This is Part Thirteen 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 Los Angeles Clippers are a intriguing option to consider as a potential trade partner for the Wolves in the Kevin Love sweepstakes.
Sure, it’s not likely. Not by a long stretch. If for no other reason than such a trade would have to include Blake Griffin. Yes, Kevin Love is the better player, but Griffin improved again in 2013-14 and is locked up for another four seasons, while Love could bounce next summer.
If basketball was played on paper, this could be a plausible trade from the Clippers’ perspective. Factor in chemistry, marketing, etc., and this is not a deal that will happen.
But, if the league mandated that Love be traded to the Clippers, here’s the best deal:
Minnesota: Blake Griffin, Darren Collison
Los Angeles: Kevin Love, J.J. Barea
The Wolves get to upgrade from Barea to Collison since they’re giving up the best player in the trade. Of course, Flip Saunders would trade Love for Griffin straight up at this point simply because of the contract situation and the vast advantage in that department. Strictly based on talent, however, the above swap would make sense.
Watching Ricky Rubio and Griffin together would be…well, similar to watching Chris Paul and Griffin in a lot of ways. Lets just say that Rubioops would return to Minneapolis, which is a category in which the Wolves have been sorely lacking since the departures of Wes Johnson, Derrick Williams, etc.
The Clippers are not trading for Love, and the Los Angeles/UCLA angle is really the only thing that Saunders would have going for him were he to attempt and pitch this deal. Let’s not waste anymore time on this non-possibility.
Now about that other team in L.A….