The Amare rumor: Kahn calls Al to assure him

Posted on June 18th, 2009 – 10:57 AM
By Jerry Zgoda

David Kahn just called Al Jefferson this morning and assured him the Wolves are not trading him and the sixth pick to Phoenix for Amare Stoudemire.

The Boston Globe’s Marc Spears put the rumor up on his blog, but the Wolves have refuted it, saying the Suns called with the offer and Kahn turned it down.

I heard last night from a good source that a Jefferson-Stoudemire trade has definitely been talked about, but at this point lots of things always are talked about.

Jefferson and No. 6, though, seems like far too high a price to pay for a player who has been put out on a fire sale.

Here’s what I know: Kahn sure seems intent on making a big splash and I think anything’s possible.

No one on the roster is safe, and that includes Jefferson — who yesterday said he is well ahead of schedule on his rehab from knee surgery and expects to be ready for contact by August or September at the latest –  if it’s the right deal.

I think yesterday’s news was the first step of many in Kahn making this his team and not Kevin McHale’s.

Logically, you’d think the only players who might not be traded at this point are Jefferson and Corey Brewer, but only because they’re both recovering from knee surgeries.

It’s already clear the Kahn is very much concerned about a player’s value, his salary and how it fits into the big picture with the cap.

He really is focused on managing the cap.

That’s why I think Mike Miller definitely will be traded by draft night and why Randy Foye likely will be as well.

I’m betting Kahn is looking ahead to Foye’s next contract and saying to himself what it will cost to re-sign Foye is beyond his worth.

That’s also why I think in time either Kevin Love or Jefferson will go.

Eventually, Love’s going to get big money and Kahn doesn’t want such a big chunk of his cap consumed by two players who basically play the same position.

Expect Kahn to try to use Miller or Foye and the team’s additional draft picks to try and get another top 10 pick in addition to their No. 6 pick so they can get UConn center Hasheem Thabeet, a true shot-blocker.

I think he wants to use all this capital the Wolves accumulated to come out with two really good pieces — not four or five — out of the draft.

I do think Kahn is committed to the long term and I think one of the differences he had with McHale is that Mac wanted to make moves that would make the team immediately better next year.

Kahn looks like he’s willing to be patient. Mac wanted a veteran playmaker — a Tracy McGrady or Caron Butler being the available ones who come to mind — to add to Al in the hopes the Wolves could win 45 games and perhaps make the playoffs.

Expect Kahn to stay relatively young — Stoudemire’s only 26 — and aim for a team that at the least is capable of winning 50 games, the bare threshold for success in the Western Conference.

Buckle up.

It’s going to be a wild week between now and next Thursday’s draft.

Any rumors you hear? Well, I think just about anything is possible.

UPDATE ON WORKOUTS:

Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Jonny Flynn, Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague and French guard Nando De Colo are due in tomorrow morning for a big group point-guard workout and Tyreke Evans is scheduled to do a solo workout in the afternoon. Teague is a return participant. He was part of those group workouts a couple weeks ago with Eric Maynor, but got hurt early and sat the rest of the session.

Looks like DeMar DeRozan’s solo workout has been been pushed to early next week.

Checked with someone close to Thabeet to see if the Wolves are going to get a look at him and was told he won’t work out for the Wolves but might do a meet-and-greet with them.

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