Notebook: David Kahn 'not interested' in significant roster changes
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Timberwolves aren't trading Ricky Rubio. They aren't trading Kevin Love.
Beyond that, president of basketball operations David Kahn isn't ruling anything out -- although he also made clear on Tuesday he likes the roster he has in place, NBA's worst record be damned.
"I'm not interested ... in us trading most of our players this year," Kahn said. "There's no question that we have a couple guys who may not fit and a couple guys who have told me they want to play more, and they're young and I'm sensitive to that, because I don't want us to be a place where we kind of keep people trapped. But aside from those three or four names, you should assume that almost everybody will be back next year.
"I feel very strongly that for us to be successful, there has (to be continuity). We went through that period of change over the last two years, up through the trade deadline, where we got Anthony Randolph. You cannot keep switching out (players). It won't work. Not in our sport, and I like a lot of these players a lot. Not a little. A lot.
"They're very young. They are raw. They need to develop. They need to become who they'll be. But I think, from a talent basis, we have a nice mix. The question, as I said earlier, is how do we sprinkle in the veteran experience to help their development as well?"
The Wolves own the second and 20th overall picks in Thursday's NBA Draft, and rumors have run rampant in recent days Kahn might trade his greatest bargaining chip in a package for everyone from Pau Gasol to Andrew Bogut to Andrew Bynum.
Kahn acknowledged trade dialogue has increased, as it does every year, and wouldn't rule out dealing the No. 2 pick to address the lack of experience on a roster that has only one player born before 1985.
"If it can accelerate our development quicker and make us a better team quicker, that's what we'll do," Kahn said. "But we won't do it at the expense of passing on a player who is talented and can be a very significant player in our league."
What to do?
Most mock drafts have the Cleveland Cavaliers taking Duke point guard Kyrie Irving with the No. 1 pick and the Wolves using the No. 2 pick on Arizona forward Derrick Williams, who could be traded if the right veteran post player is available.
But what happens if the Cavs pass on Irving?
"We'll take him," Kahn said. "I said that the other day. We're not going to let him (fall). He's not moving past (number) two."
For some, that pick would evoke memories of the 2009 draft, when Kahn used Wolves' first three picks on point guards -- Ricky Rubio at No. 5, Jonny Flynn at No. 7 and Ty Lawson at No. 18.
Rubio finally signed with the Wolves last month and was introduced at a media conference on Tuesday. Flynn still is on the roster, too.
So, what exactly would the Wolves do with Irving?
"Well, that's the question, right?" Kahn said. "But I think it's very important for us not to play that game, where we feel that we have to react. We'll take him at 2 and then we'll decide what the best course of action is."
The most likely course would be auctioning Irving to the highest bidder.
Keeping both "would be problematic, because they're both true point guards," Kahn said. "But all I'm trying to establish is that it's very important for me that we don't fall prey to this game of 'do you take the best player?' We will take the best player."
• Kahn laughed at the notion the Wolves might swing a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers for Gasol, who is from Spain and might be able to help Rubio adjust to the NBA and the country. "This is something that we don't have to address today," Kahn said, "but if that's something that is necessary and if that would ease the transition, then I think, of course, we need to address that."
• Asked if he'd consider trading Love, whose contract expires after the 2012-13 season, Kahn was unequivocal. "No. Absolutely not," Kahn said. "No ifs, ands or buts. Kevin will be on this team next year, and I expect Kevin, as I have said numerous times, to be on this team for many, many years. I see him as being a very important part of our future."