bondom343 wrote:From what I've read, the Wolves GM has flat out said he wants out on the radio this weekend, and it seems that there's no reparation possible there.
Yes, but that was the first time someone from the organization went out in such a fashion. The statements before were more in-line with the idea that they first try to keep Love. If that fails, they will likely trade him. And that would also be the propper way to handle the situation. It is not that likely that Wiggins will ever end up be in the same category as Love. Thus, keeping him should have been the priority. From the information we got it seems what the Timberwolves first tried to do.
It also makes sense to wait here at least until Wiggins' contract counts in a trade in order to get a deal done ...
Assuming they can get Wiggins, that's what they have to do
When the only real other option is the Warriors package? Sure, getting Wiggins makes more sense. But from their statements I gathered that they are looking for a player being able to contribute right now and make it possible for them to be competitive. They were a +3 team last season and even without Love that team would still be about average (if no improvement via roster moves and younger players is assumed; they already upgraded their backup PG position and Zach LaVine might be able to add some more depth, Rubio is bound to improve, especially when his improved shooting he showed in the latter part of the last season holds up). In terms of overall fit, Thaddeus Young seems to be an obvious target. Especially the combination of his action on the defensive end and the quick transition seems to be the perfect fit for Rubio; though he might even fit better with someone like Love grabbing the rebounds and throwing the outlet passes ...
Another player they might consider seems to be Jason Thompson, although his skillset and Pekovic' aren't fitting as well, but Thompson provides enough quality to be a starter at PF. Assuming better outside shooting by Rubio as well as better health for someone like Budinger, the overall movement on the court should give the necessary spacing inside to operate with such low-post threat like Pekovic as well as the Jason Thompson. Young would fit per se better due to his off-ball game being more dependent on moving around, while Thompson also needs the p&r action to be used better according to his skillset. Anyway ... point is: The Timberwolves have already a team in place and are very likely looking more for an established player plus talent as return for Love, which would be well within the trade value of Love no matter what his contract status says right now, because just gaining the Bird rights is a big plus for the receiving team.
, but I'm clueless as to why GSW won't give up Klay Thompson who reportedly wants a max next offseason. If your paying someone, wouldn't you rather pay Love a max deal over Thompson?
Yeah, makes no sense to not include Klay Thompson, but they might be afraid that breaking up the core of Curry-Thompson-Iguodala, with whom the Warriors played +16 last season, isn't the best idea. Although Love is clearly the better player, they might believe two things: Klay Thompson helps to utilize Curry+Iguodala better while Love wouldn't be able to give them the defensive flexibility on the wings (especially when we have to consider that the direct replacement for Thompson is Harrison Barnes!). And they might also had the impression that they could get Love for a lesser package, because they had doubts that Cleveland would part with Wiggins or that the Bulls for example really offer Gibson+Butler in exchange for Love.
Also, we need to keep in mind that the Warriors have Draymond Green on their roster, who showed to be able to fulfill the role as a stretch-4 pretty well. In comparison to Lee he helped offensively and defensively (if I'm not mistaken J.E. has some data on that matter on his page comparing the performance of the units with the respective player and the same 4 teammates showing exactly this ... just checked and indeed the Warriors were +2 on offense and +1 on defense with Green instead of Lee on the court). So, while the difference between Love and Thompson is pretty clear in favor of Love, for the Warriors that might be not the most deciding factor, because they would need to evaluate the players based on their situation. And the difference between Love and Lee+Green is smaller than the difference between Thompson and Barnes. Though, someone might argue that signing Livingston and Rush would make that way of arguing obsolete, but I argue that Livingston is entirely thought off as a replacement for those Crawford/Blake minutes while Rush is rather seen as 3rd string wing and not able to replace minutes for starters on the wing, even though he played such minutes previously in his career (for his first 4 yrs for the Pacers plus Warriors), but there is enough evidence to not consider him a good replacement for a team trying to win as much as possible.
Well, but overall I don't see the Timberwolves being that interested in that Lee+Thompson package, due to the fit issues and contract situation David Lee presents. I would ask for Iguodala+Green in exchange for Love. And then try to package expirings (Barea, Mbah A Moute and Turiaf) plus some of the talent (Muhammad, Shved and Hummel might be considered "talent" and it is difficult for the Timberwolves to trade picks besides 2nd rounders due to their obligation to the Suns) in order to get either Young or Thompson. That would be a potential roster next season for them in such a case:
Rubio, Williams, LaVine
Martin, Brewer, Budinger
Iguodala, Brewer, Green, Budinger
Though, while that would be an optimal scenario in case of staying competitive for the Timberwolves, giving up Iguodala would be a huge hit for the wing quality of the Warriors. They would also be "stuck" with David Lee, but given their respective offensive skillsets, it might be even possible to play a Lee+Love lineup. A lineup with those two should provide devastating offense, but would obviously also really vurnable defensively, because opponent teams will surely attack the paint, if both are on the court; not so much with low-post threats, but rather with penetrating guards. Losing their best help and team defender for perimeter and transition defense in Iguodala will be a huge blow in such a case. Going with a Curry+Livingston+Thompson lineup should easy the pain somewhat, but that would also mean that the Warriors would need another backup PG. Which made me think that a deal like this could be a solution for both, the Timberwolves and the Warriors:
Iguodala, Green and Kuzmic for Love, Shved and Hummel
The contracts of Iguodala, Green and Kuzmic are enough to take on Love+Shved. In order to take on Hummel, the Warriors would use the TPE created in the Brooks trade. Giving up Kuzmic should not be an issue for the Warriors. Armstrong's contract just became guaranteed and they should get Festus Ezeli back for the C position.
The latest I've read is a 3 team trade with Philly getting Bennett, Barea, and a pick, Minnesota getting Thad Young, Wiggins, and a pick, and the Cavs getting Love.
I think this seems to be the most likely scenario. At least Bennett plus pick(s) to the 76ers, Young and Wiggins to the Timberwolves as well as Love to the Cavs seems to be a very reasonable framework for all involved teams. So, I would argue that the Cavaliers have to take one of the unwanted contracts as well as Barea gets replaced with Budinger's contract.
My only issue is that I felt the whole time Cleveland may be better off keeping Wiggins and getting a defensive upgrade at C or PF, someone like Hibbert or Sanders. With PG's injury, Hibbert could be available, and I think a lesser package in a trade of something like Waiters/Tristan Thompson could do it. That would keep Wiggins, they'd still have Lebron, and a rim protecting big behind Kyrie's weaker perimeter defense. Just my two cents.
If your idea that Hibbert or Sanders would be available for Thompson+Waiters, why should the Cavaliers refrain from trading Wiggins+Bennett for Love? In fact, if either C is available for a lesser package, I would do both trades. Get Love and Hibbert/Sanders, thus having a FC with Love+Hibbert/Sanders+Varejao with James being able to get some minutes at PF as well. Though, I argue that Hibbert isn't really available and his contract size makes it more difficult to get a deal done, if the Cavaliers need to use some of the unguaranteed salary to make a trade with the Timberwolves work by taking on an unwanted contract via those unguaranteed salary. Sanders on the other hand would be easier to fit in salary-wise ... Both teams would have players being able to cover minutes at C (Pacers have Mahinmi and Allen, Bucks have Pachulia and Henson), but the hold-up would rather be the willingness of giving back a wing and/or guard, if Waiters is included. Giving up Waiters would make the Cavaliers really, really thin on that position, and I seriously doubt signing Ray Allen would be the solution they have in mind for that issue.
Overall, making the salary and the fit work for both teams seems to be more complicated than a trade for Love, thus I argue that it is not a better solution for the Cavaliers here to rather trade for Hibbert/Sanders instead of Love. Also, Love has to be seen as the better player and with his age and skillset he seems to be the optimal longterm option. Getting Hibbert/Sanders additionally would be extremely nice, but not per se necessary nor would be a trade as easily achievable as you suggested without having to deal with other problems for all teams.