At this point it is common knowledge that Kevin Love plans to leave the Minnesota Timberwolves through free agency after this season. Love, being one of the best players in the league, is a prime trade target for many teams, with the best offers coming from the Chicago Bulls, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. The Boston Celtics were in the mix before this week but there are reports from cbssports.com that the Celtics are done with trade talks for Love, as they can’t or won’t match the offers put forth by the other three teams. If the Timberwolves are left with these options for dealing Love, which team has the best rumored offer?
In my opinion, this is the worst of the offers. David Lee is an aging player on an expiring contract, Harrison Barnes is a player who has not risen to his potential and while Klay Thompson is a quality player and a true shooting guard that the Timberwolves desperately need, Thompson’s father stated that he does not want to play in Minnesota and in addition to that his contract demands next year will be huge.
Essentially the Wolves would get one quality player in Thompson that doesn’t want to play in Minnesota, an overpaid declining power forward in Lee and a role player in Barnes, an offer in my opinion that doesn’t add up to the other offers.
According to the NBA writer Chris Sheridan, the Bulls offered Doug McDermott, Nikola Mirotic and Taj Gibson for Love. I think this is a pretty good deal, as none of these players will hurt the Timberwolves’ cap situation. Additionally, Taj Gibson is a good defender and solid option at power forward while the other players can certainly contribute.
McDermott had a great college career and looked very good in summer league play with his offensive game. Finally, Mirotic was one of the best players in Europe over the past couple years, and is a great shooter, something the Wolves surely need.
So to conclude, this is a good deal that provides two quality shooters in McDermott and Mirotic, while also providing a quality post player in Taj Gibson.
However, while the Bulls’ offer is good, I think Minnesota would be best served going with Cleveland’s offer of Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a 1st round pick. Both Wiggins and Bennett are former first overall picks and have a lot of potential. The 1st-round pick will be useful later, and Wiggins is projected to be a future star.
People may not value Bennett very much, but he has potential and is in much better shape now than he was last season. Accepting the Cleveland trade provides a solid base for the Timberwolves’ future as Zack Lavine, Gorgui Dieng, Ricky Rubio, Wiggins and Bennett being the lineup of the future, which is why I think it is the best trade available to the Timberwolves.