There are plenty of teams around the NBA interesting in making a trade for Kevin Love or moving things around so there will be cap space to sign him next summer. However, the win-now Golden State Warriors might have the best trade package available in order to convince the Minnesota Timberwolves to give up on their best player.
The Timberwolves aren’t in rebuilding mode. The roster they have was brought together so their playoff drought would end. The Timberwolves haven’t been to the postseason since 2004, longer than any other franchise in the NBA. Kevin Martin, Nikola Pekovic: They were signed to big deals in order to get over the hump, and not pave the way for young players.
But a franchise like the Timberwolves has always been in something of a bind when it comes to attracting or holding on to talent. Love, one of the best players in the NBA, doesn’t see a future with success for him there. As many of the league’s stars begin to think more about the rings on their fingers and legacy of their careers, staying as the one and true star of a small market team that seems to be going nowhere isn’t so appealing anymore. Love wants to win, and doesn’t feel that can happen in Minnesota.
The Warriors have already been in touch with the Timberwolves about Love. They were willing to give up a first round draft pick, David Lee and Harrison Barnes for the right to get Love. But the Timberwolves wanted more. They wanted Klay Thompson in the deal, and maybe also getting rid of Kevin Martin on the way, not being too happy with the deal they gave him. He has three more seasons worth $21 million on his deal. If he is included as well, the Timberwolves give up their top two scorers in one bite.
So right now the deal looks like this, as the Warriors seem to be a bit inclined to give up on Thompson so they can have a lineup that looks like this: Curry and Martin in the backcourt, Iguodala and Kevin Love as forwards while Andrew Bogut, who needs to be re-signed, playing at center. Not too bad, and the depth doesn’t take too much of a hit. The Warriors will be giving up a first round pick as well.
And for the Timberwolves? It might not be the best of take backs, but they do what they can. Kevin Love will be leaving – now or at the end of the season, and from all the offers made to them, with the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets feeling strongly that they had what it takes to get Love, but what they’re offering speaks more about the future than now. It’s not too certain that the Timberwolves can do too well even with the pieces they’ll be getting from the Warriors, but it beats being left with nothing but dust from your best player leaving town.