The state of the T-Wolves — not that bad?

ESPN named the Minnesota Timberwolves as this season’s Team Turmoil.

But Benjamin Polk says that things aren’t so bad:

It’s fashionable at the moment to ridicule Kahn as an abrasive, unqualified hack. It’s clear the man has had some awfully low moments this summer and that he and Rambis haven’t yet found that transcendent player who will give meaning to their long-suffering franchise. And it’s equally clear that the Wolves are going to lose a lot of games this season.

But if you scan this lineup — Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic, Wes Johnson, Martell Webster, Corey Brewer, even Darko Milicic and Michael Beasley — you’ll find a lot of young, smart, athletic, hungry players. These are players who want to learn, who want to run, who want to move the ball and play defense. Aren’t these just the type of players who would seem to fit well into Rambis’ up-tempo-and-triangle offense? And when you consider the Wolves have roughly $10 million in cap space, doesn’t the picture look a lot less ridiculous than this chaotic offseason might have suggested?

Am I just being naïve? Is it wrong for Wolves fans to hold on to even these tiny shreds of optimism? Let me tell you a story.

For the three years beginning with their six-game Western Conference finals loss to the Lakers in 2004 and ending with the Kevin Garnett trade of 2007, the Wolves slowly melted down. With very few exceptions (KG among them), the team became a nightmare of ball-hogging, extravagant contract demands, intentionally careless defense and mediocre effort. As the front office hemorrhaged draft picks, this collection of aging jump-shooters and corrosive personalities contributed to the firing of both Flip Saunders and Dwane Casey and helped hasten the KG era’s sad, pathetic end. What I’m saying is: We’ve seen turmoil and this isn’t it.

I don’t know that arguing your currently mismanaged team isn’t as bad as your previously mismanaged team really gets you anywhere. Things are bad in Minnesota, and they’re probably worse than they were in KG’s final years because at least at that point fans had a superstar to rally around.

As for Kahn, the guy is a joke right now, and seriously needs one of these moves — be it Ricky Rubio, Wes Johnson, the acquisition of Michael Beasley or the re-upping of Darko Milicic (yes, this guy is depending on Darko Freaking Milicic) — to give him some credibility in the world of NBA general managers.

No disrespect to Johnson, but if you know you’re going to move Al Jefferson, why pass up a talent like DeMarcus Cousins? He’s a true center and would have been a solid fit alongside Kevin Love on the front line. Throw in the fact that Kahn passed on Stephen Curry and Brandon Jennings twice in last year’s draft (while trading away arguably the next-best PG in the draft, Ty Lawson) and this T-Wolves roster could look a lot better.

And it’s not like Kahn has kept a low profile. While sitting in with color commentator Chris Webber during one of the summer league games, he compared Milicic’s passing ability favorably to Vlade Divac and suggested that Webber’s career path was somewhat similar. When C-Webb understandably took umbrage, Kahn went on the radio a few days later and called him a schmuck. Let’s just say that the guy doesn’t seem too savvy.

Maybe Ricky Rubio will eventually come and save the day, or Beasley will suddenly fulfill his considerable potential, but until that happens, Kahn is going to have a big fat bull’s eye painted on his chest.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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