Apr 14, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) between plays against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 130-120. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
After saying that Andrew Wiggins would be untouchable, reports have surfaced that the Cleveland Cavaliers would be willing to trade him for Kevin Love. The Minnesota Timberwolves also have strong interest from the Golden State Warriors. Minnesota has to now decide to win now or win later.
Flip Saunders and the Wolves are in the best of positions. They have two or more strong offers for viable trades that would net them a chance to build a legitimate roster to contend in the Western Conference now or put all hope on the future. You have to think Minnesota fans would rather not keep waiting for hope to finally show up to the party. They deserve to see a winning team now.
My personal opinion about Kevin Love is neutral. I am not a big fan of good players on bad teams. To me there is a reason why a player averages 26 points and 12 rebounds per game and can’t get his team to the postseason, even with a good point guard in Ricky Rubio. Normally this would signify a missing mentality to take the next step. That makes the idea of teaming him up with LeBron James so intriguing. James could push Love into the next step and he knows it.
My feelings aside, the Wolves’ options are very different from both teams.
Cleveland is offering them essentially three number one picks; Anthony Bennett, Andrew Wiggins, and a first round pick in next year’s draft. All three are unproven products, henceforth the reluctance from Minnesota to take the deal. Upside will not appease Minnesota fans that have heard about the “future” for years now.
Golden State is offering proven NBA players with playoff experience; Harrison Barnes, David Lee, and somebody else. The Wolves have been holding out for Klay Thompson to be included, and I can’t blame them. Flip Saunders, now both GM and coach, wants to get into the postseason and by getting these players in return for one would make that happen.
Their third option is to hold on the Love until the trade deadline next season. Why? They will have more options from other teams looking to make a run in the second half of the season. There will be some desperate suitors fighting roster injuries that will come calling also.
So, Mr. Saunders, what will you do?