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Andrew Wiggins or Kevin Love?

Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:06 am
by Mathketball
While we've got 3 weeks to sit around and wait for this trade to possibly happen, I'm curious what everyone's thoughts are?

For those that live under a rock in about 3 weeks Wiggins' 30 day untradeable window will be up and rumor has it the Cavs will be sending him, last year's #1 pick Anthony Bennett, and a future 1st round pick to Minnesota for Love.

From the Cavs side, I'm not sure I like this trade. It seems that they have undervalued defense and athleticism with almost every draft pick since LeBron left with the exception of Wiggins. After this trade, LeBron would be just about the only guy on the team that is a plus defender and a plus athlete. Even more concerning Love and Kyrie Irving would play a ton of minutes but are both considered defensive liabilities. Furthermore, the Cavs finished 2nd to last in the league in blocked shots last year but their roster still lacks a rim protector. Is LeBron's defense good enough to hide all of that?

Then there's the Wiggins aspect of this. How good could Wiggins be with Lebron? How hard would it be for opposing team's wings facing them? When they cause turnovers on the perimeter, and they would cause a lot of them, how good would they be in the open court running with Irving? Is there any teammate on the planet that could maximize Wiggins' potential better than LeBron? How can the Cavs pass up the chance to find out?

Lastly, there's the cap impact of this. LeBron is set to become a free agent the year of the new TV deal. It sounds like Love wouldn't sign an extension before the trade that way he could too. So the Cavs could end up with two players on the increased max contract and Irving still on the current max. That doesn't leave a lot of cap space. Wiggins could become a max contract caliber player but wouldn't be paid like one for a few years.

If it was me, I would not make this trade. If Love isn't traded before the season, then revisit this before the trading deadline. The asking price might be lessened and playing with LeBron might make players like Bennett and Dion Waiters better and thus more valuable in a trade.

I'm curious, what do you guys think? Since we all know Irving, LeBron, and Love would have no trouble scoring I'd love to hear thoughts from anyone that has a defensive rating system. My system tends to undervalue individual defense so I don't think it's incredibly helpful to this debate.

Re: Andrew Wiggins or Kevin Love?

Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:00 am
by Dr Positivity
Bottom line is CLE with Love is a title favorite next year and without him they're probably not good enough yet. Yes they could in a following season when Wiggins and Bennett get better, but there's a lot of landmines that could derail that plan. Lebron's aging not going ideally, Wiggins and Bennett not developing, a major injury, etc. Putting together a guaranteed superteam is a better plan now than hoping to develop into one in the future.

For Love's fit in the lineup. It's been well documented that on/off and DRAPM don't back up Love being a defensive sieve, just as they didn't for Bosh before he got to Miami. It's not as if every team he's been on has been bad defensively, the Timberwolves were 12th last year in DRTG. Love isn't a shotblocker but nothing else is really bad on the defensive end. Love's combination of motor, instincts and strength is the best for any power forward and those things make a difference defensively. Marc Gasol won DPOY with a similar-ish physical profile for a C as Love has for a PF. I don't think Love will be Gasol defensively but he may be decent. Who knows? Furthermore what I haven't heard mentioned is that Lebron may be helped on D by having Love. Lebron's defense slipped last year, could it help him to re-dedicate in that department to have more offensive help? What if getting Love causes Lebron to take a surprising step back in offensive usage, but he goes out and finally wins DPOY next year? And for whatever it's worth, maybe moving Kyrie and Dion down a peg causes them to play harder defensively, especially the latter

I just trust that if you put together two players as amazing as Lebron and Love together and then give one of the most talented 3rd options in the league in Kyrie, this is going to work, especially in a conference with such an open road to the Finals. I think for all its complexities the cheat code in the NBA remains putting superstars on the same team, and GSW and OKC are making catastrophic mistakes for choosing "fit" over +1 superstar in Love (And yes OKC deserves criticism even they haven't been officially involved in these discussions. If they'd be offering a deal like Ibaka, choice of Lamb or Jackson, multiple future picks, I have 0 doubt that'd have at least been leading the trade rumors with GSW through June before CLE getting Lebron blew up the board. Ibaka, prospects and picks deal = Perfectly fits Flip's fantasy of winning 45 Gs next year without Love and also building for the future. Perfect fit for Minnesota's lineup bc of Ibaka/Pek combo. It'd be hard to beat even with Wiggins offered IMO. That OKC has never come up at all tells me they came down hard on Ibaka/continuity/prospects over trading it all for Love)

(And this is before considering the possibility that Wiggins may be overrated anyways. I do find it interesting how Love coming out of college and Wiggins right now are so different as prospects. Kevin Love: Considered not athletic enough to be a superstar, despite having all the skill, IQ, strength, motor in the world and bananas college production for a freshman. Wiggins: Considered a surefire star because of his off the charts athleticism, despite all of skill, IQ, strength, motor ranging from concerning to passable, non-dominant college production. Now to be fair a player opposite of Love in strengths/weaknesses can be a star, See: Westbrook from his own draft. But I think it's worth remembering how much the athleticism=upside narrative that's solely creating Wiggins hype, was relevant to Kevin Love's backstory as a prospect)

Re: Andrew Wiggins or Kevin Love?

Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:30 am
by J.E.
If rumors are true and Minnesota really got offered Wiggins, then I'm surprised they didn't agree to that deal in a heartbeat. A #1 pick in a loaded draft is pretty good return for a disgruntled player that will leave for nothing in one year. I'd also rather take this than any Lee/Thompson-type deals because Wiggins has a higher chance of getting them out of no-mans-land.

If I'm Cleveland I'd actually try to rather deal Irving (+Bennett) instead of Wiggins, which, I'm guessing, Minnesota might take because Irving's a "big name". He's not that good though, and the original reason to sign him to a max deal (I hope they weren't doing it for basketball reasons) - having a star to draw fans - is certainly covered well enough now by LBJ and Wiggins

Re: Andrew Wiggins or Kevin Love?

Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:29 am
by Mike G
Mathketball wrote:While we've got 3 weeks to sit around and wait for this trade to possibly happen, I'm curious what everyone's thoughts are?

For those that live under a rock...
I'm not sitting around waiting for something to possibly happen.
If I lived under a rock, I'd hope to have internet and perhaps spend more time doing that.

Re: Andrew Wiggins or Kevin Love?

Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:31 am
by mystic
J.E. wrote:If rumors are true and Minnesota really got offered Wiggins, then I'm surprised they didn't agree to that deal in a heartbeat.
Because there is a CBA in place which prevents teams from trading zero salary for a max contract while being over the cap. ;) Wiggins counted as 0 in a trade until he signed his contract after which he couldn't be traded for 30 days. That is the most likely explanation why such a deal didn't happen.
J.E. wrote: A #1 pick in a loaded draft is pretty good return for a disgruntled player that will leave for nothing in one year.
The question would be: How "disgruntled" is Love really? The media tends to make up stuff or exaggerate statements. If the Timberwolves saw just a tiny bit of a chance that they can convince Love to stay, it would have been the best decision to stay put.

The other assumption you are making is that Love would not use his player option for the 2016 season. That is not that likely to happen, because not opting in will cost Love likely a lot of money. It is financially more interesting to him to opt in and then sign a new contract in the summer of 2016. Similar to why James decided to go with just a 2yr deal. So, the return for Love should be rather based on the assumption that he will opt in (whether with his new team or with the Timberwolves doesn't really matter).

Interesting note in regard to James: The Cavaliers will not have full Bird rights to sign James to a full max contract in 2016. They will have Early Bird to sign him at max to a 4yr contract (unless that changes with a possible new CBA). The same goes for Luol Deng and the Miami Heat. A S&T deal between the Cavs and Heat with James and Deng included would not have changed that, but both teams could possible have done a deal while mainting their non-taxpayer MLE and Bi-Annual exceptions. Which is an interesting thing to consider given the fact that the Heat signed McRoberts to a deal at the exact value of the non-taxpayer MLE and Granger to a deal based on the Bi-Annual exception. But in the end both were signed to their respective contracts via caproom and the Heat then used their room-level exception to sign Haslem. And then Chris Andersen was signed using the Early Bird rights ... well some minor cap trickery by the Heat.
J.E. wrote: I'd also rather take this than any Lee/Thompson-type deals because Wiggins has a higher chance of getting them out of no-mans-land.
Yeah, Lee+Thompson isn't a good offer for the Timberwolves, but why should Wiggins really present a "higher chance"? What are his chances really? Looking at his disappointing college year and how looked so far in all the footage I have seen from the summer league, I have a tough time seeing such a high ceiling for him. People were talking up the draft before, but all I read from scouts and GM was not in the same light. In essence the only real high-level talent mentioned was Embiid, not Wiggins and not Parker. So, I'm a bit more sceptical about Wiggins here and can easily see him ending up not being better than Klay Thompson.
J.E. wrote: If I'm Cleveland I'd actually try to rather deal Irving (+Bennett) instead of Wiggins, which, I'm guessing, Minnesota might take because Irving's a "big name". He's not that good though, and the original reason to sign him to a max deal (I hope they weren't doing it for basketball reasons) - having a star to draw fans - is certainly covered well enough now by LBJ and Wiggins
Such a deal would be more complicated due to Irving's contract status as poison pill. While his outgoing salary for the Cavs would be his current 2015 salary of about $7m, his incoming salary for the Timberwolves would be the average salary over his full 6yr contract and would then be about $15.3m. Love's salary is enough to take him on, but Irving's salary is not enough to take on Love.

So, besides the holdup due to the Wiggins contract, I think the Timberwolves and Cavaliers are trying to integrate a 3rd team, which might be the 76ers. The Timberwolves have interest in Thaddeus Young and it seems as if the 76ers are willing to give him up for some talent. My guess would be that Bennett + Budinger (or Barea) + pick (coming from the Cavs) is send to the 76ers while the Timberwolves receive Wiggins+Young.
Another point would be the possibility of the Cavs to take on salary with those unguaranteed contracts they traded for. But the issue here is that those contracts can only be combined to take on a bigger contract two month after the trade. So, it might be possible that the teams will wait for a deal for another month and then having the Cavaliers to take on a contract like Barea or Budinger. Or the deal would be done in two separate trades with Barea for Lucas+Murphy+Thomas.

Re: Andrew Wiggins or Kevin Love?

Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:01 pm
by bondom343
It seems, as JE said, that Love is gone. 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. Assuming they can get Wiggins, that's what they have to do, 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? 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. 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.

Re: Andrew Wiggins or Kevin Love?

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:29 am
by Mathketball
Dr Positivity wrote:Bottom line is CLE with Love is a title favorite next year and without him they're probably not good enough yet. Yes they could in a following season when Wiggins and Bennett get better, but there's a lot of landmines that could derail that plan. Lebron's aging not going ideally, Wiggins and Bennett not developing, a major injury, etc. Putting together a guaranteed superteam is a better plan now than hoping to develop into one in the future.
To start off with, great response. I really enjoyed it. I agree that Cleveland, with Love, is a title favorite. My concern would be that there is so much unknown with this "big 3". When Miami put together theirs, Wade had already won a title, LeBron had been to the finals, and Bosh had been to the playoffs twice and played decently. Irving and Love not only haven't been to the playoffs, but they haven't come close. So we haven't seen them play against playoff intensity yet. In fact, we haven't even really seen either play in a big game since college. Plus, it seems reasonable to believe that plenty of players didn't "get up" for a game against Cleveland or Minnesota the last few years. I'm not trying to knock either guy, of the last 6 draft classes Irving scored the 3rd highest and Love the 5th highest of any player on my draft formulas. So I have certainly been a big fan of both players since college.
Dr Positivity wrote:For Love's fit in the lineup. It's been well documented that on/off and DRAPM don't back up Love being a defensive sieve, just as they didn't for Bosh before he got to Miami. It's not as if every team he's been on has been bad defensively, the Timberwolves were 12th last year in DRTG. Love isn't a shotblocker but nothing else is really bad on the defensive end.
I'll admit, I thought Love scored worse that he actually did on DRAPM. After looking at the numbers maybe he's a better fit than I'm giving him credit for. Still, Cleveland's current roster shouldn't have trouble scoring the ball but lacks defensive minded players. If Wiggins really can be an impact defender from day one his contributions could be invaluable. Having a second strong perimeter defender could help LeBron's work load as he ages since he wouldn't need to be matched up on the opposing teams best scorer.

This wouldn't address wing defense, but if Cleveland could find a way to get a player like Gorgui Dieng in this trade I'd like the way their roster shapes up a lot better. I imagine he's in Minnesota's long term plans though so that might be easier said than done. I've also heard rumors that Nerlens Noel could be a possibility if Philly is the 3rd team in the trade, but I have to believe that's pie in the sky. Ironically, Cleveland passed on both players in favor of Anthony Bennett (over Noel) and Serge Karasev (over Dieng) just over a year ago.
Dr Positivity wrote:And for whatever it's worth, maybe moving Kyrie and Dion down a peg causes them to play harder defensively, especially the latter
Good point. Assuming Waiters is still in Cleveland, I'm very curious to see what kind of impact LeBron has on him. He's got the physical tools to be a strong defensive presence but hasn't shown it thus far.
Dr Positivity wrote:(And this is before considering the possibility that Wiggins may be overrated anyways. I do find it interesting how Love coming out of college and Wiggins right now are so different as prospects. Kevin Love: Considered not athletic enough to be a superstar, despite having all the skill, IQ, strength, motor in the world and bananas college production for a freshman. Wiggins: Considered a surefire star because of his off the charts athleticism, despite all of skill, IQ, strength, motor ranging from concerning to passable, non-dominant college production. Now to be fair a player opposite of Love in strengths/weaknesses can be a star, See: Westbrook from his own draft. But I think it's worth remembering how much the athleticism=upside narrative that's solely creating Wiggins hype, was relevant to Kevin Love's backstory as a prospect)
I certainly agree that Wiggins is no surefire thing at this point. He was the 9th ranked prospect on my draft rankings so I can see reason for concern. Being LeBron's understudy would seem to be the best way to maximize his potential though.

Again, great response. I enjoyed reading it.

Re: Andrew Wiggins or Kevin Love?

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:11 pm
by mystic
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 ...
bondom343 wrote: 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.
bondom343 wrote: , 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
Young, Green
Pekovic, Dieng

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.
bondom343 wrote: 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.
bondom343 wrote: 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.

Re: Andrew Wiggins or Kevin Love?

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:32 pm
by Bobbofitos
No brainer for Cleveland

Re: Andrew Wiggins or Kevin Love?

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:53 pm
by mystic
Mathketball wrote: When Miami put together theirs, Wade had already won a title, LeBron had been to the finals, and Bosh had been to the playoffs twice and played decently.
What I sense in your post is the idea that a reduced sample (playoff games) would tell you more about an individual player than the bigger sample of the RS. You somehow suggest that teams would be basically entirely different in terms of overall strength and level of competition in playoff games as they were in the RS, while in reality such a thing isn't seen. In general teams are not "turning it on" in the playoffs, while don't putting in the effort in the RS. The difference you see in overall team performance level is mostly explained by the minute distribution changes, while the playing level of the individual players is rather constant.

If you want to know how Love or Irving would do in "big games", you can get a pretty good idea of that by evaluating their performance level against better teams. For example, Kevin Love last season had a minute-weighted average GameScore per 36 min of 22.4 against below average teams (in minute-weighted average opponents SRS of -3.8), while being at 21.2 per 36 min against better than average teams (+4.3 SRS in average). This drop in GameScore by 5% is a typical value seen for basically all players in the history of the NBA between RS games and PS games (keep in mind the difference in terms of opponents strength between average RS and average PS game would be smaller than those 8 SRS points difference seen in that sample for Love). I don't see any reasonable argumentation here for your idea, that Love might not be able to keep a needed playing level for "big games".

In such a case it is more reasonable to evaluate the player and get an idea how he played rather than trying to find reason to dismiss his abilities. Your way of looking at this makes you prone for a confirmation bias and may let you not be able to get an objective view on the situation as well as at the expected playing level of a team.
Mathketball wrote:If Wiggins really can be an impact defender from day one his contributions could be invaluable.
The way you are incorporating that idea makes it seem as if you assume that Wiggins will be a "plus" defender right from the start. That is in no-way a given, nor is the focus on just one side of the court a good way of establishing an idea about the expected playing level. A good individual defender must also not be a plus per se, but his actual contribution to the team-level defense has to be the deciding factor. That is true in all cases. Even if you assume that Love is a bad individual defender, his contribution on the court might be able to provide situations for teams to play good defense as a team overall. In fact, that is the case here for Love. That doesn't make Love a "plus" defender in the sense that his contribution on the defensive end alone provides the better than average result in defensive RAPM (or defensive RPM for that matter), but is a sign that his on-court play does not create defensive situations for the team to play below average defense. A big part of that can be explained by two things: Synergy effects due to more efficient offense leading to less efficient opportunities for the opponents (e.g. less on-court turnovers means less fastbreak opportunities, which then means less efficient offense). Also, Love is able to play against bigger guys in the post while using his lower body strength to keep position. That helps to create better positioning for the overall team for defensive rebounding.

One difference I noticed in Love's overall approach last season in comparison to previous seasons was a better feel for crashing the offensive board or going back defensively. In previous seasons Love had the tendency to go for the offensive rebound even though his positioning on or close to the perimeter made it highly unlikely to get that board. Such behaviour saw a reduction last season. Also, Love had the tendency to leave a good defensive position in order to gain the defensive rebound while teammates could have very well be in the position to get that rebound anyway (stealing rebounds from teammates). Though, he made up for some of negative consequences for the overall team defense by making the proper outlet passes leading to better fastbreak situations for the Timberwolves. The past season Love did actually not do that in the fashion anymore (although he did that less in 2012 also, then went back to "stealing" rebounds in 2013), and the team DRB% stayed pretty constant with him on the court. And despite him not getting the same number of defensive rebounds anymore, the team overall defensive strength improved.

Point being: A player may contribute to a better team defense by providing more efficient offense as well as helping his team gaining defensive rebounds. Also, a big can be hidden in the current defensive environment by taking on more responsibility in terms on 1on1 post defense, while therefore freeing up a more agile better help defender. In case of the Cavs: Varejao can be better utilized as primary help defender with Love in the lineup.

Right now I don't see much of a reasonable argument to not trade for Love while giving up Wiggins. Love is the sure-fire thing here, who we have the data for how he plays in the NBA. Wiggins on the other hand is somewhat of a mystery, because he did not exactly played up to the expected level in college as well as didn't show such strength in those SL games. It is said (and we have some evidence for that) that Wiggins plays down to the competition. Though ... that might speak for him becoming a pretty good player in the NBA given the fact that the competition will be clearly better than whatever he faced so far in his career. Nonetheless, reaching Love's current playing level is not that likely for Wiggins, given all the information we have on him.

Re: Andrew Wiggins or Kevin Love?

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:05 pm
by wilq
Mathketball wrote:While we've got 3 weeks to sit around and wait for this trade to possibly happen, I'm curious what everyone's thoughts are?
IMO it depends on the point of view. Wolves should wait until the trade deadline for two reasons:
1) there's a small chance of hot start which could convince Love to stay, but more realistically...
2) by February they will have more information about young players in the Cavs' offer...
which by the way is also the reason why IMO Cavs should really want to make this trade happen ASAP...
Mathketball wrote:If Love isn't traded before the season, then revisit this before the trading deadline. The asking price might be lessened and playing with LeBron might make players like Bennett and Dion Waiters better and thus more valuable in a trade.
But with lower asking price more teams would make Wolves a good offer... and Cavs wouldn't want any part of that. IMO the discussion shouldn't be whenever Cavs should trade Wiggins for Love [because the answer is yes, for the contender a star is way better than some chance at future star] but what should Cavs offer other than Wiggins [for example, Waiters instead of Bennett?] or what could they receive other than Love [Dieng with cost of some bad contracts?]...
Mathketball wrote:Then there's the Wiggins aspect of this. How good could Wiggins be with Lebron? [...] Is there any teammate on the planet that could maximize Wiggins' potential better than LeBron? How can the Cavs pass up the chance to find out?
Because Cavs are not in a business to maximize Wiggins' potential but their team overall. Love's value is basically the best case scenario for Wiggins with additional benefit of better timeline fit with LeBron who can't wait for Wiggins' peak while he doesn't have to wait for Love's peak.

Re: Andrew Wiggins or Kevin Love?

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:21 pm
by bondom343
mystic wrote:
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 ...
True, but this feels a bit different than some past situations. Love feels the organization slighted him w/ the 4 year contract, and had past problems with Kahn. Though Kahn isn't there, I still think he holds it against the franchise. You never know for sure, but it seems this way to me.
mystic wrote: 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.
Agree, but with the rumored Thad Young deal, I think they may be a bit better w/ him than Thompson, considering Young's contract is expiring as well (He's said he'll opt out.).
mystic wrote: 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
Young, Green
Pekovic, Dieng

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.
Agree with all :) .
mystic wrote: 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.
This is all true, I just worry about the perimeter defense of the team. The pairing of Love/Pek was a weak interior defense which was helped a bit by a strong defensive PG in Rubio. Irving isn't nearly Rubio's caliber on defense (though way better offensively). I suppose they could still follow and do both trades, but it would kill any depth. Either way, they end up a stronger team.

Re: Andrew Wiggins or Kevin Love?

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:45 pm
by mystic
bondom343 wrote: True, but this feels a bit different than some past situations. Love feels the organization slighted him w/ the 4 year contract, and had past problems with Kahn. Though Kahn isn't there, I still think he holds it against the franchise. You never know for sure, but it seems this way to me.
Yeah, they might be friction between the Timberwolves and Love, which can not be overcome just by improving the roster around Love. But they may have thought differently before, while having to realize now that trading him might be the best solution for all involved parties. wilq's idea of waiting until the deadline is interesting and has some merits, just that there is obviously also the risk involved that the Timberwolves having a bad start and then see the trade value for Love decrease or see the trade value of discussed players increased to a point where they would not be available in such a Love trade anymore. Would be interesting to know how the risk analyses is done in such a case in order to find the best possible decision ...
bondom343 wrote: Agree, but with the rumored Thad Young deal, I think they may be a bit better w/ him than Thompson, considering Young's contract is expiring as well (He's said he'll opt out.).
I completely agree that Young is the better alternative here, but I can't quite follow the notion of "contract is expiring". Thompson and Young are both on reasonable contracts and with an increased salary cap having either of them longer under contract should be a positive here not a negative.
bondom343 wrote: This is all true, I just worry about the perimeter defense of the team. The pairing of Love/Pek was a weak interior defense which was helped a bit by a strong defensive PG in Rubio. Irving isn't nearly Rubio's caliber on defense (though way better offensively). I suppose they could still follow and do both trades, but it would kill any depth. Either way, they end up a stronger team.
I understand where you are coming from and completely agree that Rubio's defensive strength obviously helps when the interior defenders have trouble defending against guards, but we should also keep in mind that James is also on the Cavs as well as Anderson Varejao, both proved to be really good defenders. With Love and Irving being able to take off offensive load, and with the recent development of James losing weight, I can see James trying to emulate the defensive presence of a bigger wing like Julius Erving or Scottie Pippen, which should greatly help with the defense. Nonetheless, getting a bigger defensive player like Hibbert or Sanders would obviously help now and in the future.

Re: Andrew Wiggins or Kevin Love?

Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:17 am
by Mathketball
mystic wrote: What I sense in your post is the idea that a reduced sample (playoff games) would tell you more about an individual player than the bigger sample of the RS. You somehow suggest that teams would be basically entirely different in terms of overall strength and level of competition in playoff games as they were in the RS, while in reality such a thing isn't seen. In general teams are not "turning it on" in the playoffs, while don't putting in the effort in the RS. The difference you see in overall team performance level is mostly explained by the minute distribution changes, while the playing level of the individual players is rather constant.
Good point, the minute distribution is, without doubt, a big factor. Still, it's doubtful that the top players on the top teams are playing with playoff intensity in February against weaker competition (but to be fair, Minnesota was a decent team last year). For example, in his career Kyrie Irving is 3-1 against OKC. I think it's safe to say that if the two teams met in the playoffs OKC would be a favorite to win in a sweep.
mystic wrote: If you want to know how Love or Irving would do in "big games", you can get a pretty good idea of that by evaluating their performance level against better teams. For example, Kevin Love last season had a minute-weighted average GameScore per 36 min of 22.4 against below average teams (in minute-weighted average opponents SRS of -3.8), while being at 21.2 per 36 min against better than average teams (+4.3 SRS in average). This drop in GameScore by 5% is a typical value seen for basically all players in the history of the NBA between RS games and PS games (keep in mind the difference in terms of opponents strength between average RS and average PS game would be smaller than those 8 SRS points difference seen in that sample for Love). I don't see any reasonable argumentation here for your idea, that Love might not be able to keep a needed playing level for "big games".
I'm not sure I agree that RS performance against top teams is a reliable way to project PS performance. For example, last season Blake Griffin had a GS per 36 of 18.76 in the full RS. This dipped to 18.36 (about 2% drop) against the top 10 teams (I just used teamranking.com so whatever they consider the "top 10"). In the playoffs it dipped to 17.31 which is about a 7.5% drop from his overall RS.

Now, I'm not saying Griffin and Love have similar styles of play. The clearly don't. A better comp for Love would probably be Zach Randolph. In his best season 2010-2011 (best in terms of WS/48) Z-Bo had a RS GS per 36 of 16.38. Against the top 10 in the RS it dipped to 15.3. In the post season it was 15.51. This was about a 5% dip so that would be an example to support your argument. If you look at Z-Bo's full RS career and PS career it's a different story though. In the RS his career GS per 36 is 14.08. His career playoff GS per 36 is 12.91. That's a drop of about 8.3%.

One thing I think doesn't work in Love's favor when projecting his game to the playoffs is the fact that he has a knack for outworking his opponent. The question is would playoff intensity neutralize some of his effort plays? One comp I can come up with here is Anderson Varejao. Now, I'm in no way saying Varejao is in Love's class. I'm just comparing the fact that Andy's game is based on effort. His highest PS MPG was in 2009. That year he put up a GS per 36 of 10.20 in the RS. It dipped to 8.30 in the PS a decline of nearly 19%. For his career his RS GS per 36 is 11.11. His career PS GS per 36 is 8.67. A drop of nearly 22%. I will note, Love's outside shot makes it unlikely that his dip would be quite this drastic.
mystic wrote:
Mathketball wrote:If Wiggins really can be an impact defender from day one his contributions could be invaluable.
The way you are incorporating that idea makes it seem as if you assume that Wiggins will be a "plus" defender right from the start. That is in no-way a given, nor is the focus on just one side of the court a good way of establishing an idea about the expected playing level.
True, it's not a given that he'll be a impact defender from day one. If he is, that could be huge for them. However, if he's able to develop into an elite wing defender over time that could be equally big for Cleveland because it could allow LeBron to ease into a lesser role on defense and possibly help prolong his career.
mystic wrote:In case of the Cavs: Varejao can be better utilized as primary help defender with Love in the lineup.
That's putting a lot of faith in a 31 year old player that has less than 40 GP over the last 4 years.

Re: Andrew Wiggins or Kevin Love?

Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:29 am
by Mathketball
wilq wrote:
Mathketball wrote:If Love isn't traded before the season, then revisit this before the trading deadline. The asking price might be lessened and playing with LeBron might make players like Bennett and Dion Waiters better and thus more valuable in a trade.
But with lower asking price more teams would make Wolves a good offer... and Cavs wouldn't want any part of that.
Well if the asking price is lower and more teams get involved the Cavs still have Wiggins as the trump card. Unless of course he does enough in his first half season to significantly drop his trade value. I tend to believe that playing with LeBron will make guys like Waiters, Bennett, Wiggins, and Thompson (doubtful he'd be traded) better or at least look better than playing without him. So by the trading deadline it's not unrealistic to believe their trade value could be higher.