Kahn: Wolves will be quiet in free agency
By Jon Krawczynski
AP Sports Writer
EDEN PRAIRIE -- In his first two years at the helm of the Minnesota Timberwolves, David Kahn quickly gained a reputation as one of the NBA's most aggressive deal makers.
Be it through trades, free agency or buyouts, Kahn has feverishly worked to remake the Timberwolves roster, for better or worse.
Now, as the NBA prepares to emerge from more than five months of hibernation brought on by a bitter labor dispute, the Timberwolves president is content to mostly watch what is anticipated to be a frenetic period of wheeling and dealing. Kahn said he doesn't anticipate making any major moves over the next couple of weeks.
With 13 players already under contract and only $5 million in cap room, Kahn said he will likely do some "pruning and tweaking" with the roster to allow new coach Rick Adelman time to evaluate the team.
"Nobody should anticipate any wholesale roster movement between now and say whenever we do start," Kahn said Thursday. "I think Rick and I have talked a lot about this. He's very excited to see what he has so I think it will be important to really allow him and his staff a long period of time to really familiarize themselves with our roster."
These were Kahn's first comments since owners and players reached a tentative agreement to end the lockout. The details are still being ironed out, but training camps and free agency are expected to begin on Dec. 9.
Thursday marked the first time league executives were cleared to discuss players since the lockout began on July 1, and teams opened their doors for player workouts as well.
Forward Anthony Randolph was the only Timberwolves player at the Target Center on Thursday, but Kahn said he expected most of the team will be in town by early next week.
The Timberwolves were the youngest team in the league last year and only got younger with the additions of point guard Ricky Rubio, who came over from Spain after being drafted in 2009, and forward Derrick Williams, the second overall draft pick in June. Kahn would still like to add another veteran to the roster -- a couple of former Adelman players including Shane Battier and Chuck Hayes are potential targets -- to provide some leadership, but a major splash is unlikely to come for a team that has won only 32 games in Kahn's first two seasons.
"If you like a lot of the players on your team and are eager for the coaching staff to familiarize themselves with those players and really take a long look at them, and if you already like what you see, you can see by its very nature, we will not be as active as other teams will be," Kahn said. "You can't have it both ways."
He said Adelman's staff will face "a major challenge" to get everyone on the same page in such a short period of time, but with no major moves to make the transition should be smoothed.
Coaches and team officials have been prohibited from contact with players throughout the lockout, so the Wolves will have come catching up to do when training camp begins.
Among the priorities will be:
n Discussing an extension with All-Star Kevin Love: The power forward blossomed last season, leading the league in rebounding and becoming the new face of the franchise. He is entering the final year of his contract. "I expect Kevin to be a big part of our franchise for a number of years," Kahn said.
Notes: Determining Michael Beasley's legal situation: Beasley was arrested for marijuana possession in the summer, but Kahn has not been able to speak with him about it during the lockout. He said the lawyer in him wants to get Beasley's side of the story before he renders and judgment. Beasley also could face a suspension from the league. "Anytime anything like that occurs, of course, it is troubling when you don't know," Kahn said. "So I'm eager to hear from his side what actually occurred."
n Continue reshaping the front office: Assistant GM Tony Ronzone left this summer, and Kahn said he was in the process of "streamlining" the operation. Adelman's son, R.J., will specialize in statistical analytics and working with the video staff and coaches for game preparation. Kahn has also named Manny Rohan coordinator of scouting to assist the regional scouts in the field.