Could Kevin Love be a fit on the Timberwolves roster?

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 08: Kevin Love (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 08: Kevin Love (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Former Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love, has been caught in a whirlwind in Cleveland. With recent issues spilling out in ‘The Land’, it may be time for Minnesota to look into the idea of bringing Love back.

Earlier this week, Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted about issues growing between the Cleveland Cavaliers players.

What came out of a team meeting was that many on the team questioned whether or not Kevin Love was actually sick when he left early from the game against the Thunder on Saturday. You may recall that in that game, the Cavaliers ended up allowing the Oklahoma City Thunder to score 148 points.

And don’t forget about rumors that players are going to bolt at the end of the season, including LeBron James.

With so much going on in Cleveland, it could be time for the Cavaliers to start shopping some of their players, and one player that Minnesota should keep an eye on is Love.

For Minnesota to bring back Love, all the stars would have to align perfectly. He doesn’t necessarily have to want to come back, but it would be an ideal fit. We have seen what fans think of him when he comes back to Minny; anytime he comes back he receives a warm welcome from the boo-birds.

Regardless of how upset fans may have been when Love left, keep in mind that he could have made things uglier. He has respect for the state of Minnesota and let the franchise know that he wanted to leave, and he let Flip Saunders know so that he could trade him and bring back some pieces. He could of just left, but because he handled it like that, Saunders was able to bring back some great pieces (Andrew Wiggins) to Minnesota.

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One other thing that needs to align is whether or not Minnesota trades or waits him out until he’s a free agent. Making a trade complicated is the reality that Minnesota really doesn’t have any assets to trade for Love. The only viable option would be to trade away Andrew Wiggins, but that would be dumb because they literally traded Love for Wiggins, among other reasons.

Love will be an unrestricted free agent in 2019, which means that if the Wolves were trying to deal for him, it could mean that they would get a discount in terms of true market value. No team is going to give up a bunch of assets knowing that the player they’re trading for could possibly leave. At that point, you’re better off waiting until free agency.

The only way a team should trade for Love is if you know you can re-sign him in the future. Minnesota would have a high chance at doing so because of their future, and because they’re winning — remember, that’s why Cleveland was an attractive place for Love in the first place. The reason Minnesota would not be able to do this is because of all the money tied up with Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns (eventually), and Jimmy Butler, who will also be a free agent in the summer of 2019.

More than likely if they were to sign him, they would likely have to free up some space. That would mean moving Gorgui Dieng and Jeff Teague. Taj Gibson will be a free agent the same summer as Love. Perhaps they can get Gibson back on a discount, or they may have to move Dieng. Teague’s contract is not done until the end of 2019-20 season.

Minnesota has lacked a stretch-four ever since Love left the Wolves. Nemanja Bjelica has been some help in that category, but nothing like what we used to see in Love. Adding Love would be a major turning point in the offense, opening the floor greatly for Towns, Wiggins and Butler.

Let’s say that Gibson is still on the roster, and the Wolves do add Love. Minnesota would most likely place Love in the starting lineup, making the offense elite, but the defense would be an issue if Wiggins and Towns don’t progress like we’d hope. Those two have improved defensively, and it has gone a long way. Maybe their defense wouldn’t be an issue if down the line they have three great defenders on the court.

Not to get to carried away, if Tyus Jones was in the starting lineup at that point, the lineup would be one of the best defensive and offensive starting lineups that the Wolves could offer, provided there is progress from Wiggins and Towns and that Butler is re-signed.

From a numbers standpoint, Love has not played to the same level as he once did in Minnesota, though it’s understandable when playing alongside James, and until this year, Kyrie Irving.

Per Game Table

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Those stats are still very good, of course, and I’m sure a lot of fans can get behind the idea of having Love back in Minnesota. He’d help this team out in so many ways, namely scoring and 3-point shooting, and a boost in the rebounding category, too.

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It’s probably best to try and take a shot at him come 2019 free agency, but if the offer is to good to pass up, then it would be something to consider.