Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Aw Crap: Glen Taylor has McHale's back

This is totally crazy. Does Kevin McHale have a covert contract with Glen Taylor appointing him Timberwolves President for life? Is he a Supreme Court justice?

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said he continues to support Kevin McHale, the team's vice president of basketball operations, through what has been a difficult season on the court for the franchise.
One could argue it’s been a disaster on court.

McHale has drawn criticism for the Wolves' 24-31 record this season and a series of personnel moves that haven't sparked the team toward a run at the playoffs.
It sounds like a team ready to rebuild. Alas we have no first round picks until 2008.

"He has my confidence because I've worked with him all these years," Taylor said.
So let me get this straight: Kevin McHale’s performance comes is ignored because of his tenure with the club? McHale isn’t Fidel Castro. McHale can and should be replaced before his death. You keep a secretary for years, not the man supposedly in charge of a million dollar company.

Last February, Minnesota fired coach Flip Saunders, who has coached the Detroit Pistons to the best record in the NBA this season. The Wolves also traded point guard Sam Cassell to the Los Angeles Clippers, who are in playoff contention, for Marko Jaric, who lost his role as the Wolves' starting point guard earlier this month.
Trade Cassell: good. Acquire Jaric questionable at the time. Signing Jaric to a $37 million contract: ludicrous. Giving up a first round pick: terrible. Attempting to trade Jaric and then taking him out of the rotation: a complete failure.

On Jan. 26, Minnesota dealt Wally Szczerbiak to the Boston Celtics as part of a multi-player trade.
The two teams have a combined 11 wins since the trade. McHale and Danny Ainge basically took a bunch of spare parts and two above-average scorers and reshuffled the deck. Of course McHale couldn’t resist coughing up another first round pick in the deal.

"I think you work with a guy over a longer period of time and you try to judge him over the whole period of time," Taylor said. "Though we're having difficulties this year, I don't just judge a person... . A brief history of the McHale regime:
1995-Drafts Kevin Garnett
1997-Drafts Paul Grant, who plays 16 more NBA games than me.
1999-Signs Joe Smith to secret deal costing the Team four first round draft picks.
1999-Drafts future All Star Szczerbiak, but also Will Avery who scores 379 career points.
2000-Signs Terrell Brandon to $52 million deal only to see him play two more years.
2003-With a veteran team in need of more talent, drafts High School Project Ndudi Ebi. Two years later he is out of the NBA. (Presumably with Will Avery)
2003-Acquires Sam Cassell, Latrell Spreewell and Michael Olawokandi. Taylor later admits this was a mistake.
2004-Signs role player Mark Madsen to six year contract. Also overpays to keep Troy Hudson and Trenton Hassell.
2005-Cassell for Jaric trade.
2006-Szczerbiak for Ricky Davis trade.

Of his draft picks only Garnett, Rasho Nesterovic and Szczerbiak lasted longer than three years in Minnesota. He has also forfeited or unwisely traded six more first rounders. Of the second round picks, made more critical thanks to Joe Smith, Loren Woods is the only player to last longer than one year.

I assume some of the times we played better than we should have. Now we're playing probably less than my expectations. I don't want to judge him just on this (season)."
Taylor concedes that McHale shouldn't get full credit for the successes. (Phil "Flip" Saunders and Kevin Garnett made the team better for several years). Again you can judge him on this season, last season or all eleven and it doesn't matter: Kevin McHale is trying his best to totally sink this franchise.

Eleven years with one outstanding season and several average ones. New York Knicks President Isaiah Thomas is widely regarded as the worst executive in the NBA, and he certainly is awful. The difference is Thomas runs a team that has so much money that it does not matter how fiscally irresponsible they are. Minnesota does not have that luxury, yet McHale continues to lock in mediocre talent to long term deals and give up draft picks like he’s handing out candy on Halloween.

I'm not certain if this blog is accessible in Mankato, but I urge Mr. Taylor to read it.