T-Wolves’ plan in free agency

Per the Star-Tribune

Kahn said a staff member spoke up in a draft meeting last week and expressed the same doubt.

They pulled out a list and went through the possibilities one by one. They crossed off free agents deemed too old to fit the Wolves’ rebuilding plans and came up with a short list of players the team’s staff collectively considered out of their reach.

“We counted three players we didn’t think we could get,” Kahn said. “By the way, I think you could put us in 92, 93 percent of the league.”

Three players?


That excluded short list — presumably James, Wade and Bosh — would leave the likes of Joe Johnson, Amare Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer, David Lee and Rudy Gay possible.

“I don’t want anybody here to feel like we’re some poor stepchildren,” Kahn said. “We’re not. We’re building something of great value that will be sustainable. I think we have a chance to have some serious discussions with free agents after July 1.”

If nothing else, Minnesota’s David Kahn is one of the more entertaining general managers in the NBA. Last year, he drafted three point guards in the first round — passing on Stephen Curry and Brandon Jennings in the process — and traded the one that was most NBA-ready (Ty Lawson) away. He’s still waiting on the promise of Ricky Rubio to run his club.

This year, he drafted for need (Wes Johnson) and passed on arguably the best player in the draft (DeMarcus Cousins), even though he’s trying to trade away his best player (Al Jefferson). Passing on Cousins may ultimately be the right move, but centers who can score and rebound like he can don’t come around very often. There’s also a school of thought that his best chance to thrive is in a smaller city where there aren’t as many ‘distractions.’

It sounds like Jefferson is being dangled in order to acquire a top-notch center or power forward, even though the T-Wolves already have the promising Kevin Love playing that position.

The T-Wolves do have a chance to sign a quality free agent, but chances are that they’re going to have to overpay. That means a max contract for a second-tier free agent like Carlos Boozer or Rudy Gay, who may have to decide if they want to take near-max money to play in New York, New Jersey or Miami, or max money from Minnesota.

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