MINNEAPOLIS -- New Timberwolves president of basketball operations David Kahn says he will meet with coach Kevin McHale next week to begin talks about his future with the team.
Kahn says he doesn't know McHale very well and wants to get to know him better before a decision is made. Kahn insists the process is wide open, and he has not made up his mind.
If Kahn wants McHale to stay, McHale must also decide if he wants to continue.
"It would be very easy for me to sit here today and say, 'You know what, I'm going to fire Kevin,'" Kahn said during his introductory news conference on Friday. "That would show all of you out here that I have the authority, which I do, to do what I want to do.
"I won't make decisions, though, to do what's in my best interests. I'm interested solely in making decisions that are in the best interest of the Minnesota Timberwolves, period."
The new basketball czar in Minnesota said whatever happens with McHale, who has been part of the organization since 1994 and was a prep star in Hibbing and a college star at the University of Minnesota, it will be handled with respect and professionalism.
"Kevin has a long history here and a relationship with the owner that I respect and trust," Kahn said. "I will not hurt Kevin McHale. I will not."
Owner Glen Taylor insists Kahn was the only candidate offered the job, despite the high-profile courting of other candidates. The agent for Portland assistant GM Tom Penn said Monday that Penn was offered the job and declined in favor of accepting a promotion with the Trail Blazers.
San Antonio assistant GM Dennis Lindsey and former Miami Heat GM Randy Pfund also pulled their names from consideration earlier this month.
"We've had nobody turn the job down," Taylor said.
Even if that were the case, Kahn joked, "I don't think Adam Lambert's going to have a tough career." Lambert was beat out by Kris Allen for the coveted title of "American Idol" on the hit TV show.
Because the hiring comes just five weeks before the draft, Kahn said he won't make any changes to the front office until late June, if he deems changes necessary.
The potential for awkwardness is extremely high. General manager Jim Stack and assistant GM Fred Hoiberg both were in-house candidates for Kahn's job. Now both are being told they will be kept on to help evaluate draft prospects for a team that has three first-round picks.
What happens after that is anyone's guess.
Kahn said it is helpful that he knows both Stack and Hoiberg from when all three were with the Indiana Pacers.
"I know this will be hard for them, but we simply don't have the time," Kahn said. "We don't have one waking moment that we can devote to staffing issues or any extracurricular issues.
"We have five weeks to get ready for a draft, an important draft. ... So I need all hands on deck. I need everybody to put aside their personal concerns. I need them badly because they are the ones that are best prepared to take us through this period."