By: Bennett Smed | KFAN.com
With the current Kevin Love situation, the popular opinion is that the star forward will be gone sooner rather than later, possibly in the next few days. The question remains though, is that the best thing for the Timberwolves to do?
The current front runners for Love’s services are the Golden State Warriors, the Denver Nuggets, and the Boston Celtics, all with pros and cons to their possible deals.
The Warriors are reportedly offering Klay Thompson and David Lee for Love, which might look good on paper, but Lee is essentially another version of Love that doesn’t shoot the three as well, and whose contract is way bigger than what most teams think he is worth. Klay Thompson would be hard to deny however, with his youth, size, and shooting prowess being at a premium.
The Nuggets have also been in the conversation to offer Kenneth Faried and Wilson Chandler, which would be and addition to the front line and wing positions, but the Nuggets would likely also have to throw in the 11th pick in this year’s draft, which might be cause for pause on Denver’s part.
The Celtics have been in the running since the very beginning of this K-Love ordeal, with Boston being able to offer the Wolves the best array of picks. This scenario should make any T-Wolves fan nervous, based on the team’s draft history in recent years (Looking at you Johnny Flynn). Regardless, the Celtics have both the 6th and 17th picks in the first round this year, which could let Flip Saunders and company try to right the Wolves proverbial draft ship and finally make up for passing on Steph Curry, among others.
Here is one more possible scenario for Love, what if the Wolves didn’t move him at all, and let him walk next year in free agency? That sounds crazy right? Well let’s think about it. Love would have to continue to produce for the Wolves this year or else he would potentially lose money next summer if his numbers on the court drop, it’s a win win for both Love and the Wolves. I mean player introductions at the Target Center might get a little awkward, do you cheer or boo for the best player on an average team who is catching the first flight out of Minnesota as soon as the Wolves miss the playoffs, again.
If that is the case and Love just walks off into the frozen/flooded/100 degree Minnesota sunset, the Wolves would have a massive amount of cap space to go after numerous free agents next summer. Let’s examine some possibilities for 2015 additions.
Klay Thompson- He will be a free agent next summer and the Wolves would get him if we traded Love to Golden State anyway, so why not try to lure him here like we did Kevin Martin, and then the Wolves wouldn’t have to deal with David Lee’s massive contract.
Paul Millsap- Talk about versatility, Millsap is a do it all big man who could offer the Wolves another option down low with Pekovic and Dieng, it would again come down to the allure of playing in sub zero temperatures, a slight change from his current home in Atlanta.
Draymond Green- Green would be a restricted free agent like Thompson, so it might be hard to get him away from Golden State, but Green is an energy man who would have no trouble fitting in next to other young players like Muhammad and Rubio.
Kyrie Irving- There’s no chance that Irving would come to Minnesota, right? Well, he has put up with consistently being on one of the worst teams in the NBA, and there have been rumblings in Cleveland that Kyrie might want a change of scenery, although it would be a dream scenario, the Wolves have a solid staff of coaches now in place, lead by Flip and Sam Mitchell, and the x factor in all of these possibilities remains, dollars.
As of now it looks like Love will be on his way out of the Twin Cities very soon, probably before next Thursdays draft. If the deals fall through however, and the Wolves are stuck introducing their all-star forward to a Target Center full of fans with mixed emotions, there could be options next summer that can give those fans a glimmer of hope.