FanPost

A Kevin Love Trade

The last time I made a trade post, it was very well received. Being that nearly a year has elapsed since then, I thought I would try my hand at it again. Needless to say, I have spent quite a lot of time doing the requisite research, cap space analysis, and team need(s) observation. The trade I will be discussing after the jump is unlikely to happen, but I would like to think it is plausible in more than one capacity. Hit the jump to see what my crazy mind cooked for you.

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The four teams involved in his scenario are the T'wolves, Suns, Pelicans and Nuggets.

Pelicans

Outgoing Players: Ryan Anderson, Austin Rivers, 2016 First Young Pick and Luke Babbitt.

Incoming Players: Danilo Gallinari, and Gerald Green

Salary Cap Situation: The Pelicans are over the cap, so, other than MLE and Bi-annual exception signings, the best way for them to improve their roster is via trade. Since they are over the cap, the salary they take back in any give trade should be reasonably close. In this trade, they would be taking on an additional 2.6 million in salary.

What the outgoing players are worth: First round picks are always valuable. With the package New Orleans is getting, giving up a first rounder isn't the worst thing. Babbitt is already a journeyman and doesn't provide much else other than good outside shooting. In this deal he is nothing more than salary cap fodder. Austin Rivers' NBA career has yet to take off. He has poor ball handling skills, mediocre, at best, athleticism, and subpar finishing ability. This does not make him highly sought after asset. That said, he did show some modest improvements in his game this past season ( most notably a spike in 3-point fg%). His stats as a starter, though small in sample size, are really rather impressive, so perhaps a change of scenery could benefit him yet.

Ryan Anderson, however, is something to talk about. He is one of the league's best stretch fours who can also play defense and rebound the ball decently enough. He did have a worrisome freak accident but, he has otherwise been mostly healthy. Though some people say that bringing in Asik seemingly makes Anderson available for trade, Anderson should be available though, but for the right price.

Team Need: First, here is the team's ranking in key statistical areas. One can clearly deduce Anderson being out really hurt them. Another thing to keep in mind, the Pelicans don't have a natural Small Forward signed to a contract. This makes Gallinari a seamless fit for them. Though it would be hard to have both Gallinari and Gordon in one starting lineup, when you consider the massive improvements Davis made to his game and Holiday is definitely the incumbent point guard, having the luxury of many talented players is a good one. Perhaps you have Gordon and Evans moved to the bench; their potency as a duo off the bench could easily rank as one of the best in the entire league. And, for as much as the Pelicans try, Tyreke Evans is not a small forward, and in their offense, he is probably best served coming off the bench and being the ball dominant player that was rather effective his first season in the league.

Gallinari is a versatile swingman, this article might be a little biased an slightly outdated but the points being raised are still valid, capable of playing either forward position, bringing positional stability to an as of now shaky Pelicans lineup, and draining that outside shot. There are plenty of things to like about Gallo as before the injuries started hampering him, he was starting to put it all together. He has very good ball handling skills for a 6'10 guy, decent court vision, and has the ability to post up smaller guys. With Asik and Davis providing the team with a brilliant defensive safety net, Gallo could conserve some energy there , he is an decent defender but he has always had the tools to be an excellent one,and seamlessly take over as a second option for this team.

With Green assuming the starting position, he would give the Pelicans an infusion of three point marksmanship and elite athleticism. He and Gallo would certainly open up the floor for Davis to go to work down low and provide room for Holiday to maneuver to the basket. Moreover, Green could be used as a cutter and potential lob threat because of how many weapons are on the court. Just like Gallo, the more energy Green preserves on defense the bigger a threat he is to go berserk.

Nuggets

Outgoing players: Timofey Mozgov, Kenneth Faried, Jan Vesely, draft rights to Gary Harris and Danilo Gallinari

Incoming Players: Nikola Pekovic, Chase Budinger, and Ryan Anderson

Salary Cap situation: With the addition of Arron Afflalo, the Nuggets are over the cap and for the purposes of this trade the Nuggets salary situation more or less stays put. Kenneth Faried is also a free agent next season, so in a sense this could be seen as somewhat of a indirect cost cutting move.

What the outgoing players are worth: Gallo missed all of last season with a partial ACL tear. Without him, the Nuggets lost in the first round of the 2013 playoffs. Currently, Gallo might just be the Nuggets best player, so they will only trade him if it makes sense. Many Suns fans were high on Gary Harris and were upset to see he Suns not draft him. I'm not sure how good he will be, but as of now, he is a vaunted asset. Jan Vesely is useless as a basketball player and I think most people have given up hope on him ever becoming anything more than a perennial bench warmer.

Faried, who at 6'7 gobbles up rebounds admirably, is a fine young player whose enthusiasm for the game is joyful to watch. Unfortunately, Faried is not a good post defender and is even worse at guarding the pick and roll. The Denver Stiffs writers laid out the pros and cons of trading Faried. While their argument focused mainly on money, they did acknowledge that Faried does have rather significant offensive short comings that he may or not be able to improve on.

Mozgov had a career year for the Nuggets at 27. Considering they are paying McGee, who missed all but 5 games,a double digit salary, the Nuggets wouldn't be opposed to letting Mozgov go for a good take. Mozgov has some pretty impressive per 36 numbers and he had a couple of very good games.

Team Need: Health. Beyond that however, here is the team's statistical rankings. The biggest take away here is how badly they struggled to convert their shots and then defend other teams. Overall, they had very little spacing in the front court as Hickson, Mozgov, and Faried none of whom can shoot or play solid defense. Their backcourt also featured lots of Randy Foye and Aaron Brooks, and while those guys actually shot well from deep, it is no wonder why the Nuggets were so bad defensively. By bringing in Afflalo, the Nuggets have gotten themselves a top five starting shooting guard in the NBA right now and he addresses a need for scoring punch, consistency, and leadership.

Ryan Anderson might be the perfect guy to pair alongside JaValee McGee. With Anderson drawing big men away from the paint, maybe the athletically gifted McGee might be able to tap into the potential that landed him his hefty pay day. Replacing Faried's minimal offensive contributions and shoddy defensive presence with Anderson's reliable outside touch and defensive acumen is a major upgrade in a very big way. Though Anderson is far from an all world rebounder, he does a decent job on the glass for someone playing the perimeter. Again, with all the shooting on the court, Lawson can get to the basket a lot easier and McGee has plenty of room to operate.

Pekovic is already a much better player than Mozgov is and is only one year older. Given that Pekovic is not exactly the world's greatest defender, his bruising style would be ideal in a sixth man setting.By pairing him with a stretch four in Darrell Arthur, and with three point threats in Budinger, Foye, and Robinson, Pekovic would have the ideal 4 around one set up to go to work down low while having a plethora of options. When you factor in that Pekovic is not an ideal fit with a group best catered for running in Anderson, McGee, Afflalo, and Lawso, placing him on the bench and emphasizing a half court offense off the bench would seem to make the most sense.

Budinger is an excellent 3 and D guy who hasn't been healthy of late. He has always been an excellent three point shooter and his contribution to the Nuggets would be akin to Jared Dudley's role on the 2010 Suns. A guy capable of hitting key shots when you need them, being an ultimate professional, and doing it on a reasonable contract (when healthy.)

Timberwolves

Outgoing Players: Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic, Kevin Martin, Chase Budinger, and Corey Brewer.

Incoming Players: Timofey Mozgov, Jan Vesely, Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris, Kenneth Faried, Austin Rivers, draft rights to Gary Harris, 2016 Pelicans First Round Pick, 2015 Lakers First Round Pick, 2015 Minnesota First Round Pick and Luke Babbitt.

Salary Cap situation: The Timberwolves are currently over the cap. With this trade and ~13.7 in expiring deals, the T'wolves free up ridiculous amounts of cap, even after they re-sign the Mo Bros, Faried, and Rubio.

What the outgoing players are worth: Brewer and Martin are overpaid. Brewer is not very good and Martin's age, length of contract, and injury history make it unlikely Martin is worth much. Budinger is a solid role player when healthy, but like Brewer, Minny would be glad to get rid of him. Pekovic is a good center, but he is signed on for four more years, to age 32, for 48M. He has no player option either. Pekovic has moderate market value, but he did seem expendable with the emergence of Dieng, here is a great read from Canis Hoopus. Kevin Love is a star and it is going to take a number of assets and picks to pry him away.

Team need: As I said above, Minnesota should be looking to shed as much salary as possible while getting as many picks and assets as they can. Their team was in the lotto with Kevin Love and without him they are easily a bottom five team. There is nothing worse than being a bottom five team while also being capped out. Gary Harris was predicted to go in the lotto, so I'm assuming he has the potential to be a good player down the line. Many people I've spoken to are high on him because of his two way abilities and excellent three point shot. The comparison made was to Bradley Beal, but who really knows. Rivers might be able to refine his game to the point that he makes a positive contribution.

Marcus Morris had a great year under coach Hornacek and I would not be surprised if he made further improvements to his ball handling and post up ability. He currently is a very good bench player and could possibly improve I say he comes just short of being an NBA starter but 6th man of the year candidate could be in the cards. Markieff Morris has the highest potential of the players in this group of assets. I think his game is still growing and he might just one day be a very decent starting Power Forward. His defense does still need refinement, but I think he could easily average 20 points a night, however inefficiently, as the go to option on a tanking T'wolves roster.

Faried, like the Mo bros, still has room to grow to his game. His game is already reminiscent of Paul Milsap and I think he could get to begin just as good with time and hard work. Mozgov, at 27, is not likely to get much better, but his game is not predicated on athleticism, so he could play well into his 30's. This trade also helps shine some light on the Twolves' other assets in Gorgui Dieng, Zach LaVine, Glenn Robinson and Shabazz Muhammad. With assets, cap space, and many lotto picks to come, the Twolves might be able to turn it around in the future.


Suns

Outgoing Players: Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris, 2015 Lakers pick, 2015 Minnesota Pick, Gerald Green, Ish Smith, Shavlik Randolph, Dionte Christmas

Incoming Players: Kevin Love, Kevin Martin, and Corey Brewer

Salary Cap situation: The Suns as you know, are lush with cap space. P.J Tucker has not officially signed his 3 year deal, so the Suns still have 28 million dollars in available cap space to spend. The outgoing players listed above account for about 12.6 million dollars in salary, so this trade is well within bounds. Though, once Bledsoe signs his max deal, the Suns will be capped out. That is okay though because Kevin Love.

What the outgoing players are worth: I've already documented what the Mo Bros and Green are worth, and the other players are non guaranteed deals that simply need to be cut/let go. The Lakers pick is a lotto pick if it falls outside the top five and with the eastern conference as bad as it is, the odds are decent.

Team Need: Love replaces what Frye did ten fold. He is an elite offensive player and his rebounding skills are the gold standard in the league. He hits threes efficiently, passes remarkably well, and plays an exciting brand of basketball. He is the ideal fit in Phoenix, and once Alex Len becomes the defensively gifted version of Brook Lopez, this team will be hard to beat. Brewer is useless and I'd rather have T.J Warren get the nod as the backup three. Martin comes in and serves as the replacement for Gerald Green. Martin has very good value as a sixth man because it reduces his risk for injuries and his godawful defense is not as big of an issue.

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