Since the news of Kevin Love asking to be traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves came out, it seems like quite a few teams are interested in the All-Star forward, and no one seems in better position to try and acquire him than the Golden State Warriors, although right now they haven’t got the perfect package to make the deal go through.
The Warriors changed their head coach from Mark Jackson to Steve Kerr after failing to get past the first round in the playoffs last month, and according to some underachieved when taking a look at what Jackson had to work with. There were also the rumors about his arrogance, attitude, lack of preparation and being overly confident that his motivating skills are enough at the job.
Kerr is interested in a big man who can stretch the floor, and while Love might not be the best shooter in the league, there isn’t a better player at his position who can also do the things the Warriors are looking for. He averaged 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game while shooting 37.6% from beyond the arc, making up for his defense that isn’t much better than that of David Lee.
The Warriors are willing to send Lee (who has two more years with $30 million in them) along with Harrison Barnes who had a disappointing sophomore season in the NBA to Minnesota, while getting Love who has one more year left on his contract before he has an option to opt out, which he probably won’t if he feels he is playing on a team that isn’t just about making the playoffs (which he still hasn’t played in since entering the NBA in 2008) but is aspiring to win titles.
The Timberwolves don’t want Love to go at all, but re-signing him on a max-extension right now seems impossible because Love is trying to make his way out of the team, knowing very well they’d be afraid to lose him for nothing through free agency. The Atlanta Hawks let Josh Smith walk last season instead of trading him and nothing bad happened to them – still made the postseason, but Love isn’t Smith.
Minnesota want Klay Thompson in the deal instead of Barnes, but the Warriors aren’t very keen on letting go of one half of their excellent backcourt, who is turning into much more than just a sniper from long range, adding defense and some impressive post moves to the package. The Warriors will be willing to give up a draft pick on top of Lee and Barnes if it means the Timberwolves forget about Thomspon.
Golden State aren’t the only team keeping a close watch on the situation, as the Bulls, Celtics, Cavaliers, Rockets and Suns are also in the mix, but only the Warriors and Bulls are the only teams with whom Love can exercise his 2014-15 player option or re-sign via free agency in 2015, which gives a lot of power in the decision to select his next team, if he actually leaves.