FanPost

Phoenix Suns as facilitators in another team's trade for Kevin Love?

Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

Could and should the Suns considering attempting to act as facilitators in another team's trade for Kevin Love, if they deem to not have a realistic chance of succeeding in assuring a reasonable trade for Love themselves?

In this fanpost, I will briefly go through the main candidates for Kevin Love and see whether any of them 1.) have the need to include the Suns to complete the trade and 2.) whether the Suns could acquire something worthwhile as facilitators.

For a Timberwolves' point of view, I recommend reading this post from Canis Hoopus - http://www.canishoopus.com/2014/6/9/5776768/about-those-kevin-love-rumors , which has served as inspiration for this post.

1. Golden State Warriors

Mentioned trade: "Kevin Love and Kevin Martin for Klay Thompson, David Lee, Harrison Barnes, 2 future first rounders"

Potential Suns' benefit: 1st round pick (or Minny's 1st from 2015) for Barnes

The author of the article states that a problem is that GSW doesn't have its 1st round pick this year (traded to Utah), and another problem that he has no interest whatsoever in Harrison Barnes.

So perhaps the Suns could use one of their 1st round picks or perhaps Minny's own 2015 pick (top 12 protected) to trade to GSW in exchange for Harrison Barnes. Then, GSW could use that to include to their trade for Love.

The questions are:

- would the Warriors take this deal or would they want more?

- is Barnes worth this 1st rounder? If they want more, would Barnes be worth it?

- at what point, if at all, do the Suns give up on trying to get Love themselves and start thinking about facilitating, and to a Western Conference rival?

- how, if at all, does getting Barnes affect Tucker/Morris?

A lot has been written about Harrison Barnes, including by Dave King in this very good article about a potential Bledsoe-esque trade for Barnes - http://www.brightsideofthesun.com/2014/5/3/5677852/phoenix-suns-poised-to-make-another-bledsoe-deal-this-summer .

Barnes has a very affordable contract (http://hoopshype.com/salaries/golden_state.htm).

Some more (advanced) stats on Barnes (look at the 12/13 as well, when he was a starter)

Player profile - http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/barneha02.html

Basketball-reference.com advanced stats - http://tinyurl.com/kbkhcp9

Shot chart - http://stats.nba.com/playerShotchart.html?PlayerID=203084&Season=2013-14

Defensive impact - http://tinyurl.com/pyl3blw

Rebounding - http://tinyurl.com/knvqj7k

Mysynergysports.com stats (from 2012/2013):

Defense

%of possessions

PPP allowed

Rank

%Possessions scored on

Isolation

15.2%

0.72

73

32.7%

P'n'R ball handler

19.5%

0.76

92

37.7%

Post-up

10.8%

0.97

239

50%

Spot-up

36.7%

1.18

370

45.2%

Off-screen

12.7%

0.87

85

36.7%

Offense

%of possessions

PPP scored

Rank

%Possessions scored

Isolation

16.6%

0.74

134

37.1%

Post-up

14.5%

0.77

112

40.1%

Spot-up

25.1%

1

144

39.1%

Cut

7.2%

1.36

23

69.9%

Transition

15.2%

1.22

82

58.8%

For comparison, I have presented advanced stats of this year's (more) available SFs and Tucker's in this article - http://www.brightsideofthesun.com/2014/5/2/5675658/advanced-stats-melo-gay-hayward-deng , so you can compare Barnes' stats against those.

2. Chicago Bulls

Mentioned trade: Kevin Love and Kevin Martin for Carlos Boozer, Jimmy Butler, rights to Nikola Mirotic, the #16 pick and the #19 pick

Potential Suns' benefit: 1st round pick (or Minny's 1st from 2015) or a player for Mirotic or Gibson

The only possible need for the Suns to facilitate is if the Timberwolves think that Mirotic won't leave Spain to come over to play in Minnesota, and would want something else instead of Mirotic. Now, the Bulls do have the 2015 1st rounder from Sacramento (top-10 protected) which they could include instead of Mirotic, but perhaps the Bulls would want either another this year's pick or another promising/already good player. Of the remaining players, Taj Gibson seems to be expendable for the Bulls. If Minny wants him, then the Suns don't have much to say anymore. But if Minny doesn't want him, then perhaps the Suns could offer a 1st round pick (perhaps even Minnesota's own from next year) or one of the players, in exchange for the rights to Mirotic or even in exchange for Taj Gibson, whatever the Suns' FO deems better for the team.

3. Sacramento

Mentioned trade: Kevin Love, Kevin Martin and JJ Barea for Rudy Gay, Jason Thompson, Ben McLemore, the #8 pick, and a future first rounder

Potential Suns' benefit: Perhaps Rudy Gay for a trade exception, 27th or 2nd round pick

The only chance I see of the Suns participating in this trade is if the Timberwolves would rather get a trade exception instead of paying Rudy Gay 19m$, and get 27th pick or a 2nd round pick instead. The odds of that happening, I don't know. I think in that case, the deal would have to be broken down in two parts (Rudy Gay's TPE for Love as trade #1, everything rest as trade #2). But if it does, it presents an interesting conundrum for the Suns – do they spend their free cap space on Rudy Gay and acquire his Bird rights in the process, and is the price (19m$, pick(s)) worth it?

4. Boston Celtics

Mentioned trade: Kevin Love for Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, Phil Pressey, Joel Anthony, Brandon Bass, #6 pick, #17 pick, and a future first rounder

Potential Suns' benefit: I don't see any.

Unfortunately, I think neither the Celtics nor the Wolves have a need for the Suns to get involved in this trade, unless we would wish to acquire any of the non-pick Boston's assets in exchange for our draft pick(s), which I wouldnt.

5. Los Angeles Lakers

Mentioned trade: Kevin Love for the #7 pick and.....uhh. .....uuuhhhhhhhh..........

Potential Suns' benefit: I don't see any.

6. Houston Rockets

Mentioned trade: Kevin Love for Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin, Donatas Motiejunas, Terrence Jones, #25 pick in 2014 and at least 2 future first rounders.

Potential Suns' benefit: I don't see any.

Unless we want to take on Lin's 8m$-cap-hit-yet-15m$-salary contract in exchange for Frye, I don't see how we can get inserted into this trade, because the Wolves would certainly want to keep Parsons and probably the rest of the assets as well, and I wouldn't give up ours for any of them.

7. Utah Jazz

Mentioned trade: Kevin Love for Gordon Hayward (sign-and-trade), Jeremy Evans, #5 pick in 2014

Potential Suns' benefit: I don't see any.

We would be interested in Hayward or the #5 pick, but Minnesota would want both.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers

Mentioned trade: Kevin Love for Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, Alanzo Gee, and the #1 pick in 2014

Potential Suns' benefit: 1st round pick for Tristan Thompson

If this very unlikely trade were to come close to fruition, perhaps the Wolves would prefer another 1st round pick instead of Tristan Thompson, in which case the Suns could get a very interesting player for a 1st rounder. I've written more about Thompson here - http://www.brightsideofthesun.com/2014/6/10/5797668/analysing-possible-upgrades-at-the-pf-spot-with-advanced-stats-part-1

Conclusion

I have tried to present some more or less possible ways for the Suns to profit from the Kevin Love trade even if we don't end up with Kevin Love. However, the two most intriguing-yet-realistic offers (Bulls and Celtics) most likely won't need our involvement, but there's a chance we could get involved if Boston drops out, Mirotic refuses to come to Minnesota, GSW upps their package etc. So the odds are not good, but it's worthing paying attention to nevertheless.

What are your thoughts? Have I missed any potential ways for the Suns to benefit from Love not coming to Phoenix? What are your thoughts on this matter? Thanks for the comments and the participation in the poll.

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