David Kahn, President of Basketball Operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves, had his end-of-season press conference today with the media in which he talked about his relationship with head coach Kurt Rambis, Ricky Rubio and a complete rundown of everything everyone needs to know about the Wolves' roster.
It turned out to be a 40-minute press conference that was condensed into 10 minutes of Youtube video by our friends over at 1500 ESPN Radio and, since it's difficult to find just one takeaway, SB Nation Minnesota decided to transcribe the relevant portions.
First up, on his relationship with Rambis, Kahn said that it's "Professional," before going on to say that he thinks "whenever a team doesn't perform to it's expectations, there's a natural sense of tension that can exist."
"I was very clear with Kurt a couple months ago that he was given some goals and objectives for the rest of the season because I thought was important that we had some benchmarks," Kahn continued. "We've been meeting to discuss those, not just on a periodic basis, but on a continuous basis."
"The one thing, in fairness to everybody here -- not just the head coach, but everybody -- is that it is hard with young players," Kahn went on to say. "It is hard to sometimes have to live with the kinds of mistakes that can simply only be overcome by experience."
"I think that Kevin wants to be here, I think we want him here and I think Kevin is saying all the right things," Kahn said before finishing talking about Rambis by saying "I think he feels deep down, as he's shared with me and as he's said publicly, that there's some really positive things brewing here and I think he wants to be a part of it, especially having put in the forced labor part of it."
Another topic that should be of interest to all of the Wolves fans is former first round pick Ricky Rubio, but Kahn wasn't interested in talking a lot about him.
"We're not going to talk about Ricky Rubio today. We're not going to talk about Ricky until there's something to talk about."
Last, but certainly not least, Kahn took a host of questions on the Wolves roster going forward.
"I think that our talent level from when I first arrived is significantly higher, but it's not a team yet and I'm the first to acknowledge that," Kahn said. "I think that we have, as opposed to when I arrived, certain players that I foresee being part of this organization for many, many years to come."
Elaborating on that, Kahn talked a bit about the players he apparently sees as vital cogs going forward.
"I really do believe that in Kevin Love, we have an All-Star player now. In Michael Beasley, we have a player with All-Star talent who will now need to harness that talent and take his game to another level. I'm still very high on Wesley Johnson. I think that Darko Milicic showed this year that he can be a player for us, but what his role will be -- and how significant it will be -- will also depend on what other moves we may make but I think he'll be a player for us. I like the way Martell Webster finished the season, the way he played the last few weeks is the player I thought we traded for. So I see an enormous amount of very positive things about our team."
Either way, though, Kahn doesn't believe the team needs to rebuild.
"I don't see the team needing a complete overhaul. Those days are behind us," Kahn said. "We set a plan up and we're abiding by that with the type of players we're trying to attract here. We acknowledged up front it would be painful at the start because we''d likely have to become younger still."
Most interestingly, he believes that the league is rather high on the Wolves roster, despite what the fans think.
"I think if you were to ask people around the league -- within the league -- they like our roster, they like our talent, they like our youth, they like our length, they like our athleticism, Kahn noted. "That doesn't mean that they think we're the best or, y'know, we're home free or that everything's solved or 'just wait, things will work out.'"
As far as future changes, he mentioned he was puzzled with why the Wolves didn't win more this year, seemingly calling out either Rambis or the players, but certainly not the man who hired them all.
"We have some significant fine-tuning to do. Significant and a lot of things to think about," Kahn said. "I think the feeling around the league, putting aside the customer base and the fan base, is that this is a team that's on the come. In fact, without being too judgmental, I would suggest based on what I've heard maybe a little bit of puzzlement on why the team didn't win more this year."
I've embedded the entire video from ESPN 1500 below.