The Timberwolves GM was first put under the microscope in 2009 when he drafted highly touted Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio. The guard, at the time, was big news and a hot commodity in the NBA.
Unfortunately, Kahn couldn’t get Rubio to sign a buyout offer, and spent the last two years watching the skills of his franchise player produce mediocre numbers in European basketball leagues – a venue that produces competition light-years away from that of the NBA.
Now, with the guard finally on his way to Minnesota, Kahn couldn’t help himself but to re-up in the idiot department over the last two weeks.
It started at the 2011 NBA draft, which was full of surprising controversy, contract buyout issues, and Danny Almonte-type age fabrication; and for the second time in three years, Kahn was the center of attention.
It’s tough to choose a spot to begin, but I’ll start with the (non-existent) T-wolves 57th draft pick, Tanguy Ngombo.
Ngombo, who had played most of his basketball in Qatar, blew up as an Internet sensation, the people hyping him as a “21-year old star.” All of his numbers support the hype, except one: his age.
That’s because after the NBA draft, it surfaced that Ngombo was actually 26, not 21. A little bit of homework on the 6’4” small forward would have revealed that, but Kahn and the Minnesota staff neglected to do such homework.
Aside from the obvious repercussion of Ngombo’s career ending five years earlier than they previously expected, there is this: according to NBA draft law, an international player must be 22 years of age or younger in order to be drafted, otherwise he must enter the market as a free agent.
The law brings up obvious concern that the pick will now be voided, a pick which Minnesota bought the rights too, taking both Ngombo and a fat wad of cash off the table for the Timberwolves franchise.
While the pick is still under review, with investigations pending, the NBA world is far from optimistic.
After that, Kahn put into motion a draft-day trade that sent guard Johnny Flynn to the Houston Rockets in exchange for the 23rd pick in the draft and Brad Miller. After Flynn failed a physical, the Rockets pumped the brakes on the deal.
In typical Kahn fashion, the deal was a major link between a train of swaps going on involving Chicago, Miami and New Jersey. Because of Flynn’s health issues, all of those league offices were held up.
Even more, Flynn was the same guard who Kahn took before Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings, and Jrue Halliday – all of whom have produced much more in the NBA than Flynn. In that same draft Kahn also picked Ty Lawson, another guard who has been better than Flynn, before trading him to the Denver Nuggets.
So here Kahn sat, with a 26-year old forward that he paid for and probably won’t see play, a one-time Spanish phenom whose career might have already passed him by, and a log-jammed draft day trade involving one of the most disappointing picks in his NBA career.
So, why quit when you’re behind? What else could Kahn possibly do to embarrass himself? Well, a good way to start would be by chasing around Duke coaching legend Mike Krzyzewski, which Kahn did earlier this week.
According to the New York Daily News, Kahn’s idea was to lure Coach K from the warm sun of North Carolina all the way to Minnesota in order to coach Rubio.
I’m going to repeat that: David Kahn, the Minnesota Timberwolves General manager, thought he was going to lure Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski to Minnesota with the unproven Ricky Rubio.
This is the same Coach K who had no hesitation while turning down a chance to coach the Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. And that was during Bryant’s prime.
This is the same Timberwolves team who has no true center, no proven point guard, and no dominant shooting guard.
They do have Kevin Love though, who is about as dominant as it gets. But, Kahn, being the brilliant GM he is, chose Derrick Williams (a forward who plays the same role as Love) with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft last week.
The reality is that Coach K would no sooner leave Durham for Minnesota than Cristiano Renaldo would leave Real Madrid for the Portland Timbers of the MLS.
Speaking of soccer, well, I’ll be relieved if Kahn makes it through next year’s NBA draft without trying to draft Lionel Messi.