The President of the Minnesota Timberwolves, David Kahn, is under pressure during this upcoming free agency signing period.
Of course, it is not the high stakes poker going on in Miami, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, and New Jersey. LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and Joe Johnson will not be coming to Minnesota to transform the Wolves into a title contender.
Nonetheless, Wolves fans are expecting Kahn to improve the Wolves and make them into a competitive squad next year.
Last night during an interview on KFAN, a local sports radio station, Kahn outlined his initial steps to improve the team. Kahn indicated that he is attempting to build a team that is more athletic and that can play an up-tempo style of basketball.
Kahn confirmed that free agent forward Rudy Gay of the Memphis Grizzlies has accepted an invitation to come to Minnesota.
Memphis has taken steps to allow them to match any offer made by Minnesota or any other team that seeks to extend an offer to Gay. Minnesota, according to one collective bargaining expert, could attempt to front-load their offer to Gay in attempt to adversely impact the amount of cap space the Grizzlies have next year.
If the offer of the Wolves has enough of an adverse effect of the Grizzlies' cap number this year, the Grizzlies may decide not to match the offer received by Gay from Minnesota.
If the Wolves sign Gay, Corey Brewer may be the odd man out with the Wolves drafting Wesley Johnson as the fourth overall pick in the draft. What could the Wolves get for Corey Brewer in a trade?
David Lee of the New York Knicks is scheduled to come to Minnesota on Friday night. Lee flourished in the wide-open style of Knick basketball, earning all-star honors last year.
The Wolves have been very open in their desire to trade Al Jefferson. If the Wolves sign Lee, they may be put in a position to hold a fire sale on Jefferson. The price tag to sign Lee may not be all that different than what Jefferson is currently being paid by the Wolves.
While it runs contrary to the public pronouncements of Kahn, the Wolves may need to hold on to Jefferson a little longer to ensure that they receive adequate compensation for him in a trade.
Kahn also stated that the team has begun negotiations with 2009 draft pick Nikola Pekovic and he expects that the deal will be done at the start of the signing period. If the Wolves sign Pekovic it likely gives them a little more leverage in their negotiations with Darko Milicic.
Difficult for Wolves fans to imagine Ryan Hollins, Nathan Jawai, and Oleksiy Pecherov coming back to the Wolves next season.
Kahn was very cautious in his comments about how aggressive the team was going to be in free agency stating that the Wolves won’t over pay just for the sake of overpaying to get a player.