File photo of Washington Wizards coach Saunders during an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in Boston

Could Flip Saunders replace David Kahn as Minnesota GM next year?


We told you earlier today that former Minnesota coach (and current ESPN analyst) Flip Saunders is working with a group of investors looking to buy the Timberwolves. In this scenario and Saunders would take over basketball operations (owner Glenn Taylor has had the team on the market for a while looking for an owner who would gradually take over and would keep the team in Minnesota).

But Saunders moving into a position of power could happen sooner rather than later.

Columnist Sid Hartman at the Star Tribune suggests Saunders could be in and current GM David Kahn could be out by the start of next season.

There are several indications pointing to the likelihood of former Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders replacing David Kahn as president of basketball operations for the team before the 2013-14 season.
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor wasn’t available for comment on the subject Saturday, but he hasn’t kept it a secret that Saunders has served as a consultant for him on the basketball team during this season.

Unless Saunders is offered a coaching job that would pay him a lot more money than he would get being the Wolves’ president of basketball operations, I think it’s a strong possibility that Saunders will replace Kahn before next season.

There are a whole lot of “ifs” coming, but…

If Taylor is interested in selling to this group of investors, and if Saunders really is going to step in to run the basketball side of the operation, and if Taylor knows Kevin Love isn’t Kahn’s biggest fan and would like a change, and if Taylor really is good with all of it than it’s possible Saunders could take over sooner rather than later.

A lot of ifs, but there is a logical flow to this. On the court the Timberwolves need to keep Kevin Love in house to try and build a contender with him and Ricky Rubio at the core, and sliding Kahn out for Saunders could help with that. As for what steps the Wolves need to take, we actually need to see this team play for a stretch with everyone healthy then evaluate. Saunders could do that.

Taylor isn’t racing to sell the team, but it’s not hard to see this come together faster than the sale itself.

Is Stephen Curry the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Lionel Messi
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Stephen Curry has reached the transcendent point in his career. We’re now talking about if he has passed LeBron James as the best player on the planet (he has), and we’re starting to think about his legacy as the perfect point guard for a modern NBA small-ball, space-and-pace offense. Plus he’s just a joy to watch play.

Does that make him the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Curry was asked to compare himself to the Barcelona/Argentinian player who (arguably) is the greatest soccer player in the world, certainly as elite a finisher as that sport has ever seen. Here is his answer, via the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia. Is Curry the bigger international star now?

“I don’t know – it’s a chicken and egg kind of conversation,” Curry said while laughing.

“We both have a creative style, a feel when you are out on the pitch or the court. I’m trying to do some fancy things out there with both hands, making crossover moves and having a certain flair to my game and that’s definitely the style Messi has when he is out there in his matches.”

I love Curry, but Messi is the bigger international star.

But I love the comparison in terms of the must-watch nature of the two stars, the flair in their games, the sense that you have to keep an eye on them at all times because the spectacular could happen any time they touch the ball. When the ball comes to them, everybody leads forward in their chairs. That is the sign of a real superstar.

Jahlil Okafor fights man in Boston (video)

Jahlil Okafor

The 76ers lost a heartbreaker to the Celtics last night, dropping Philadelphia to 0-16.

Jahlil Okafor was apparently in a foul mood after the game.


We’re told everyone got up and fled the scene and no arrests were made.

We’re told the altercation began because one of the men in the other group yelled at Jahlil, “The 76ers suck.”

We spoke with a rep for Jahlil who tells us … Okafor says he was being heckled from the moment he left the club and felt threatened because people swarmed him on the street.


This video obviously doesn’t show everything, but it certainly makes Okafor look like the aggressor.

Okafor will probably face punishment from some combination of the legal system, NBA and 76ers.

Kristaps Porzingis envelops Victor Oladipo’s dunk attempt (video)

Nikola Vucevic, Kristaps Porzingis
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Scott Skiles moved Victor Oladipo to the bench, because the Magic coach wanted to give Oladipo a chance to be more aggressive.

It worked.

Oladipo scored a season-high 24 points in the Magic’s 100-91 win over the Knicks.

But Oladipo’s aggressiveness also produced this fantastic Kristaps Porzingis block: