May 3, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) attempts shot defended by Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) during the first quarter in game seven of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Love trade offers: Golden State Warriors


This is Part Ten 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 being shipped 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.

The Golden State Warriors are one of the three or four teams whose name has been bandied about the most regarding the possibility of trading for Kevin Love.

It’s kind of tough to understand why, although it seems to be a combination of a) people thought Golden State should have been better in 2013-14 than they actually were, b) for whatever reason, folks seem to think that Love and David Lee are similar players, c) a surprising number of people actually think that Harrison Barnes is good at basketball and Klay Thompson is great, and d) the Bay Area fits the “large market” criteria that has been invented for Love to re-sign with his new squad.

Let’s respond to those supposed thoughts, since I’m pretty opinionated on the concept. First of all, Golden State was exactly what fans should have expected. They overachieved in reaching the second round after the 2012-13 season, and they don’t have any stars beyond Stephen Curry.

Secondly, David Lee is vastly, vastly inferior to Kevin Love, and he is grossly overpaid. Yes, he’s good, but not $15+ million per year good. And he’s simply nowhere near Love’s level.

Barnes is the opposite of good at his profession; in fact, he’s been pretty awful thus far. Yes, he’s young, and yes, he should improve. But no, it should not be in Minnesota. There’s nothing in his NBA career thus far that suggests he’ll turn into more than a volume-scoring bench player.

Thompson is a good player, no doubt. He took strides in the proper direction last year, and he still could turn into a star. He is not a star yet, but he’d be a nice piece on a Ricky Rubio-led team, and the Wolves should require that he is part of any trade offer.

And lastly, yes, Love would likely re-sign an extension in Golden State alongside Curry. That’s about the surest thing there is in the whole conversation.

So what would/could/should Golden State offer, and what should Flip Saunders and the Wolves require? Here’s what I’d ask for:

Minnesota: Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, David Lee, 2015 first round pick

Golden State: Kevin Love, Kevin Martin

Draymond Green is the secondary key to this trade. He would immediately be part of the top seven or eight players in the Wolves’ rotation, and after playing very well in his second year in the league for the Warriors, there is a lot of hope that he’ll develop into a well-above average starter at the ’4′.

Thompson has improved in both his second and third year in the NBA, which is easily the most encouraging thing to pair with his 6′ 7″ size and 40%+ outside shooting stroke. He’s starting to create a bit off the dribble, although his assist and free throw rates remain alarmingly low.

The biggest red flag is his inability to get to the free throw line (2.3 attempts per game). Thompson needs to add the ability to slash to the basket and draw fouls if he’s going to ever be more than a long range threat. Of course, the idea of the Wolves having a 40%+ outside shooter next to Rubio and Nikola Pekovic is absolutely scintillating.

David Lee would start at power forward for the Wolves in 2014-15, and is still a productive player going into his age-31 season. The tough thing is that he isn’t even all that much better than Green, and he’d be eating up valuable minutes in 2014-15 before the Wolves would try and move his expiring contract next summer or during the 2015-16 season.

The Wolves should only take on Lee’s contract if Golden State takes Kevin Martin’s. If that happens and the Wolves can get both Thompson and Green, a trade with the Warriors would be palatable.

Otherwise, it gets dicey very quickly. Barnes and Lee, plus a pick or two, would be an absolute disaster. Unfortunately, the information seeping out of Target Center and from around the league says that Thompson is off the table, and Saunders seems to fine with taking on Lee.

In summary, a Golden State trade could be pretty decent, depending on the inclusion of Thompson and Green, and if Lee comes to Minnesota, the Wolves need to move out some bad money as well. But I’m not counting on those contingencies, and therefore, I’m extremely nervous about any trade with the Warriors.

Tags: Featured Harrison Barnes Kevin Love Kevin Love Trade Rumors Klay Thompson Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Popular

  • Alan Craig

    Lee, Thompson, and maybe 2015 1st round for Love and Budinger. You underestimate Lee who has averaged 18-10 for 6 straight years 2 with Knicks, despite being 3rd option behind Ellis and Curry then Curry and Thompson while shooting over 50% every year of career. In comparison, Pekovic has scored 16-17+ and 8+ rebounds in last 2 years which are his best. Green averaged 6.2 and 5 during last year shooting 40% fgpct and 33% on 3 pointers. Despite good playoffs. scoring and rebounding less than Lee playing more minutes, plus shooting 8-29 27.6% 3 pointers. Rubio’s lack of scoring would allow Thompson to score over 20 ppg plus 3 point shooting. Along with a number 1, This deal would give them a shot at playoffs.

    • $eany B

      You underrate Green, he is a great defender…his shooting improved from rookie year and I think it will again next season. He’s only 6’7″ a good rebounder for his size. Lee is ordinary and Klay is a better player when paired with an offensive PG because Klay is a catch and shooter, he can’t create his own shot as he lacks the handles and he rarely penetrates. This team will be worse off without Love compared to gaining Klay and Lee. Playoffs is unlikely.

      • Alan Craig

        To your reply that Lee is ordinary. Green is a good defender, rebounder and mediocre shooter especially at 3 point range. He will be a good bench player his whole career and will never average 18-10 in any year. Barnes was flavor of Warriors playoffs previous year with 16.1 and 6.4 and overrated because of it. His 2nd year his scoring went up .3, but fgpct, 3 point pct and rebound pct went down. His playoff scoring/rebounds pcts dropped to 7.9 4.0. Now Green is the flavor of playoffs until reality of next season sets in. All shooters, who aren’t ball handlers, need is PG who can get them the ball like Rubio Thompson won’t have any completion for outside shooting meaning more shots and higher average. Lee/Thompson averaged over 36 ppg and over 12 rebs a game giving Wolves scoring punch to go along with Pekovic, Rubio, and Brewer

        • $eany B

          Fair points you make, Green is an energy player and will never have big numbers. Green had a good finals series in his rookie year too..he tends to come up big at key moments. If the Wolves gets Klay/Lee for Love, the Warriors may start Green at the 3, he’s capable of averaging 10-8 imo as a starter.
          His fg% improved 8% and 3pt 13%. Anyway it doesn’t matter now as it looks like a deal is just about done without him but my point is I believe the Warriors rate Green quite highly.

  • David Kleinberg

    Why propose such a trade. The Warriors will not give up Thompson to start with, and ludicrous to think they’d ever throw in Green on top of it.

    • Craig Daniels

      Aww sir it’s already been made public the warriors will add thompson in the trade. So it’s certain you will lose lee and thompson for love and probably k mart which sucks for you both can play defense ha

  • $eany B

    How stupid do you think the Warriors are? Outside of Bogut ..Thompson and Green are the Warriors next best defenders Minne ain’t them both. They won’t offer more than Klay/Lee/1st…CP3 and Pau Gasol were better players than K-Love when those trades were made and didn’t get anything close to Lee/Klay and a pick.

  • Txeanan

    If it’s Lee and Thompson, why throw in Green? If I’m the Warriors I do not include Green.
    Ideally we keep both Thompson and Green, and Minnesota takes Lee (who is very productive) and Barnes (a lot of potential) and the future draft pick.

  • Twinkie defense

    How about instead, no Green, no Barnes, no pick, and Minny sends its #14 to Golden State? :)

    • Adam

      How about no you delusion Dubs fan.

  • Peter Samaras

    if the wolves want that third player they can shove it only one of Thompson, barnes or green

  • Alan Craig

    I see this starting lineup as Bogut, Love, Barnes SF, Iggy SG, and Curry. Green will be top versatile bench player along with Ezeli at C. Last year bench was outscored and hurt Warriors chances to win games starters had a lead on. They need PG and for Speights to produce consistently or replace him. They have a mid level exemption and another from Utah trade. GM Myers is on the hot seat and needs to make up for last years fiasco in not getting legit PG and PF to replace Jack and Landry. Also drafting Nedovic in 1st round when he was a 2nd round player.