticized for wasting their limited resources on a bench-boss.

There’s one way Kahn, Taylor, and the Wolves can quiet the critics: start winning.

--Oly Sandor.


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Monday , Jul , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Would David Kahn and Larry Brown Fail in Minnesota?

After interviewing Rick Adelman and Don Nelson over the weekend, the Timberwolves intend to interview Larry Brown and possibly one or two others in this first phase to replace fired coach Kurt Rambis.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It makes some sense -more than hiring Don Nelson, at least.

Larry Brown is best when spreading his ‘Play The Right Way’ mantra amongst a young, impressionable group. After all, Brown considers himself a teacher of the game, and clearly he suffers for his students.

Well, the Minnesota Timberwolves are young and impressionable. They've won just 32 games since 2009, so Brown’s message would, at least initially, hold weight.

The on-court dynamic would be fine -for a while. The off-court end of things sounds dicey.

Yes, Wolves GM David Kahn has known Brown since their days at UCLA. In fact, Kahn considers Brown a mentor, who guided him as a young, impressionable reporter on the west coast.

This is a problem. Brown, to be effective on the sideline, needs a strong counterweight in the front office, who can laugh off his idiosyncrasies, worrying, and perfectionist nature.

There was the legendary Donnie Walsh in Indiana. There was the enthusiastic Pat Croce in Philadelphia. And there was Joe Dumars, who at the time still possessed his magical touch in Detroit.

This trio knew when to listen and when to ignore Brown. Not surprisingly, this formula worked in Indiana, Philadelphia, and Detroit.

Kahn is already a disaster. He would misread, misquote, and mishandle Brown, which, in turn, would have a negative impact on those young, impressionable, and talented players.

The nomad sideline boss isn’t right for the Wolves. But this is about Kahn's inadequacies, not Brown's.

--Oly Sandor.


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Saturday , Jul , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Love expects Wolves to ‘have a lot of success’

But I can see, especially with Derrick Williams, Ricky Rubio, Mike Beasley, Anthony Randolph and Wes Johnson—all the way down the line to Lazar Hayward and myself, we have a slew of guys that can really have a bang in this league and make moves and have a lot of success.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kevin Love is right. His Minnesota Timberwolves are young, talented, and optimistic.

For years, the Wolves have finished at the bottom of the Western Conference, allowing them to stock the cupboard with blue-chip prospects like Love, Ricky Rubio, and Derrick Williams at the NBA draft.

Unfortunately, the Wolves are poorly run. Owner Glen Taylor is a disaster. His right-hand, David Kahn, has made more missteps than the worst of  boogying ‘celebs’ on Dancing With The Stars.

For instance, Taylor and Kahn had no issue letting former head coach Kurt Rambis dangle for months, even requesting he submit a homework assignment, before finally firing him.

No doubt about it, Rambis did not meet expectations. However, Taylor and Kahn embarrassed the former Laker reserve. Worst of all, they embarrassed themselves and, by extension, the Wolves.

Their new sideline boss will be well aware of the Rambis boondoggle. Trust between the coach and GM and owner will be an issue.

The players - like Love, Rubio, Williams, and Mike Beasley - surely see their GM and owner as dysfunctional. Sooner or later, if they want to win, they’ll leave.

--Oly Sandor.


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Saturday , Jul , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Don Nelson: ‘I love Minnesota’

Don Nelson will gladly trade those breezy Hawaiian trade winds for Minnesota winters and the chance to coach again, this time with the Timberwolves. "I think it'd be a great fit," he said. "I love Minnesota."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I have two words for Minnesota Executive David Kahn –‘do not’.

Do not let him charm you. Do not let him fill your head with thoughts and ideas. Do not overlook his past. Most importantly, do not hire Don Nelson to coach your Timberwolves.

After all, ‘Nellie’ is the NBA’s version of scorched earth. He sets fire to, burns, and destroys everything he touches.

In the 1990s, he sued Chris Cohan and the Warriors. He walked on the New York Knicks. He went back to court and sued Mark Cuban and the Mavericks. And his second go-around with the Warriors wasn’t much better.

Most troubling, Nelson has an odd relationship with his players. For instance, he clashed with Chris Webber, struggled with Monta Ellis, and flip-flopped on Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington. In no time, Nelson would alienate, aggravate, and annoy Mike Beasley, Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, and/or Derrick Williams

This must worry Kahn. After years of being an oddball outpost, the Wolves have young assets. Hiring the wrong coach, like Nelson, would compromise those young assets.   

If Kahn wants a veteran sideline boss, he should consider Rick Adelman, Lawrence Frank, or even try pulling Hubie Brown out the broadcast booth to recreate his Memphis-magic in Minnesota.

Point blank: Nelson is done. The game has passed him by. He needs to cash his coaching 501K plan and spend his days walking the beaches of Maui and not an NBA sideline.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Jul , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kahn, Wolves less credible after Rambis boondoggle

I want to thank Kurt for his contributions to our franchise and wish him the best in his future endeavors," Kahn said in a statement announcing the firing. "His arrival signaled we were serious about building a championship-contending ballclub over the course of time. We have accumulated a solid nucleus of young talent with a bright future during the last two years. I am hopeful Kurt receives his share of the credit for helping develop that talent and his contributions are not forgotten as we become a better basketball team."    

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HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: They are perhaps the worst organization in the NBA –maybe in all of professional sports. And yes, that includes Donald Sterling's Los Angeles Clippers.

Take the Minnesota Timberwolves handling - or mishandling - of Coach Kurt Rambis, which is another hit against executive David Kahn and owner Glen Taylor. 

Now Rambis was by all accounts a poor coach –regardless of the extremely limited hand he was dealt by Kahn. But Rambis –despite not winning much of anything- deserved better.

After all, Kahn kept Rambis twisting in the wind for months, not letting the former Los Angeles Laker know if he'd return to the Midwest for 2011-12 or join the unemployment line.

Kahn even gave Rambis homework, making him write a report on how he'd improve the team if brought back. Of course, Kahn knew his assignment was meaningless –the decision to fire Rambis was made long ago.

So what's the big deal about the Wolves mistreating Rambis? They simply hire another coach, right?

Well, wrong. Professional organizations treat employees with respect and decency -or, for lack of a better word, like professionals.

Kahn, Taylor, and their lackeys in the front office should model this for their players. Such an approach is necessary to win a championship or even qualify for the playoffs –and it starts at the top.

Consider Michael Beasley's recent marijuana citation. Sure, the troubled forward broke the law, but the Wolves, specifically Kahn, will surely be upset with Beasley's lack of respect for the organization.

This would be fair -except Kahn showed an utter lack of respect for Rambis.

The acts and circumstances may be different. But Kahn has no credibility to criticize Beasley for hurting the reputation of the Wolves. He has done this time-and-time again.

Rambis is the latest black eye for the Wolves. It won't, however, be the last on Kahn and Taylor's watch.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Jun , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Pau Gasol for Kevin Love?

The topic of Pau Gasol and the Minnesota Timberwolves was discussed last week based on the word of ESPN's Chad Ford that the Wolves had interest in the Los Angeles Laker All-Star forward/center. Further research revealed that the Wolves do indeed have interest in Gasol, notably because of his relationship with guard Ricky Rubio.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: From the toast of Hollywood to potentially plying his trade in Minnesota.

Oh, how the mighty Pau Gasol has fallen. Last year, the Spanish post was integral to the Los Angeles Lakers winning consecutive championships.

This year, it went south: his play faltered; he got the Bobby Knight treatment from former coach Phil Jackson: Laker-nation turned on him; he broke up with his girl; teammate Shannon Brown had to deny reports about getting between Gasol and his girl.

Not surprisingly, the Lakers lost in the Western Conference Semi-Finals. And Gasol seems primed for a change of scenery.

But Minnesota?

Sure, they'd have young pieces in Mike Beasley and Ricky Rubio. And sure, Gasol would mentor Rubio, who he knows from the Spanish national team.

The Timberwolves are a mess. It starts from the top. Owner Glen Taylor has no class. Lead executive David Kahn routinely shoots his mouth off.

For example, these two have left coach Kurt Rambis hanging for months. They haven’t fired him. They haven't endorsed him, either.

They instead made him hand in ‘homework’. Yes, Rambis, who won several championships as a player and assistant coach, must submit a report on improving the team, and then Taylor and Kahn will decide his future.

Good organizations don't do this. They don't degrade. They treat people, all people, with respect -even a below average head coach like Rambis.

Last year was bad for Gasol. Things would be worse in Minnesota, though.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , May , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

David Kahn embarrasses Timberwolves with claim lottery was rigged

NBA officials are evaluating whether to fine Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn for comments suggesting Tuesday night's draft lottery was rigged, sources told CBSSports.com.

A decision on what to do with Kahn over his latest insensitive and inapropriate public remarks could be delayed because top league executives are traveling and scattered for multiple events, including the pre-draft camp and competition committee meeting Wednesday in Chicago.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Clearly, David Kahn never learned the difference between inner and outer voice.

The inner voice is what you think but don’t say. The outer voice is what you say after you’ve thought about it. There is, essentially, a self-censor process. 
 
Now the Minnesota Timberwolves executive had every right to think something was amiss after the Cleveland Cavaliers won the draft lottery. The timing was too much.
 
One year ago, they lost their last first overall pick, LeBron James, when he signed with the Miami Heat as a free agent. It wasn’t just that he left. It’s how he left, mainly The Decision.
 
Last night seemed too convenient for the Cavaliers, especially with the owner’s son attending the event. 
 
So Kahn went with his inner voice. He forgot about the self-censor, accused the NBA of an Oliver Stone type conspiracy, and embarrassed the Timberwolves.
 
Correction: he continued to embarrass the Timberwolves. His club was again a disappointment in 2011, even with Kevin Love’s heroics on the glass.
 
Something has to give. Hopefully, owner Glen Taylor will look at who represents him and makes changes.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Apr , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: David Kahn in, Kurt Rambis out with Wolves?

David Kahn is returning as president of the Minnesota Timberwolves next season. The prospects for Kurt Rambis returning as coach aren't nearly as promising.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Only in Minnesota.

Only in Minnesota can executive David Kahn stay at the expense of Coach Kurt Rambis. Rumors suggest Kahn will keep his job as president of the Timberwolves, while Rambis will likely be pink-slipped at season’s end.

Rambis didn’t assemble the Wolves’ young, cheap, and inexperienced roster. Rambis didn’t waste a lottery selection on Jonny Flynn.

And Rambis wasn’t the one who failed to convince Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio to cross the Atlantic Ocean and play in The Frozen Tundra of ‘Sota.

It was all Kahn.

Yet Rambis will likely take the blame. Changing the coach is the easiest option –even if it isn’t right.

--Oly Sandor.


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Sunday , Mar , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Rambis and coaching staff convenient scapegoat for Wolves?

What were the odds of Kevin Love's double- double streak ending at 53 Sunday with a reeking, 100-77, thud -- six points, a dozen rebounds in 33 minutes -- against an escort service like the pedal-to-the-metal Warriors? Can Kurt Rambis and the Timberwolves' ball handling play-callers rationally explain how Love merely managed to get six shots -- making one and 4-of-6 free throws? you would presume Rambis possesses the presence of mind and the coaching aptitude to get Love a few more field goal attempts, if not a couple more baskets.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the debacle that is the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Instead of focusing on improving, instead of focusing on becoming more competitive, the Timberwolves are focusing on Kevin Love’s double-double streak.

With all respect, who cares?

Sure, Love’s double-double streak is nice. It gives the Timberwolves, who are the league’s version of Siberia, some much-needed publicity.

But good teams focus on the one stat that matters: winning. Individual honours are either irrelevant or taken through the context of team success.

For instance, take Ray Allen becoming the NBA’s all-time three-point king. The Boston Celtics celebrated this achievement; however, it didn’t take away from their desire to win the Eastern Conference and home-court advantage.

Love’s double-double record was all the Timberwolves had, which is a problem. They need to focus on righting the ship and changing the club’s culture of losing.

This doesn’t necessarily mean firing Kurt Rambis and his staff of assistant coaches, and hiring another cheap selection of bench bosses to plug-up the problem.

Of course, blaming Rambis seems like the plan. After another horrendous season, the Timberwolves are looking for a scapegoat. And Rambis is perfect.

So why not point the finger at the Lakers’ former utility man for ruining the club’s one positive and everything else?

It doesn’t matter that he has a mediocre roster. It doesn’t matter that he has mostly young, inexperienced players. It doesn’t matter that the front office has failed to sign Spanish golden boy Ricky Rubio. And it doesn’t matter that just two years ago, Rambis was the first choice of the same front office that has now turned on him.

All signs are pointing to Rambis taking the fall. This is a cover for management, who have clearly committed their share of flaws, errors, and blunders.

If the Timberwolves don’t make legitimate changes, the one thing they do have, budding superstar Love, will surely leave as a free agent.

--Oly Sandor.
 
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Saturday , Mar , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Wolves considering firing Rambis?

As the Timberwolves limp to the 50-loss mark and beyond, it becomes a question of which number will be greater at the end of the season: Minnesota's loss total or Kevin Love's double-double streak, which reached a record 52 Wednesday night. Of far greater certainty is the status of coach Kurt Rambis, who appears to be on his way out after only two seasons.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The current state of the Minnesota Timberwolves is not Kurt Rambis’ fault.

It’s not Rambis’ fault the Wolves are the one of the NBA’s youngest teams.

It’s not Rambis’ fault the Wolves have one of the league’s lowest payrolls.

It’s not Rambis’ fault Executive David Kahn has given him a wing-heavy roster with one superstar in Kevin Love.

And it’s certainly not Rambis’ fault the Wolves have hedged their bets to Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio, who may or may not join the club two years after being drafted by Kahn in the lottery.

None of that matters, though. The rumor is that the organization is pushing to change the coach. This push is coming because Kahn knows he can’t change the players he accumulated, so he’ll change who sits on his bench.

The Wolves should consider firing Rambis –but only if they are serious about replacing him with a star sideline boss like, say, Mike Brown. Reports indicate they’re looking at an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks, Kelvin Sampson.

Sampson may eventually turn out to be a good head coach. However, the Wolves need a guy with legitimate experience as an NBA head coach. Not a guy who needs time to learn on the job.

Gambling on a rookie head coach will likely produce the same results of fifty loss seasons and annual reservations at the draft lottery in New Jersey.

And that won’t do.

-Oly Sandor.


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Tuesday , Feb , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Wolves want Nash?

The Timberwolves are one of the teams that have called the Suns to check on the availability of Steve Nash, reports Marc Stein.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
Should Minnesota Timberwolves fans laugh or cry after hearing Executive David Kahn tried to trade for the Phoenix Suns’ Steve Nash?

After all, Nash isn’t a fit for the Wolves. And the Wolves aren’t a fit for Nash. These two would be the worst match since Anna Nicole Smith married that old billionaire.

Nash is 37 years old. The two-time MVP has a limited time horizon, and will only leave the warmth of Phoenix for a contender. Not a good playoff team, but a class organization with legitimate championship aspirations.

Class and championships are words one doesn’t associate with Glen Taylor’s Wolves. And Nash may retire rather than suit up for the rebuilding Wolves.

This would actually be a positive for the Wolves, who must develop Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio -whenever the Euro sensation crosses the Atlantic for America.

Kahn doesn’t see it that way, though. Perhaps he’s inquiring about Nash and Anthony to prove to pending free agent Kevin Love he’s serious about upgrading the team’s talent.

However, Kahn has no chance at either superstar. And his failures only reinforce the Wolves’ inadequacies.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Jan , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

David Kahn ‘absolutely’ certain Rubio will join Wolves next year

Minnesota GM David Kahn called a New York Times report this week on Ricky Rubio "much ado about nothing" and "not worthy of a response." An unnamed source close to Rubio indicated that the point guard wants to play for Boston, New York or Miami when he comes to the NBA. Kahn said he remains "absolutely" certain Rubio will join the Wolves next season after a buyout with his Regal Barcelona team becomes affordable.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Will Ricky Rubio sign with Minnesota? Or, will he force a trade to a larger market?

Simply put, nobody knows. And nobody should be certain. Rubio, himself, is unsure what he’ll do when he can finally afford the buyout on his contract with Regal Barcelona this summer and cross the Atlantic to the NBA.

There’s some reason to believe the Spanish teenager will start his career with the Wolves. After all, Kevin Love has blossomed into a superstar, while Michael Beasley can certainly score.

David Kahn, the club’s lead executive, seems to have built a relationship with Rubio and his representatives.

This, however, is the Timberwolves. They’re one of the league’s worst teams. They play in one of the league’s worst markets. And they have an uncommitted owner who mistreated former franchise face Kevin Garnett.

Rubio knows this. So do his people. And where begins his career will be an unknown until he signs on the dotted line.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Dec , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Timberwolves considered trading Kevin Love?

Kevin Love is making a name for himself in the NBA with his breakout season for the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

It turns out he's been on the Denver Nuggets' radar for quite some time. Nuggets coach George Karl said Wednesday night that the team asked Minnesota about trading for Love this summer. "I know there were inquiries," Karl said before the Nuggets played the Timberwolves. "In some of the meetings we talked and his name was out there. It never got close, I know that."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The best trades are sometimes the ones you don’t make.

Case in point: the Minnesota Timberwolves and Kevin Love. This summer, the Wolves made Love available and, according to the Denver Nuggets, took offers for him.

Thankfully, they didn’t move Love because he has improved from promising post to legit' superstar. Best of all, he’s become the face of this downtrodden franchise.

To be fair: perhaps the Wolves were justified in shopping Love, the current league leader in rebounding. Before this year, Love was often injured, out of shape, and shooting off his mouth via twitter.

Of course, the Timberwolves also had to decide between Love and Al Jefferson. Both were talented power forwards, and it became obvious a platoon system at the four-spot wouldn’t fly.

So Executive David Kahn listened to offers for both, kept Love, and dealt Jefferson to the Utah Jazz. It could have been the other way, though. Love changing area codes; Jefferson staying in The Frozen Tundra of Sota.

Whether by luck or design, the Timberwolves kept Love. And this is one decision they got right.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Nov , 14 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Timberwolves to make ‘serious run’ at Carmelo Anthony?

If disenchanted Carmelo Anthony is still with the Denver Nuggets at trade time in February, look for the Timberwolves to make a serious run at him.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Delusional, crazy, and silly.

This is the only way to describe a reporter’s assertion that the Minnesota Timberwolves will, or should, chase Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony won’t ink an extension with Denver because they lack a co-superstar, play in a small market, and are thousands of miles from his home out east.

Consider the state of the Timberwolves: despite having young pieces, they lack a bonafide co-superstar; ‘The Frozen Tundra of Sota’ is the league’s version of Siberia; and Minnesota is far, far away from Anthony’s base of New York.

Of course, the Timberwolves can make a ‘run’ for the forward. They can even acquire him. However, they have zero chance at getting Anthony’s signature on a long-term extension.

So why bother? Think of the optics.

Suppose the Wolves pull off the impossible and land Anthony. They’d have to give the Nuggets young players, expiring contracts, and draft picks.

Come July 1st, Anthony walks as a free agent. In fact, he sprints away from Executive David Kahn and the Timberwolves.  

The forward will take less money to sign with the New York Knicks. Perhaps he’ll do the same for the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, especially if it means ditching Minnesota.

The Timberwolves would then have nothing to show for this sad saga –nothing except the shame of losing a superstar. Their have-not status would again be clear for all to see.

Like I said, it’s delusional, crazy, and silly. Here’s hoping the Timberwolves invest their time in more worthwhile pursuits.

--Oly Sandor.


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Thursday , Sep , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Minnesota seeking ‘singular move’ for version of Kobe, D-Wade, or Durant

The reality is, we are still lacking a dominant player – our version of Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade or Kevin Durant – and that will remain an item at the top of the To-Do list.

It’s possible this player could emerge from within the roster.  Nearly every player on our team has his best days ahead of him.   Some could make an All-Star team during their careers and one has already become an impact player on the USA Men’s National Team in this year’s FIBA World Championships.  We also have eight players currently on the roster who were selected in the top-seven of their respective drafts:  Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, Wes Johnson, Jonny Flynn, Darko Milicic, Corey Brewer, Martell Webster and Ricky Rubio.

The average age of those eight players is 22. However, if one of our players fails to emerge, we will be prepared to find more talent for our team – and we will seek a singular move rather than a series of moves, as we did these last 14 months.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The ‘singular move’ Minnesota Timberwolves executive David Kahn mentions isn’t happening in today’s NBA.

Superstars want to play with other superstars. For instance: there’s The Three Kings in Miami; The Big Four suit up for the Boston Celtics; and Kobe Bryant and his star studded supporting cast have won consecutive championships with  the Los Angeles Lakers.

No elite player worthy of Kahn’s ‘singular move’ tag will sign with the Timberwolves, especially as a solo act. Their young supporting cast is irrelevant; superstars still remember Kevin Garnett wasting away in The Frozen Tundra of ‘Sota.

Kahn quickest way to attaining a superstar is through the draft. In fact, he may already have a potential superstar in Ricky Rubio, the club’s 2009 lottery pick.

Of course, it’s not known if Rubio is merely refining his game in Europe or refusing to play for the lowly T-Wolves.

Either way, Kahn’s job is bigger than a ‘singular move’.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Aug , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Love on Minnesota T-Wolves: ‘I hope we have a plan’

I hope we have a plan. I don't know what it is at this point. We obviously made a lot of moves, but I'm out there playing and thinking between the lines, not making decisions. I'm just trying to hope for the best and that we keep getting better as a team.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He hasn't earned the right. Not yet anyway.

As a third-year post known for more for twittering than on-court play, Kevin Love doesn't have the superstar pedigree to bash Minnesota GM David Kahn.

In July, Kahn dealt Al Jefferson to the Utah Jazz, so Love could play the four-spot, his natural position. And Love repays the organization's loyalty with criticism that appears on CNNSI's website.

Of course, Love is also missing the point: he is The Plan. He's the leader by default. And this is his team.

His comments will set a negative tone for current and potential teammates. After all, what will the mood be at training camp? And Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio will be even more opposed to crossing the Atlantic and joining the Wolves.

Ironically, Love wants to ink an extension with Minnesota and be part of a contending team. Perhaps he should choose his words more carefully.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.