Weighing the contenders in the mix for Kevin Love


The NBA blogosphere is buzzing with stories about Kevin Love. As Yahoo reported yesterday, the Celtics have a legit shot at trading for the Wolves power forward.

ESPN is reporting that Love likes the Warriors and Bulls. The Suns, Lakers and Knicks (never happening) have also been mentioned.

Let’s get a sense of what bloggers are thinking about their team’s chances at landing Love.

Lakers – Silver Screen and Roll:

In terms of how this relates to the Lakers, with limited assets other than what could be a middling lottery pick pending the results of Tuesday’s lottery, it ‘s hard to see how general manager Mitch Kupchak could assemble the most attractive trade package for Love out of these rumored suitors. Even if they are making their lottery pick available in an offer for Love it would still appear as though the only way that he could end up in Los Angeles via trade is if he makes it clear that he will not re-sign anywhere else and scares off other suitors.

Bulls – Blog a Bull:

Where the Bulls fit in is more on the ‘quantity’ side of a package to entice the Wolves than the potential quality that a top-5 pick in this draft would produce. The Bulls have picks #16 and #19, plus future non-lottery obligations from Sacramento and Cleveland.

If the availability was equal, pursuing Kevin Love is better option for the Bulls than Carmelo Anthony. Love is a better player, younger, would command a lower salary, and plays a position the Bulls can deal from (i.e., losing Taj Gibson isn’t a big issue if Love is the return). I don’t think Minnesota is at the point yet where they’d consider what the Bulls can offer, if they’re looking at all right now it’s probably for a top pick in this draft. But these reports are a step forward, if a small one.

Suns – Bright side of the Sun:

The Wolves likely won’t want anyone who could leave in a year, and probably don’t want Bledsoe either because they have Rubio up for a contract in a year. Acquiring Bledsoe could make Rubio leave too, which would be double-disaster.

Let’s just say the Wolves are ready to rebuild, and would take (for grins) the Morrii and their three best first round picks between the 2014 and 2015 drafts. That would leave the Suns with a cupboard of youth down to just Alex Len, Archie Goodwin and their own late first rounders in the coming years.

Not devastating to the Suns if Love leaves them in a year, but that package is still pretty light for a player of Love’s talent.

I just don’t see the Wolves taking two bench players (the Morrii) and three #1 picks with only one of them (the Lakers’ in 2015) likely higher than #14.

ESPN throws out Harrison Barnes and David Lee as potential trade bait in a deal for Love. I didn’t find much reaction on Warriors’ team blogs. I’m not even bothering with the Knicks bloggers.

The bottom line in the Love sweepstakes: Danny Ainge can just about outbid any team.