No Bueno Por Kahn

By Justin Cherot

With my semester a little more than twelve hours from type-off (get it; I’m studying journalism and I said type-off…haha…ha…), I remember the days when school wasn’t always so work-oriented.  Like, way back when a nice way to ease back into the school year was to share what you did during your summer vacation.  I swear, this used to be like 10% of your final grade.

Anyway, if you’re Minnesota Timberwolves’ GM David Kahn, here’s essentially how you spent your summer:

  • You traded away your best shooter and one of your rising young stars for the number five pick in one of the weakest projected draft classes in NBA history (although I still maintain that the class is actually not as bad as experts say it will be).
  • You cheer with glee as Ricky Rubio falls out of the top three and into your lap… only to draft another very good point guard right after him.  You spin the pick, trying to convince people that they can be on the floor at the same time, NBA Live in a Justin Cherot-run franchise mode style (note: my swingman would be Stephen Curry).
  • You knew that Rubio’s club DKV Joventut required a high buy-out, $8.1 million to be exact.  What you found out later–or just stubbornly ignored–was that your team could only spend 500K to help the kid out.
  • You flew over to Spain to try to negotiate the price of his buy-out down to no avail.
  • You watch FC Barcelona, an organization that sounds more like a soccer club than a basketball team, negotiate the price down to just over $5 million, guaranteeing that Rubes will not wear a uniform with a Jerry West logo on it until 2011.
  • You lock yourself in your own bathroom with the music blaring, “I can’t liiiiiiiiiiiive… if living is without yooooooooou” and tell people you’re not available for comment.

 We here at PnP follow Bill Simmons (brilliant man) on Twitter, and I think he summed this whole fiasco the best when he tweeted the following:

“Question for David Kahn’s press conference: ‘Do you think the next Minnesota GM will be able to sign Rubio in 2011?'”

David Kahn looks like a guy who needs a hug.  Photo courtesy SI.com.

David Kahn looks like a guy who needs a hug. Photo courtesy SI.com.

I’m typeless. I don’t even know where to start.

I guess I’ll start with a quick counter-argument. The 500K rule is a dumb one and someone in the NBA should definitely look into it. Rubio made like 90K last year or somewhere around there, so even with endorsements he would have basically started his NBA career in debt unless he had ties to mafioso types in Spain or just a filthy rich uncle somewhere who’d simply ask to meet Al Jefferson in return. It’s sad when a club like FC Barcelona has more financial resources than an NBA team, or at least is allowed to use those resources.

But, Mr. Kahn, dude… you’ve got to do your homework in a situation like this. At this point I just have to assume that he didn’t know about the NBA’s rule regarding buy-outs and such, because there’s no way he would have drafted Rubio, no matter HOW good he is or will be, knowing that Rubes would have had to pay 94% of the buy-out. Right?

Or, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe he has the patience of Allen Cunningham, playing it supertight, willing to wait two years while every living soul in Minnesota screams for his head.

As an NBA fan, I just feel completely robbed right now. Granted, Rubio might have turned the ball over every other time he touched the ball and gotten his shot blocked by any guard in the league with a hint of athleticism due to his slow release. But, damnit, just watching him make up for it with slick passes would have made up for it. Who knows, maybe the Rubio/Jonny Flynn experiment might have worked.

But, as of right now, David Kahn will have to wait until 2011 to see if he gets any return on investment out of what looks like a horrendous blunder.

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