He clearly ensured that the value of the second pick was not wasted, denying a number of decent trade offers. Then he stayed true to his word by drafting Derrick Williams, as the organization was expected to.
Over the course of the rest of the draft, every move made by Kahn reiterated his plan to limit the amount of inexperience added to the team. Minnesota continuously traded down, from 20th to 23rd to 28th to 31st, eventually selling the pick.
Kahn later stated that they struggled with the decision to add Malcolm Lee in the second round. He is a player they liked, but they also wanted to be cautious about adding another rookie to an already young roster.
In 2009, it was clear that Minnesota did not have a clear strategy for the draft. They selected Ricky Rubio fifth overall, and followed that selection up with another point guard, Jonny Flynn, with the sixth pick.
When Kahn appeared on the BS Report, hosted by Bill Simmons, his remembrance of the 2009 draft seemed extremely discombobulated. He mentions that the roster had no point guards, but it seemed as if he drafted Flynn to play for a year or two while they waited for Rubio, before taking a backup role to the Spaniard.
This makes absolutely no sense. It is never acceptable to use the sixth pick, no matter how terrible the draft class may be, to select a backup.
To be fair, Kahn had only been on the job for about a month before entering the 2009 draft.
He seems to have turned a new leaf as the face of the Minnesota Timberwolves front office. Everyone in the organization seems to be on the same page for the first time since the Western Conference Finals run in 2004. The team is making moves that support the words that come out of their mouths at press conferences. It is definitely a breath of fresh air for the Timberwolves fan base.
The Williams selection may not make perfect sense basketball-wise. Still, at the end of the day, Kahn and the Timberwolves were consistent in both their words and their actions. They added an extremely talented basketball player in the draft, while maintaining that the team will continue to pursue veteran leadership.
Minnesota may not win as many games as Kahn expects to next season.
Nonetheless, he may have saved his job by backing up his talk with a persistent strategy in the 2011 draft.
Kahn, even though we seem to expect it from him at times, still cannot read the future.
Yet it is now clear that he does indeed have a plan for this team.
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