Playing the “What-If” Game, Timberwolves Edition

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Dec 23, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) reacts beside Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins (22) in the fourth quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

What if Andrew Wiggins and Kevin Love weren’t traded for each other?

This is the most recent of the what-ifs on this list, so the memories are still fresh in Wolves fans minds. Wiggins was taken first-overall by Cleveland in last years’ draft, but then he was traded to the Wolves for the unhappy superstar Kevin Love.

The trade was executed for two reasons: on the Wolves end, it was a way to get a great, young player and get rid of Love who was not going to re-sign. On the Cavaliers side, it was to bring in another big asset in Love to assist the incoming LeBron James.

But what if it never happened? What if Love played last season in Minnesota and Wiggins in Cleveland? Cleveland would have still been a top contender in the East, especially if Wiggins plays as well as he did for Minnesota as the season wore on. Love, on the other hand, would have probably averaged another double-double, but the Wolves would have still struggled. I don’t think they would have been the worst team in the league, but they likely wouldn’t have been a playoff contender.

Now think of this: if Love stays in Minnesota, the Wolves surely would not have gotten the number-one overall pick. So they would also be without Karl Anthony-Towns. Love would walk away from Minnesota in free agency, something he alluded to doing before he was traded.

The Wolves would be left with essentially nothing, almost sending them back to the Dark Ages for a long, long time.

Next: A Tale o Two Botched Drafts