Kevin Love will inevitably be wearing a different uniform at the start of next season. Having suffered through six seasons of mediocrity and harsh cold in Minnesota, Kevin Love is ready to move on. The top priority for Love is to make the playoffs. See, for one of the supposedly ten best players in the NBA, Love has never reached the playoffs. His skill set is undeniable. How many power forwards can consistently put up 25 and 12, and win a 3-point contest? The list begins and ends with Kevin Love. So, that’s why the Bulls, Knicks, Lakers, Celtics, and Warriors are scrambling to put together an offer for Minnesota. Notice that Love’s suitors are all the biggest, most successful franchises in the league. Coincidence? Hardly. Love has one year remaining on his deal, so teams aren’t going to mortgage their future for a one-year rental. Teams want some assurance that Love will re-sign with them after next season. So, it makes sense that the best franchises the NBA has to offer are offering for Love. Of course Love would re-sign with any of those teams. Two of those teams, the Celtics and Warriors, have recently surged ahead of the competition in the Love Sweepstakes. It’s never easy to get full value back for a superstar, so let’s see which deal the Timberwolves should take.
Celtics trade: Jeff Green, Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, 2014 6th overall pick, and 2014 17th overall pick for Kevin Love.
This trade puts a lot of faith in Wolves management to make the right picks in this year’s draft. The draft is loaded, and if the Wolves could end up with some sort of combination like Aaron Gordon, Gary Harris, and Zach Lavine, then they would at least have a bright future. The Wolves need to realize they are not going to win with Love, or without him. They need to start developing a roster that can compete in the future. They have lacked scoring off the wing since Latrell Sprewell retired in 2005 since he couldn’t feed his family. Since then, the Wolves have had comically bad wing guards. They tried Rashad McCants. They tried Wes Johnson. Don’t forget Brandon Roy, who has no cartilage in his knees. Maybe it’s time to abandon the whole “Perennial All-Star Power Forward with No Help” thing that they did with KG and then Love. It’s time the Wolves cut their losses, trade Love, and start from scratch. And what better draft to do it in than this one?
Warriors trade David Lee and Klay Thompson for Kevin Love.
I’m honestly not sure what this deal does for Minnesota. They get two years of grossly overpaying David Lee and they get to trick themselves into thinking they have their shooting guard for the next decade. Sure, Klay Thompson is pretty good. He can shoot the lights out and occasionally he may even play some defense. On a championship level team, Thompson should be your fourth best player, maybe third if you have two superstars. But the Wolves would be getting him and expecting him to lead them in scoring. He may be able to do that, but they’d win 20 games in the process. The Wolves are apparently enamored with Thompson and even though the Warriors are reluctant to break up the Splash Brothers, it’s not everyday that they’ll get the chance to pair Steph Curry with another legit superstar. The West is a bloodbath and the Warriors need to do something to get over the hump. Is trading Thompson and Lee for Kevin Love the answer? Maybe not, but the idea of a Curry-Love pick roll is enticing enough to at least make them think.
The T’Wolves are getting a little lowballed here for Love. It’s no secret that Love wants out, and because of that, the Wolves have absolutely no leverage. The Celtics are just offering picks, and the Warriors are just offering a one-dimensional second-tier shooting guard. It’s not ideal, but if the Wolves don’t want to get stuck in NBA mediocrity, they might as well take Boston’s deal and start over. And finally shut the door on the Kevin Love-Ricky Rubio experiment.