HoopsHype David Kahn rumors

May 8, 2013 Updates

The Timberwolves' relationship with Kevin Love will undoubtedly improve with the ouster of David Kahn, but how will it impact Ricky Rubio? Sources say the Rubio family is disappointed in the decision, largely because Kahn is the one who stuck his neck out and drafted Rubio knowing he couldn't come over right away and did a lot of the legwork to expedite the start of Rubio's NBA career. Maybe it blows over -- Rubio wouldn't be the first player who disagreed with a decision yet eventually put it behind him -- but it bears watching. Sulia

May 3, 2013 Updates

Eight years after being fired as Timberwolves head coach, Flip Saunders returned to the team Friday morning when he was introduced as the new president for basketball operations. Saunders, 58, replaces David Kahn, who was fired by owner Glen Taylor on Thursday. He received a five-year contract and will also be a limited partner in the team’s ownership group, Taylor said. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Has anything been decided with Rick yet? David Kahn: Not to my knowledge, no. And I think it’s a little premature still. I think people are positioning it as a decision. There’s no doubt in my mind that Rick Adelman wants to come back, hopes to come back and we’re all optimistic he will come back. We’re all similarly hopeful that his wife does not have another medical emergency that would prevent him from doing so. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

What are your emotions, reactions? Did it catch you by surprise? David Kahn: A little bit. I would say a mixture of disappointment, sadness and frankly a little bit of relief. Q. Why relief? David Kahn: I’ve been in a lot of hospital rooms the last 14 months. This has been an unbelievable challenge, the injuries we’ve had, starting with Ricky that night in March (2012), it just never stopped. And then when Rick’s wife took ill and he had to miss some time, you just never anticipate living your life this way where you’re constantly receiving bad news: Players missing time, coach missing time. It was just a really hard last 14 or so months. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Did you handle the contract extension with (Kevin Love) well? A. We handled it the best way we can, and of course I handled it per instructions from the owner. Glen and I talked about it at length. I think it actually took me some time to tell Glen it was imperative he receive max money. The only issue, the only quibble came down to that last year and as I’ve said countless times, for us the danger was if you commit for five years, you’re really committed for six because of the lockout year, which he was playing. It’s an awfully long time to string a contract out with all the variables that can occur mostly due to injuries and oftentimes to big men. That was it. I think Kevin really had his heart set on a fifth year. I think his friendship with Russell Westbrook (who signed a five-year deal with OKC) made it difficult to accept, but that’s why I also prevailed upon Glen that we should relent and give him a third-year option so he felt like he was winning something too. In every compromise it’s important for both sides to walk away with something that was valuable to have. That’s what that was all about. I never had any problems offering that third year option. I thought it was the right thing to do. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

David Kahn: Darko, we played Darko. Kurt Rambis and Dave Wohl both were big proponents of making the trade. And once we obtained Darko, I could see what they were talking about. Darko has enormous skills. Both Kurt and Bill Laimbeer played the big-man position in the league and they felt if it ever worked out for him psychologically, he could be one of the top three or four centers in the league. And gain the risk point was quite low when we made the trade and even the contract we gave him that many people talked about was really no more than what a backup center gets in our league this days, about $4 million a year. We didn’t pay him as a starting center even though we had him ticketed as our starting center. So I think there were some reasons to do it and I recognize those reasons even today. One of the things I wished we had done a better job of there was, I only learned after he left, I think there were some family pressures. He had so many visitors, so many family members here at times, there was a lot of pressure and stress in his life that maybe it would have helped to overcome. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Why did you guys like Flynn so much over Curry? David Kahn: Well, Curry didn’t visit (before the draft). That hurt because whenever you’re building consensus amongst all staff it’s hard when you don’t have a player visit for that reason alone and he wouldn’t visit. I’d only been there for two weeks. I couldn’t do anything about that. Flynn had leadership abilities at first blush. He was very dynamic, charismatic. You could see it his rookie season. The kid had a lot of confidence, plays bigger than he is. He just got hurt. He got hurt. He had a pre-condition nobody knew about his hip. During his recovery period, he knew something was wrong but he didn’t tell anybody it, there was a feeling of impingement in there (in his hip) and never described to trainers at Syracuse how deep it was. It really has hurt his career. I hope he recovers from it. He’s still a very young player. I remember Bill Laimbeer in a staff meeting before Jonny’s first season likening Jonny to Isiah Thomas. People like to sort of pile on after they have information that proves their point, but there wasn’t this kind of piling on the poor kid that year. There were a lot of people who liked him a lot. He had a lot of explosion that went away. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Did you change your scouting system after not identifying Kenneth Faried in the 2011 draft? David Kahn: Yes. When I arrived, there really was no scouting database to speak of. When I asked list of top 10, top 30, top 40, nobody kept a list. It was kind of unbelievable to me. There was no infrastructure. And second year, one of things that hurt us was Fred Hoiberg, who I kept and I like a lot, ran the scouting but he left for Iowa State in May. We brought Tony Ronzone in, he was intended to supplant Fred. He’d be an additional body to Fred, his own skill set, largely international basketball, USA Basketball and other things. Fred left and we didn’t have somebody leading it those last few weeks heading into that draft. That’s two years in a row where we had change leading into draft period. Going into the 2011 draft, I tried to change system but it just didn’t implemented the way I wanted. We went to a system with scouts watching players play on numerous occasions as opposed to just once or twice, hopefully getting a much more meaningful understanding of their skill sets. We started to require scouts to come to meetings in January and February with clear opinions who should be funneled into a shorter list. We did that this past draft, I just felt I had to take control if we really wanted to make a change. We emphasized regional scouting and cross-checking and put a much more heightened emphasis on analytics and background research. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

May 2, 2013 Updates

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that the team has declined to exercise the one-year option in David Kahn's contract for the 2013-14 NBA season, and as a result, he will not return as President of Basketball Operations. Kahn was originally hired by the Timberwolves on May 22, 2009. NBA.com

David Kahn is out as president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Flip Saunders is coming in. Three people with knowledge of the situation tell The Associated Press that team owner Glen Taylor has decided not to pick up the option for next season on Kahn's contract. Taylor is also putting the finishing touches on a deal to hire Saunders as Kahn's replacement. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because an official announcement has not been made. Oklahoman

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