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Daily Links: Bill Simmons vs the Wolves

Bill Simmons - The Sports Guy - Page 2 - ESPN
Simmons and expert Chad Ford spend 15 minutes ripping the Ricky Rubio "debacle" in this podcast. They make three points that are all just silly:

1) The T-Wolves shouldn't have drafted Flynn after picking Rubio. Curry would have been a better fit in the back court with Ricky. While I agree that a Flynn and Rubio back court was iffy at best, the Wolves had to know that there was a big risk that Rubio wouldn't come regardless of picking Flynn. If they had taken Curry and Rubio still chose to stay in Spain then would Ford and Simmons be calling Kahn a fool for not taking the best point guard available? Likely.

2) The Wolves should have traded either Rubio or Flynn. There's a strong case to be made here for a trade but unless Kahn had an agreement signed with Rubio he couldn't shop Flynn or he could have been without a point guard. They might have traded Rubio's rights but Ford and Simmons both admitted that no one was offering anything good. If the Wolves make a bad trade he's criticized for that.

3) Kahn botched the buyout negotiations: This makes no sense. The league allows the T-Wolves only to contribute $500k towards the buyout and Rubio's rookie salary was set in stone. I am not sure what else Kahn could have possibly done.

Simmons and Ford go on to praise Rubio and his agent for making the decision to stay in Europe where he could make more money and continue to develop. They suggest that Rubio could wait three years and sign as a free agent and not be bound by the rookie scale. He would be 21. That all sounds great and completely out of the hands of the T-wolves. In the mean time, Kahn gave up very little to bank the rights to Rubio. There's a reason Rubio dropped to 5th and no one really wanted him despite his potential.

Kahn rolled the dice that he could get him immediately and his fall back position is a pretty good long play as well. One doesn't have to be a "beaten down" Timberwolves fan to see the value in that. The only way this turns out bad for the Wolves is if they can't either get Rubio or trade his rights for a player or players worth more than Foye and Miller. Not a very high bar.

Simmons and Ford also suggest the Kahn was just being stubborn. I certainly agree that GMs can hold a losing hand too long in order to save face. Will these ESPN "experts" be so willing to admit they are wrong if their criticism turn out to be wrong as well?

Other Non-Rubio links

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