David Kahn Conference Call
While the term sheet was being finalized Monday night, Ricky informed me that, despite considering us his first option the previous weekend – and, admittedly, after some back and forth throughout the summer -- he preferred to stay at home to play for FC Barcelona, which earlier this summer had made a buyout offer to Joventut. He also reaffirmed that it was his intention to join us in Minnesota two years from now when he will be 20.
This morning I met with Ricky and his parents and told them that I understood Ricky´s decision. It was clear to me yesterday and in this morning´s meeting that the pressure surrounding Ricky and his family to remain in Spain for at least two more years had only intensified as the summer wore on and was weighing heavily on them.
The NBA is the best basketball league in the world, by far. As an 18-year-old man, Ricky would have been challenged on a nightly basis to a degree he has never experienced. In order for Ricky to meet this challenge fully, I believe it is important that his family and other people important to him were comfortable with the move to the NBA and fully supportive.
I also agreed with Ricky´s position that two more years of competition in Spain and the Euroleague will only aid his development and that he will be much more ready for the NBA when he joins us.
On the night of the draft, I explained that the decision to draft Ricky was not difficult – that he was 18, the youngest player in the draft, and we were a building team that could wait for him. Nothing has changed. When we received signals from Ricky this summer that he was considering accelerating his path to the NBA and joining us sooner, we threw ourselves into this process willingly and energetically, including meeting with Joventut on four separate occasions.
I explained to Ricky this morning that, starting today, I would now focus all my attention on the coming season for the Timberwolves and our current roster. We have begun the process to build a championship-contending team and this coming season will be an exciting one. I wished Ricky well and told him that, while I could not predict the future, I expected to see him in Minnesota soon.
I want to thank everybody who worked so hard on this process this summer, including Jonathan Blue and Dan Fegan of BEST and everybody associated with the Timberwolves family."