Timberwolves Reject Knicks Trade for Kevin Love


Mar 30, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (5) gestures from the court against the Golden State Warriors in the second quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking News: The New York Knicks have offered Tim Hardaway Jr., Iman Shumpert and Amar’e Stoudemire for Kevin Love.

However due to salary constraints a third team would have to be involved in any Love trade, and that third team seemed to be the Philadelphia 76ers. However, the Wolves have rejected this trade. This is how the trade seemed to be constructed (not official).

Photo via ESPN Trade Machine (espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine)

The trade is different from all the other rumors surrounding Love (Warriors/Cavaliers) because the Wolves are actually giving up a lot to acquire these three players. Trading away Love plus two key reserves was a lot to stomach for the Wolves and ended up being a major factor to why the trade was rejected.

Amar’e Stoudemire’s main asset is his large expiring deal. $23 million coming off the books would normally mean a lot for a team that is looking sign big name free agents in the following offseason. However, the Wolves have a lot of trouble attracting these high level free agents due to a combination of reasons. A losing team, small market, penny-pinching ownership and very cold weather. This renders Stoudemire’s expiring deal pretty useless for the team. As a player, Stoudemire has to play a limited role in the rotation due to injury concern. Last season he averaged 11.9 ppg and 4.9 rpg on 55 FG% while playing just 22.6 ppg.

If this trade were to happen, Stoudemire would likely be thrust into the starting role which could lead to big things for the former All-Star or just more injuries.

Iman Shumpert is widely known as as an elite perimeter defender, however this is not the case. Shumpert only put up 1.6 defensive win shares (DWS) last season. This is a pretty poor number, and when compared to LeBron James’ 3.7 (one of the league’s best) it is less than impressive. The Wolves’ own Corey Brewer put up 2.7 DWS last season proving he is a much stronger defender. Shumpert is extremely limited on the offensive end of the ball, only scoring 6.8 ppg but also grabbing 4.2 rpg which is a nice number for the SG. Shumpert’s offense is pretty much limited to spot up three pointers (33 3PT%) and dunks/layups in transition.

Shumpert looked like he had a lot of potential earlier in his career, but his lack of improvement last season is a little startling. The Wolves worried that Shumpert has already hit his ceiling as a defensive specialist who really is not that great of a defender. Shumpert’s contract

Tim Hardaway Jr. was the prize of this trade. In his rookie year, Hardaway Jr. put up impressive numbers and shows he has a promising career. Last season he averaged 10.2 ppg in 22 minutes of action while shooting 42% from the field and 36% from behind the arc. The numbers aren’t outstanding, but Hardaway uses his unique blend of shooting and athleticism to score and has the ability to take over games. Hardaway Jr. is an absolute putrid defender as shown by his 0.4 DWS.

Hardaway Jr’s ceiling seems to be a starting SG, but nothing more and that is simply not enough.

Love has expressed interest in signing in New York as a free agent, but it does not seem like the Knicks have the assets to pry Love away from Minnesota as there are simply better offers. To make a deal happen, the Knicks would likely have to offer Carmelo Anthony which will never happen.

The Cavaliers still seem to be the front-runner for Love’s services next season even though a trade involving Andrew Wiggins cannot happen for another 28 days.