Timberwolves president David Kahn says Kevin Love isn’t going anywhere and Minnesota will draft Duke point guard Kyrie Irving on Thursday if he falls to No. 2.
Kahn wasn’t as forthcoming Tuesday on the future of coach Kurt Rambis.
Kahn said he wants to meet with owner Glen Taylor before making a decision on whether to bring Rambis back for a third season. Kahn and Rambis met for six hours last week, with Kahn asking his coach what he would change after posting a 32-132 record in the first two seasons.
Kahn called the meetings ”very positive” and said that he hoped to meet with Taylor this week. It’s been more than two months since the season ended and Kahn has received criticism for letting the issue drag on.
He said he has talked to Rambis, who has two years left on his contract, since the meetings and believes there is an understanding about where things stand.
”I recognize that this is painful for everybody involved, or at least awkward at a minimum,” Kahn said. ”But I think we understand where we’re at. All in due time.”
Right now, it appears the Wolves are focused more on making point guard Ricky Rubio feel comfortable in his new surroundings. Rubio arrived in Minnesota on Monday and held his first press conference on Tuesday.
With that out of the way, Kahn can go back to focusing on the draft. The Timberwolves have been making and receiving offers for the No. 2 pick, but Kahn said it was too early to say what would happen on Thursday night.
Two things appear to be certain: They will take Irving if Cleveland passes on him with the top pick, even though they already have Rubio, Luke Ridnour and Jonny Flynn on the roster. And if they do trade the pick, Love will not be involved.
”Absolutely not,” Kahn said. ”No ifs, ands or buts. Kevin will be on this team next year and I expect Kevin, as I’ve said numerous times, to be on this team for many, many years. I see him as being a very important part of our future.”
Irving is widely expected to go to Cleveland, but there has been some speculation that the Cavaliers could take Arizona forward Derrick Williams instead. One would think that would put the Timberwolves in a bind, given that they brought in Rubio from Spain to be their point guard of the future.
Kahn said the Wolves wouldn’t hesitate to take Irving. Then what?
”Well, that’s the question right?” Kahn said. ”I think it’s very important for us not to play that game where we feel that we react, we’ll take him at two and then decide what’s best course of action.”
The likely scenario would be to select Irving and then trade him, either for a much-needed veteran or perhaps future draft picks because it became very clear on Tuesday that Rubio is the top priority at point guard.
”Ricky Rubio will not be traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves,” Kahn said. ”You can go to sleep on it. He’s here for a long, long, long time.”