This is Part Sixteen 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.
Given the fact that the Miami Heat hardly have anyone on their books for next year, a trade is highly unlikely. It wouldn’t be impossible, however, and you can bet that the Heat are exploring every possible option that will guarantee LeBron James’ return to South Beach.
Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, and LeBron James can all opt out of their contracts this summer. If the Wolves were to get a guarantee that, say, Bosh would opt-in for next season and/or sign a long-term extension, they could be talked into a move. After all, Bosh would almost certainly be the single best player they could get in return for their own superstar power forward.
Why would Bosh leave Miami? Well, he wouldn’t want to, necessarily. But he would get the full maximum contract from the Wolves, and he’d slot in perfectly next to Nikola Pekovic. He hasn’t exactly had an offensive-minded center next to him in Miami, or for that matter, at any point during his career.
No, Bosh would not voluntarily leave the company of James. But if he’s unsure of LBJ’s future and can leave to be the centerpiece of another team with some good young players, all while getting paid top dollar, well, anything can happen.
If all of these ‘ifs’ came to fruition, we’d get something that looks like this:
Minnesota receives: Chris Bosh, #26 draft pick, 2017 first round pick
Miami receives: Kevin Love, Kevin Martin
Yes, Love is a better player than Bosh. But if Flip Saunders is hell-bent on remaining ‘competitive’, this is as good as he’d do. Miami would do this to get younger, have even better floor-spacing and passing from the power forward spot than they have currently, and vastly improve on the glass.
Love would surely re-sign if James does, and maybe Wade would take a massive pay cut to play out his legacy in Miami in a much smaller role. Bosh would take his max money and run, and hopefully form a lethal pick-and-roll duo with Ricky Rubio and have pressure in the paint relieved by Pekovic and Gorgui Dieng.
The sign-and-trade/opt-in or out portion is the trickiest part of the whole thing, but if it were to be worked out, this would be a fun possibility. Who wouldn’t want to watch Love and LeBron play together?
Miami has been tossed about by the national media as a possibility, but more as click-bait than anything else. It’s far from a likely destination, but it also is not impossible.
Still, don’t spend too much time dreaming up Rubio-Bosh-Pekovic play combinations. It ain’t happening.