Notebook: Wolves will consider major roster changes this offseason
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MINNEAPOLIS -- A year ago at his season-ending news conference, David Kahn said "no wholesale changes" would be made to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
On Friday, the Wolves' president of basketball operations delivered a very different message.
Kahn told reporters that Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio are the "cornerstones" of the Wolves franchise and that nobody else on the roster is untouchable heading into the offseason. This came a day after the Wolves lost, 131-102, to the Denver Nuggets in their regular-season finale at Target Center.
"No trade possibility will be turned down for any reason," Kahn said. "We're going to do everything in our power this summer to make this a better team. No proverbial stone will be left unturned."
Kahn was joined by coach Rick Adelman for the nearly 40-minute session and both answered questions about the future of the franchise.
The fact that Love and Rubio are the main building blocks comes as no surprise, but Kahn admitting that the roster needs major changes is essentially an admission of failure on his part heading into his fourth season with the franchise.
Kahn said he was going to conduct exit interviews with players on Friday. When it came to some of the younger players who ended up disappointing, Kahn said there would be a discussion about, "about how serious they are about this endeavor."
Kahn -- much like Adelman has for weeks -- admitted frustration with how the Wolves ended the season. The team went 5-25 after Rubio suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in March and showed a general sense of apathy down the stretch despite having a roster full of players who were playing for their jobs.
Kahn wouldn't divulge any names but it's pretty easy to figure out that Michael Beasley, Anthony Randolph, Wesley Johnson and Derrick Williams are the main players he is referring to when discussing who is serious about the future.
"We don't know yet," Kahn said. "I think our summer development program, I'm really eager to see who really attacks it this summer because it will help inform us later in the summer who is all in."
Kahn was asked specifically about Beasley as he remains one of the most intriguing question marks on the roster. Kahn wouldn't give any hints as to whether Beasley would return for a third season with the Wolves.
The earliest any roster decisions need to be made is June 30. That is when Kahn needs to determine whether to sign Beasley and/or Randolph to their qualifying offers or let them become free agents. That means the evaluation process is likely to continue well past the exit interviews.
One of the points of contention when Adelman was brought in last summer was just how much control he would have in making personnel decisions.
Kahn echoed what Adelman said before the season-ending loss to the Nuggets when he told the media that his coach, "better have some input."
Kahn said he envisions all decisions to be a "total" collaboration between himself, Adelman and owner Glen Taylor.
"As I've shared with him when we interviewed with him, and as it was with Kurt (Rambis), I don't believe a president of basketball of operations and an owner for that matter should be in a vacuum," Kahn said. "I can't speak enough for how I feel about Rick and his feelings and opinions."
Kahn said that he will make frequent visits to Oregon to visit Adelman and the two will tackle the entire draft process together once workouts begin leading up to the June draft.
Although Kahn wouldn't admit it, working alongside Adelman on these decisions will be a change from the power structure that was in place during Rambis' tenure as the Wolves coach.
Pick for cash?
One of the highlights of Kahn's meeting with the media came when he was asked if he would consider selling the first-round draft pick the Wolves got from Utah for cash -- much like they did with multiple picks last summer.
Those deals were widely believed to be a fundraiser to pay for Rambis' buyout.
Kahn went on the defensive, denying the team has ever sold a pick for financial reasons.
"Not once since we have been here have we ever done anything for a fiscally driven reason to impact the ball club," he said. "And that would be a terrible thing to do. I can assure you that never would we consider that, never have we done such a thing."
When pressed about the situation last summer where the team sold the No. 20 overall pick, Kahn continued to defend himself, saying there wasn't a player on the board at that selection he deemed worthy of being taken.
"That night had nothing to do with financial considerations whatsoever. Nothing," he said. "And I will swear on my son's life if it makes you feel better."
Right message, wrong audience
Kahn addressed the comments guard J.J. Barea made on Sunday that he believed players in the locker room had quit on the team and no longer cared. Kahn liked the sentiment of Barea's remarks, but wished he had kept things in-house.
"I like the content of J.J.'s comments," Kahn said. "I wish personally that he hadn't said them publicly because I thought we, and still, we made it through this season drama free."
Kahn admitted to feeling some of the same frustrations that led to Barea criticizing his teammates after they blew a 20-plus point lead to the Golden State Warriors at home for the second time in a month.
"I certainly didn't fine him or do anything to him, I just told him his comments were very justified and the information in them he was entitled to voice, but I don't think it needed to be outside the scope of the locker room," Kahn said.
• Kahn was asked if the team planned on using its amnesty clause on Darko Milicic but he refused to answer. "All those questions have a more appropriate time to be answered and that's much deeper into the summer," he said.
• Kahn wouldn't comment specifically on how much cap space the Wolves have to work with this summer but said, "if we want to have room, we can have room. No question about it."