This is Part Two in a 29-part series that will tour every team in the league with the purpose of exploring any and all trade combinations that would involve Kevin Love‘s shipping out of Minnesota. Trades are meant to be realistic regarding Love’s trade value and may include three-team trade possibilities. All 29 teams will be examined prior to the June 28 NBA Draft.
Yes, Kevin Love was in Beantown over the weekend. But regardless of whether or not that influences the front office’s thinking (it shouldn’t, or at least not as it pertains to the Celtics’ potential offer), Boston is likely incapable of assembling a legitimate offer for Love that isn’t centered solely around first round picks.
Indeed, first round picks sound like a great idea. But if anyone knows the uncertainty of picks on picks on picks, it’s Timberwolves fans. And don’t expect Flip Saunders and his playoffs-or-bust front office to accept anything less than legitimate, NBA-caliber players in return for their superstar.
Boston did quite well in sending Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, and D.J. White to Brooklyn prior to last season, acquiring what essentially amounts to four first-round picks, in addition to a number of expiring contracts and pieces since moved along to other organizations. But as far as actual, tangible players, there isn’t much there.
Gerald Wallace and his two-years, $20.2+ million contract are gross. Jeff Green and his two-year, $18.4 million contract (Year Two is a player option) aren’t much better. Nobody wants Keith Bogans (yes, he has a non-guaranteed deal, but meh), Joel Anthony, or Victor Faverani. Oh, and Rajon Rondo isn’t going anywhere. At least for Kevin Love, that is.
And that leaves us with Kelly Olynyk, a rookie last year (who Flip Saunders apparently like a great deal and wanted to draft), Jared Sullinger, and Brandon Bass, along with the host of first-round draft picks.
The problem is that the Wolves want to retool immediately. They aren’t playing for the future. Glen Taylor isn’t getting any younger, Ricky Rubio will want to see some direction pretty quickly, and well, let’s face it, it’s been a full decade since the team has been in the playoffs. Enough is enough, and the organization seems to (hopefully) realize this fact.
If the Wolves are to trade with the Celtics and make the playoffs in 2014-15, a third team will be necessary. Throw in the fact that the Wolves have three legitimate centers under contract for next year, making Olynyk an unnecessary addition to the trade, and things start to look pretty thin.
Boston receives: Kevin Love
Minnesota receives: Jared Sullinger, Brandon Bass, Keith Bogans, #6 and #17 picks, Celtics’ 2015 first-round pick, and the 2016 unprotected Brooklyn first-round pick
Bass and Sullinger are both nice players, and Bass’ $6.9 million contract expires after next season, giving the Wolves a potential asset at the trade deadline as well. Bogans has non-guaranteed money over the next couple of seasons, too. The expirings don’t mean as much to the Wolves as most teams, because a) free agency and Minnesota don’t generally line up too well, and b) if the Wolves kept Love next year and let him walk, well, that’s also an expiring.
Sullinger and the picks are the main assets, but it wouldn’t do much for me if I’m in the Wolves’ front office. There’s simply too much uncertainty with these draft picks, even in a seemingly stacked draft class like this year’s.
All things considered, Saunders can do much better in exchange for Love. The Hawks deal as discussed here yesterday, yielding Al Horford and Kyle Korver for Love and Kevin Martin, would be much preferable to this pick-heavy haul.