Editorial: McHale is the real problem for Wolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves pulled the trigger Thursday night on a major trade sending forward Wally Szcerbiak to the Boston Celtics. The trade was a desperate effort to change the team's slumping performance by becoming more athletic and aggressi...
The Minnesota Timberwolves pulled the trigger Thursday night on a major trade sending forward Wally Szcerbiak to the Boston Celtics. The trade was a desperate effort to change the team's slumping performance by becoming more athletic and aggressively defensive.
In addition to Szcerbiak, the Wolves' trade included center Michael Olowokandi, center Dwayne Jones and a future first-round draft choice. The Celtics gave the Wolves guard Ricky Davis, center Mark Blount, forward Justin Reed, guard Marcus Banks, and two secondround selections.
The Wolves should have thrown McHale in this deal, returning the former All-Star playercurrent basketball executive to his former NBA team.
It likely is the only thing that could have made this trade a Wolves success.
Wolves' owner Glen Taylor has continually trusted McHale's basketball management. And what has McHale done in response? Let us count the ways.
McHale drafted high school phenom Kevin Garnett. McHale deserves a credit on that decision. Result: an NBA all-star. But that likely was the last Wolves decision that worked.
McHale drafted Stephon Marbury who developed into a solid player. McHale later traded him for players that no one remembers. Result: the Wolves have been missing a good guard ever since.
McHale advised Taylor to sign Joe Smith to an illegal NBA contract. Result: the loss of Smith and multiple-first round draft choices.
McHale tried to repeat his Garnett success with the first round draft choice Ndudi Ebi, who was later released after a couple years of poor development. Result: nothing from a wasted first round draft choice, after several years of no first round draft choices due to the Smith penalty.
Another infamous McHale trade acquired a former top draft choice in Olowokandi. Result: little rebounding, and a single-digit scoring average and uninspired play.
And we cannot forget the acquisition of Marko Jaric. Result: no impact.
And let's not forget the failure to sign Chauncey Billups, now a leader on the Detroit Pistons team.
Then last year McHale fired coach and long-time friend Flip Saunders and took over as coach for the remainder of the season. Result: an uninspired McHale coaching record and Saunders now coaching Detroit to a 35-5 season so far.
McHale is no Red Auerbach, the long-time successful coach and general manager of the Boston Celtics.
Now the Wolves have pulled off a mid-season trade in a frantic attempt to save the season. If it works, McHale will deserve the credit. However, if it is not successful, he deserves the blame.
McHale's record so far demonstrates that Taylor really made the wrong decision in 2005.
Taylor should have fired McHale and promoted Saunders to general manager.