NBA / Jul 22, 2010 / 2:00 pm

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure: The David Kahn Story

You can’t really blame David Kahn. Bad decisions are all he has ever known.

It started back when he was a sportswriter covering the Portland Trail Blazers for The Oregonian in the 1980s, when Kahn witnessed maybe the worst NBA Draft decision in history. After the Blazers took Sam Bowie with the second overall pick (ahead of Michael Jordan) in 1984, a penchant for horrible decisions had clearly been forever engraved in the young journalist. Hired as GM of the Indiana Pacers back in 1998, Kahn went on to make some questionable first-round draft selections (Vonteego Cummings, Fred Jones among them) and even hired Isaiah Thomas, who led a loaded Pacers roster to three consecutive first-round playoff exits as head coach. Did I mention, before the Montreal Expos re-located to Washington D.C, that Kahn was the one spearheading the effort to bring the Expos to Oregon? As we speak, Kahn is plotting his next move on a kamikaze mission to destroy the Timberwolves organization and the entire city of Minneapolis.

OK, maybe that was a little strong. But make no mistake about it, since Kahn took over as general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves over a year ago, the organization has endured a rash of questionable decisions. This summer may have been the most memorable in a long time for Wolves fans, and not for the right reasons.

It started on Draft Day, when the Wolves dealt veteran Ryan Gomes and the rights to first-round pick Luke Babbitt to Portland for borderline starter Martell Webster. Then it was a trade with Miami for the ever-talented but equally as boneheaded Michael Beasley. A four-year, $20 million contract for Knicks cast-off Darko Milicic was followed up by a four-year, $16 million deal for Milwaukee backup Luke Ridnour. Al Jefferson, one of Minnesota’s only beacons of hope and the former prize of the Kevin Garnett deal, was traded to Utah for a ball rack and gym shorts. And just recently, rumors have surfaced regarding the Wolves’ interest in MILF-hunter Delonte West.

What can be asked of second-year coach Kurt Rambis when his roster has become the dumping ground for other NBA teams? How can the coach be expected to run an offense when his general manager uses the Target Center as a revolving door for players that “could have been” that now nobody wants?

There is some semblance of talent on the Wolves roster, to be sure. Even in a haze of questionable moves, it looks like Kevin Love is the centerpiece of the once proud franchise, and Jonny Flynn is on the verge of becoming a household name. But after a tumultuous offseason, all the Wolves have to show for it are three NBA starting-caliber point guards, no prized free agent coup, and more big white guys than an NFL offensive line. To put it lightly, the team is not exactly in the best shape going forward.

Maybe Kahn’s master plan, which no one seems to fully understand, will come to fruition. If and when Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic join the team, they could become All-Stars, an idea that Wolves fans have so desperately clung to in hopes of their team one day returning to power in the West. But right now, it looks like the next time we’ll see David Kahn in the national spotlight will be on ESPN for the 2011 NBA Lottery.

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  • http://thesphericalstudies.blogspot.com Professor J


  • YeaEyeCEDit

    I wonder what “his” yes men really think of him?

  • Captain Fantastic

    It’s far too easy for lazy articles about David Kahn. But it would be nice to get someone off the bash Kahn bandwagon and write something approximating objectivity and distinctiveness.

    It should be pointed out that Kahn was not the lone decision maker on this year’s draft and free agency moves. He hired a much admired talent expert in Tony Ronzone (thought by many to be a positive step) and formed a partnership between Tony-Kurt-Kurt Rambis on personnel decisions.

    Why don’t we wait until the NBA season is on before passing judgments on their moves this summer? Where the real arbiter is wins v. losses rather than simply reproduce the same thoughts of other sports writers?

  • sh!tfaced

    As far as we can see it, Kahn’s decision making eventually all rides on his first major decision – how Ricky Rubio does if and when he plays in the NBA…

  • Taj

    How the hell did he go from sportswriter to NBA GM? That was the first bad decison…

  • CommonSense

    This is one of the worst articles I have seen. Camron Ghorbi basically just read the rest of the media’s articles that bash Kahn, make it 10 times more dramatic, and spew it out as an article. Not quite “journalism”.

    The simple fact that she portrays Rambis as a victim, shows she knows nothing about what’s going on…If you have read more than 3 Timberwolves articles, you would know that Rambis is helping Kahn make the decisions and get the players he wants in there for his triangle offense.

    Don’t write about crap you don’t know.

  • Alex “Robocop” Murphy

    I think Kahn misses Marko Jaric and his wife Adrianna Lima. Let’s face it, Jaric was euro trash who married up. The loss of Adrianna was too much to bear after the 09′ season.
    He’s just signing more euro trash like Pekovic and Milicic to make up for it.

  • Alex “Robocop” Murphy

    He’s just waiting for Rubio to get a hot girlfriend to make himself feel better.

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    LMAO @ Milf hunter Delonte West. HAHAAHHAA!

  • Stunnaboy09

    The T-wolves are…. well their building for…

    Yeah I got nothing. While they have succeeded in cutting costs DRASTICALLY (No one makes over 4.8 million) his roster makes no sense.

    His two best bigs are Love and Beasley who play the EXACT same position. Both are 6’10 faceup bigs.

    He traded his BEST player for 10 cent on the dollar.

    He has drafted and signed 5 point guards in the past year yet somehow traded the best one(Ty Lawson).

    HE SiGNED DARKO TO a 20 MILLION CONTRACT. Darko who couldn’t get minutes with NEW FUCKING YORK.

    He called Darko “Manna from heaven”

    He signed Hollins a years before so basically he signed two useless ceters in back-2-back years.

    He drafted and traded for a wing. On the same day.

    That is a brief introduction to KKAAAAHHHHHNN!

  • Heckler

    sports writer to NBA front office?

    that is bogus in itself.

    what next?….
    Pat Cassidy as GM and President of Basketball Operations for a club?

  • http://dimemag.com/ Camron Ghorbi

    @Common Sense

    a) That’s Camron as in Cam’ron the rapper, not Cameron Diaz.

    b) Thanks for your comment. Why do you think, if all the other media outlets you mention do it as often as you say, there’s such a prevalent belief that David Kahn has made some fairly bad moves in his time as general manager? Might it be…because it’s true?

    On a side note, this quote came from a Kahn interview today:

    “He’s a very young and immature kid who smoked too much marijuana and has told me that he’s not smoking anymore, and I told him that I would trust him as long as that was the case,” Kahn said this morning, during an interview that will air at 1:40 p.m. on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

  • http://dimemag.com/ Camron Ghorbi

    Sorry for the confusion, that quote is re: the team’s acquisition of Michael Beasley.

  • Stunnaboy09


    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA when your GM describes you as “smoking too much weed” yuo don’t trade for him

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Kahn isn’t as bad as he’s portrayed. The Darko deal isn’t terrible, and neither is the Ridnour deal. He essentially got Kevin Love for OJ Mayo, a trade I’d do 10 times out of 10. Jonny Flynn is legit, and Rubio…well, imagine if no one had taken a chance on Dirk Nowitzki? Or Yao Ming? People definitely will be eating their words if Mike Beasley follows up on some of the potential he has.

    Can’t really defend the Jefferson move, though. Ditto the move for Webster. I’ve been a fan of his for years, but Gomes and he are more or less on the same level of talent, if not for the same reasons. And to throw in a draft pick for Martell? Wouldn’t be my first choice.

  • Joe’s Momma

    This guy was talking about a “Master Plan” and I don’t get it. For Wolves fans, I sure hope he actually has a plan because he is just making moves.

    He is hoarding PG’s for an offense that doesn’t really need one.

    He traded on of the best low post players for 2 picks that probably will be in the 20s. WTF?

    And to #10

    Beas and Love are not 6’10”. They are both about 6’8″

    I really don’t have much faith that this dude knows what he is doing. They fell in love with Darko and basically bid against the Euroleague teams. No one would have give Darko 1/4 of that in the NBA. They needed size as both Love and Al were undersized.

    Wouldn’t Shaq on this team make a little sense? Knows the triangle even though it is a different version. Would get lots of room with Love at the 4. And lets face it, Minnesota aint winning 25 games this year, Shaq could draw some attention to wolves games.

  • Joe’s Momma

    The best trade he has made this entire time with Minny was a gift wrapped Beasley because they needed the cap room.

  • http://dimemag.com Wolves4life

    ” As we speak, Kahn is plotting his next move on a kamikaze mission to destroy the Timberwolves organization and the entire city of Minneapolis”

    Couldn’t sum it up any better, thank god Dimemag.com sees what’s going on whgen the Timberwolves association is completely oblivious.

  • http://thesphericalstudies.blogspot.com/2010/07/lebron-james-is-not-jesus.html haslem

    I did not enjoy this article.
    Kahn needs a chance, Nets just rehired Billy King and we are still harping on Kahn? Jesus I’m sick of it.

  • Carlson

    The day before the draft this year Kahn was on local tv and was quoted, “Even I can’t screw up this pick.” Then he went out and took a 23 year old Junior who doesn’t seem to have any outstanding talents.

    Last year he used 3 first round draft picks to take 3 point guards, and only 1 of them played for us. Then he went out and signed the Bucks Ramon Sessions. Sessions is poo poo on a stick. I like Flynn but he’s better in the open court than the triangle. Which is probably why we got Ridnour, he can hit the 3 on the ball moves from inside back out in the triangle (the triple post offense is suppose to flow outside/inside) but I don’t see anyone double teaming Love/Darko/Eurotrash Center #2. At least Jefferson comanded a double team.

    And Beasley, oh man, he probably doesn’t even know how many sides are in a triangle. Which is too bad because he has a nice mid range and could have probably worked a nice high low with Jefferson, oh yeah, we traded him.

    Good news, season tickets can be had for next to nothing!

  • Legend 33

    Damn if he only drafted Curry instead of the other 5 guys he would be called a genius right now.

  • ballin


    “And beasley, oh man, he probably doesn’t even know how many sides are in a triangle” hahahahhaha

  • lobohobo

    Kahnman and Rambis, what a brain trust!? The triangle only works when you have a Kobe or a MJ and a Tex and a Phil. Not a Rambis, Love, Beasly and Flynn. Poor Jonnie Flynn, this triangle is going to wreck a once promising career.

  • Stunnaboy09
  • surfnaked

    MILF Hunter – Delonte West.

    NICE DIMEMAG!!!!!!!!!!

  • jesse


    You are a moron.

    First of all, 7’1 centers don’t come along everyday. Look up what the average center that tall receives. There are several centers that make more than Darko that produce far less than him. Secondly, Minnesota needed defense, and luckily, Darko is actually pretty good at that aspect of the game.

    Next, Minnesota has no desire for Delonte West – they want his non-guaranteed contract.

    Minnesota didn’t ever truly have all those PGs, or SFs this year. They were picking for other teams as part of draft-day trades (see Babbit and Lawson).

    Ridnour was picked up for two reasons:
    1) He becomes a veteran presence for the youngest team in the league
    2) Flynn still has an injured hip from the end of the year

    When Flynn is healthy, you will see Ramon “I can’t Hit the Broad Side of the Barn” Sessions shipped.

    As for Jefferson, he was the best player on the team. But he was also a black hole. In an offense based on ball movement, you can’t have the offense stop every time the ball gets in Jefferson’s hands. Especially when he can’t play a lick of D.

    I have to say, I agree with others here that you saw an easy target everyone else was picking on and jumped on the bandwagon.

  • DoubleA

    This article is trash. Before Darko showed up we didn’t have a big that knew how to play defense, Darko’s play made it obvious that actually having a big to play D was so much better than a ball stopping big with post moves.

    The team is obviously trying to promote a young team with potential and a more exciting style of play and everyone on the team now fits that.

    Rambis no longer has to rely on a rookie PG to implement his offense, Flynn has a year of experience under his belt and Ridnour is a solid backup which can step in and start if needed.

    As a T-Wolves fan I’m much more excited to watch this team than any we’ve put on the floor in years.

  • Ken

    Another bandwagon writer. I think it’s funny and pretty lame at the same time. I think these wolves are headed in the right direction. Jefferson is not a fit for our new style of play and Darko is the first legit center we’ve probably ever had.