This is Part Eleven 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 Houston Rockets were initially mentioned as a potential landing spot for Kevin Love, but recent reports have suggested that general manager Daryl Morey does not believe that they have the requisite assets to acquire the superstar power forward.
Of course, we can never count the Rockets out, as we all found out with the sudden James Harden trade and the Dwight Howard free agency saga. And Houston does have some attractive pieces currently on their roster.
Chandler Parsons is the one player that the Rockets have that could seduce the Wolves into a deal, due to his upside and the position he plays. While Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin are good players, they’re expensive and don’t fit the positions or player types that Minnesota should be looking for. Asik is a perfect fit next to Love, but that obviously that does not make any sense if they’re traded for each other as part of the same transaction.
In addition to Parsons, the Wolves would still likely need to acquire Asik and then make a decision on if they would need to flip him to a third team, or if the preference would be to move Nikola Pekovic or Gorgui Dieng. Donatas Motiejunas would also need to be part of any deal between Houston and Minnesota.
Minnesota: Chandler Parsons, Omer Asik, Donatas Motiejunas, 2015 first round pick
Houston: Kevin Love
The biggest issue with this deal is that Parsons is under contract for less than $1 million next season and will enter unrestricted free agency next summer looking for a monster deal. He’s already nearing borderline-star status, but he’ll need to make a colossal leap in 2014-15 if he’s truly going to be worth the money that he’ll certainly be looking for(and will probably get). The Wolves would also need a contingent deal in place to swing Asik, Pekovic, or Dieng to another club.
So…yes, this is a long shot. And there are too many “ifs” to make Flip Saunders and Co. jump at the chance to do business with Morey and the Rockets’ front office.
Unless the Wolves are desperately looking to be the team that gets to overpay Parsons, they should avoid dealing Love to Houston.