Remember back in 2009 when the Minnesota Timberwolves pulled the shock of the draft by using the number 5 and 6 picks on two point guards? Well, if you don’t, then let me remind you that former Timberwolves GM, David Kahn, drafted 6-5 Spanish point guards, Ricky Rubio with the 5th overall pick, and then turned around and selected Syracuse point guard (and complete NBA bust) Johnny Flynn, with the 6th overall pick. A move that made Kahn more unwelcome in Minnesota than Matt Millen is in Detroit.
Former Timberwolves lead assistant coach, Dave Wohl, explains that he and Kahn butted heads on the matter, and that he advised Kahn against the move, saying that neither one would work as a shooting guard. Wohl claims he advised Kahn to select Rubio and Stephen Curry instead of Rubio and Flyyn. Curry would be selected with the 7th overall pick, and prove to be the best of the three players, by a landslide.Kahn reportedly insisted that he saw a Walt Frazier/Earl Monroe type duo in Rubio/Flynn.
Dave Wohl, Minnesota’s lead assistant, remembers arriving in Minnesota and Kahn asking him whether Rubio and Flynn could prosper playing together. Wohl described Flynn as a good, ambitious kid. He also said that Rubio and Curry would have made a better pairing. He didn’t believe either Flynn or Rubio could perform at shooting guard. “He said, ‘No, no. I want to play Jonny and Rubio. They remind me of [Walt] Frazier and [Earl] Monroe,’” Wohl said.
“When he said that, I didn’t know what to say. I actually played during the ’70s against Earl and Clyde and there’s just no comparison.” Wohl told Kahn that he did not think it was an accurate comparison. “He said, ‘Yeah, it is. They are two guys who can handle the ball,’” Wohl recalled Kahn saying. “When he started going in that direction, I knew that Kurt was going to have a struggle in him trying to figure out what to do with both those guys when they came because Ricky was clearly a guy who was a great passer and was going to be able to do some things offensively with his passing that Jonny, at that point, wasn’t able to do,”Wohl said.
A pretty crazy turn of events. It would appear that Kahn had convinced himself that Rubio and Flynn would thrive as the NBA’s next big thing. A small backcourt, the kind that rarely thrive in today’s league, is not something that ultimately panned out for Kahn in Minnesota. However, we did see Steph Curry hurled into a small backcourt nightmare in Golden State, alongside Monta Ellis. A combo that didn’t work there either.
Oh, the possibilities of Ricky Rubio, Stephen Curry and Kevin Love in Minnesota.