MINNEAPOLIS David Kahn is optimistic.
More optimistic, you'd think, than the man behind a team with eight healthy players should be. More optimistic than someone who spent his summer swinging deals to break his team's eight-season playoff drought only to be left with this, a 16-20 record on Jan. 18.
But the Timberwolves' president of basketball operations is looking at this like there are 46 games left, which there are, and he's more focused on that loss column than anything else. His team is technically three games behind Houston and Utah, which are tied for the seventh spot in the West, but it has just one more loss than both. Five fewer wins but one more loss, and the losses are what count.
And so while Kahn negotiates and the most crucial stretch of the season begins, he has some leeway. His team isn't out of it yet, and it was granted a hardship exception by the NBA, allowing it to sign a 16th player to its roster on a 10-day deal. With the NBA mandating th...