Because we’re smack in the dog days of summer, and because the Timberwolves must wait through most of August before consummating a Kevin Love trade, I’m left with nothing better to do than imagine what the Wolves roster will look like post-Love trade.
I’ve decided to fake-trade him off the team. You know, just to get the ball rolling.
The point of this fake-trade is to launch us into what I like to call Phase Two: The Rebuild, where we’ll be able to see what remains in the aftermath of K-Love’s reign of terror.
Now, obviously there are a lot of interesting and complicated trade scenarios running amok in the dark crevices of the World Wide Web. Some of these trade ideas are awesome, some not so much. But for now, I’m going to go with the most common Cleveland-involved Kevin Love trade idea. I’ll get into some of the more outlandish stuff in a bit. Without further adieu…
PHASE ONE: THE FAKE TRADE
Minnesota receives Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and a future 1st Rounder
Cleveland receives Kevin Love
Alright, seems fake enough. But to give this fake-trade a little depth, I’ve decided to include a fake phone call between Flip Saunders and Cavs GM David Griffin. Notice how it exposes my tenuous grasp on how deals are actually made while at the same time showing you how to write on-the-nose dialogue.
A Fake Phone Call between Flip Saunders and Cavs GM David Griffin.
David Griffin: Flip, It’s David.
Flip: David, you know what day it is?
David: Yeah, I know what day it is. It’s August 23rd.
Flip: So you ready to deal, or what?
David: Let’s do it. Wiggins, Bennett, and a first for Love.
TRADE STATUS: SUCCESS!!!
Wow, that was ridiculously simple. Before we move on, please feel free to take a few moments and celebrate the glory of Fake-Andrew Wiggins’ arrival to the team with a little of this action: Okay, the trade is done, the dust is settling, and the Blood, Sweat & Tears dance party is over. What are we left with? Oh, that’s right…
PHASE TWO: THE REBUILD
This is the POST-APOCALYPTIC ROSTER (from bigs to smalls):
Nikola Pekovic, Ronny Turiaf, Gorgui Dieng, Anthony Bennett, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Shabazz Muhammad, Robbie Hummel. Chase Budinger, Corey Brewer, Andrew Wiggins, Kevin Martin, Zach LaVine, JJ Barea, Mo Williams, Alexey Shved, Ricky Rubio
What strikes you about this list? Maybe you notice that the data should be organized into a neat-looking table. Maybe it’s that there are 16 guys on the list who are under contract and not one of them is named Glenn Robinson III.
Maybe it’s that Rubio is the only pure point guard, or that there are zero pure power forwards. If nothing else you couldn’t miss the nine off-ball wing players all vying for meaningful NBA minutes (12 if you count Barea, Williams, and Shved). See where I’m going with this?
This is an incredibly unbalanced roster. It’s an absolute mess. No wonder the Wolves are trying to get a third team involved to off-load some of the holdovers from the Kahn-Adelman regime. Here is a cool three-way trade idea that I found while trolling on one of my favorite basketball sites, nbadraft.net.
PHASE ONE REVISTED: THE THREE-TEAM FAKE TRADE
Alright, Philadelphia is in the mix on this one. Here it is:
Minnesota receives Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and Thaddeus Young
Cleveland receives Kevin Love and Kevin Martin
Philadelphia receives Dion Waiters and JJ Barea
There may be a few other pieces to be added to make this trade work under the CBA, and there are always potential hang-ups when trying to make a three-team deal, but you can see immediately how doing a deal like this would help alleviate some of the Wolves’ problems created from the original fake-trade. Here we add a natural power forward in Thaddeus Young, while at the same time trading away Barea and Martin, two back-court players that the team has wanted to move for some time.
With this fake trade the team starts to look a lot more balanced. THE POST-APOCALYPTIC ROSTER REVISITED (once again from large to little) Nikola Pekovic, Ronni Turiaf, Gorgui Dieng, Thaddeus Young, Anthony Bennett, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Shabazz Muhammad, Robbie Hummel, Chase Budinger, Corey Brewer, Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Alexey Shved, Mo Williams, Ricky Rubio.
Okay, now we’re getting somewhere! At this point, it’s clear that I’ve jumped off the deep end of the pool, like Squints in the 90’s jam, Sandlot.
That being said, I still have one harebrained fake-trade idea left in the tank. If the first trade idea was obvious, and the second was a bit questionable, then this last one can only be described as “a bit of a stretch.” Here it is, the last of the fake-trades. I believe I’m stealing from the original “YouTube” gangster Leroy Jenkins when I say, “Leerrrooooooooooy Jeeennnnnkiiiiinnnssss!!!”
FAKE-TRADE FINALE: THE STRETCH
Minnesota receives Kevin Garnett
Brooklyn receives Corey Brewer, Chase Budinger, and Alexey Shved
Okay, okay, so the likelihood of this trade happening is not high, but wouldn’t it be awesome to bring Kevin Garnett home to Minnesota to finish out his career?
And while losing Shved, Budinger, and Brewer would be tough for fans, it would open up playing time for the younger players on the roster. Of course, Garnett would have to waive the no-trade clause in his contract, but with Paul Pierce now playing with the Wiz Kids, I can seem him doing it for the right team.
Here is my final fake-trade roster… I call it MY FINAL FAKE-TRADE ROSTER (from very tall to slightly less tall) Nikola Pekovic, Ronni Turiaf, Kevin Garnett, Gorgui Dieng, Thaddeus Young, Anthony Bennett, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Shabazz Muhammad, Robbie Hummel, Glenn Robinson III (added), Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Mo Williams, Ricky Rubio
Now, obviously this team is very young, and they wouldn’t be competing for much. And the fake-trade would only feasible if Garnett wanted to come back and mentor the young team.
But what I’ve done is strip off a lot of the old to make room for the youth. Wiggins, Muhammad, LaVine, and Dieng would all be counted on for minutes. This would be their chance to rise up and earn their stripes. This is a team without the stink of Kahn, without the style of Adelman, and without the services of Kevin Love.
They will learn a lot, lose a lot, and be a lot of fun to watch, too. They’re a team I can get excited about. What about you? What would you like to see the Wolves do with their roster before the upcoming season?