First of all, this is a great article about Kahn! and how he's actually holding all the chips in this Rubio stare-down... which is apparently contrary to what every sportswriter in this town thinks.
Now, my take on all this echoes the TrueHoop article, namely, let's assume that Rubio doesn't want to come to the Wolves this season, or even next. Well, if anything, that puts his value HIGHER, because New York would then think they could convince him to play there, and they would give up pieces accordingly. In their minds, he is not coming to the NBA strictly because it's Minnesota... not because he has to go into his own pocket for damn near 6 million dollars.
But here's the thing... and don't forget this.... NEW YORK HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO OFFER THAT WOULD BE ANYWHERE NEAR RUBIO'S VALUE.
(this is going to feel really good to type)
DAVID KAHN IS SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW THAT NEW YORK DOESN'T HAVE ENOUGH TO OFFER
You could not make that statement about our previous GM, "AssHead" McHale. He would look at the situation and be like "OH NO! Rubio won't sign here! I better trade him for Charles Oakley, because he's a ballplayer and I used to be a ballplayer so HEY SOMETHING SHINEY I WILL NOW DRINK OUT OF THE DOG BOWL." Kahn is playing this like a smooth smoothey. Draft rights are a hell of a thing, and ol' Rick's about to figure that out. Remember Danny Ferry? Drafted by the Clip Ship and fled the country to play in Italy instead... hey how'd that career turn out? You gonna be remembered for your game, or for surrounding LeBron with a team full of pranksters? I'm sayin, this isn't the NFL, where you can hold a team hostage. And like that TrueHoop article says... so what if he doesn't play this year? The Wolves are looking at just over 20 wins, as is, and if he plays, he might get them to 30. But let's not kid ourselves AT ALL. The kid is 18. His overall impact on the team this season would be low. It would definitely be nice to have him, just to teach him and get used to playing in the TC and all that, but if he wants to play in Spain, hey, go for it. Between Flynn and Telfair, I think we're going to be ok. At least we didn't pay out the ass for Rafer Alston.
Here are a couple of scenarios, and what I think of them:
1. Rubio plays this year in Minnesota.
We all go pee in our pants and watch every game. We get tickets and buy jerseys and praise the franchise that just a few months ago I openly pleaded with to leave town and never come back. This would be happy happy joy-joy. Now, if this happened, we might have to trade Flynn for a bench player... but so what? IT'S RUBIO. (note, this is the least likely scenario)
2. Rubio plays in Spain this year, but after negotiating for an entire winter, Kahn! convinces him to come to MN in 2010.
See above. We get a season of Jonny Flynn cold knocking them in from half court and yelling at everyone, Telfair ups his value, and we move one of them at year's end, commence the peeing in pants. Meanwhile Kevin Love turns 21 and celebrates at Spin (he just seems like he would like that place)
3. Rubio holds out indefinitely, frustrating the Wolves privately, but on their public face, they are cool as a cucumber and never give anything away. Meanwhile the Knicks fail for another season and offer their entire team for Rubio, which the Wolves turn down, then the Knicks sign LeBron and offer HIM for Rubio, which we accept.
Ok, the second half of that probably won't happen, but the first is a likely scenario. Here's the deal with that though... as the Knicks "ratchet up the pressure" and "seriously inquire about Rubio"... that's only driving the price up for teams that, you know, can actually get him. Say New Jersey wants a run at him... well the Knicks' blundering in the process has just raised the bar. Point being, even in this option, clearly the biggest "doomsday" scenario, I'm ok with it, because of Kahn!. You think he's going to submit to the pressure and make a panic move?
Let's put it this way: everyone out there (well, fat lazy sportswriters) assumed the Wolves made a "panic move" by drafting Flynn and then Lawson. THEY WERE WRONG. It was the opposite. They traded Lawson because, as Kahn! says, they didn't think a guy at the 18th pick pay slot could impact their team this season or in the future, and they wanted a higher pick next year. GOOD LOGIC. And as far as drafting Flynn? Not only is that not a panic move, it's about the coolest move he could make... it gives him a TOTAL backup scenario, and when teams start calling about Rubio (which I'm sure that phone won't stop ringing until November), Kahn's got Flynn in his back-pocket, able to tell all other GMs, "Hey, we're cool, we don't need to move Ricky, we've got our point guards". AND IT'S TRUE.
You ask me? I think it's a genius move. I've ruminated on it for a few days, and I couldn't be happier. Starting lineup of Telfair/Flynn, Ellington, Brewer/Gomes, Jefferson and Love? That's a raw, young lineup, but it's exciting and better than last year. That's all we can do, right? Get better than last year? Well, done.