We're gearing up for a run at Kevin Love.

The signing of Anthony Tolliver confirms one thing: we're gearing up for a run at Kevin Love.


PG Goran Dragic/Tyler Ennis

SG Eric Bledsoe/Isaiah Thomas/Gerald Green/Archie Goodwin

SF P.J. Tucker/T.J. Warren/Dionte Christmas

PF Markieff Morris/Marcus Morris/Shavlik Randolph/Anthony Tolliver

C Miles Plumlee/Alex Len

We have 15 players on the roster. We're only allowed to have 13. We waived Ish Smith, and the players on the roster are too good to let go. Someone has to get traded.

Free Agent Signings

Isaiah Thomas is too good to bench.

Anthony Tolliver plays the 3 or the 4, depending on your preference. Based on height, T.J. Warren, P.J. Tucker, Gerald Green, Marcus Morris, Anthony Tolliver and Dionte Christmas are all best suited at the 3, while Markieff Morris and Shavlik Randolph are best suited at the 4. (I could see Tolliver or Green at the 4 on a night when either Markieff or Shavlik are injured.)

We didn't need to sign Tolliver, given that we had 14 players on the roster after Channing Frye left for Orlando.


I would think that the reason Eric Bledsoe hasn't signed, or even been offered an offer sheet or been rumored to be drawing interest from other teams, is because other teams believe Phoenix will match.

We could package Eric Bledsoe as a sign-and-trade for Kevin Love. We would have the ability to start Isaiah Thomas at point guard, and All-NBA 3rd team guard Goran Dragic at the 2. (Ryan McDonough is apt to note that he sees all of the guards as guards, rather than point guards or shooting guards. I see no reason Phoenix brass wouldn't be open to moving Goran to the 2, given Thomas's lack of size.)

We could package Bledsoe with any combination of Minnesota's 2015 1st round pick (which they'll want back after they trade Love), several of the aforementioned forwards based on Minnesota's interest, Archie Goodwin, the Lakers' 2015 1st round pick, and/or any of our first round picks, which remain untraded.

If we were to offer, say, Markieff Morris in a trade for Kevin Love, we would be left without a true 4 other than Randolph, who doesn't seem to be a starting caliber player. Tolliver isn't, either, but Randolph would be the only true 4 on the roster if Morris were traded. With Frye gone, Tolliver might be more of a serviceable second string power forward than Randolph.

In fact, in order to cut back to 13 players, we'll have to make a trade.

We can't get a better player than Kevin Love, and Minnesota couldn't get a better offer.


Minnesota has asked for Klay Thompson and David Lee (and perhaps Harrison Barnes) in exchange for Love, but that would leave Golden State with Love and Curry. David Lee is still a top player in the NBA. I can understand why Golden State might not be that much better off with Love instead of Lee, seeing as they play the game in a similar way. In addition, Golden State loses one of the top 5 shooting guards in the NBA, a position at which quality players have become extremely rare. Golden State has resisted Minnesota's efforts to include Klay to this point, and I can Klay being a deal-breaker.

Minnesota has also been rumored to ask for Andrew Wiggins in exchange for Kevin Love. Coach David Blatt has reportedly assured Wiggins he won't be traded. I'm sure most people would trade an unproven offensive talent Wiggins for a proven one in Kevin Love without hesitation, but they seem completely unwilling to trade Wiggins. There might not be much of a discussion to have, as Cleveland's roster is mostly gutted since making room for LeBron James. If they won't trade Wiggins for Love, it's because they believe that Wiggins is more valuable than Love. Love is a consistent 20 pt, 15 rebound threat, and is easily one of the top two or three power forwards in the league. For Cleveland to be unwilling to budge on Wiggins is either a very big endorsement of the #1 pick's potential, or a refusal to trade the future for a present which, with Love, would probably make the Cavaliers clear favorites in the East.

The potential of Wiggins might be enough to sway Minnesota, as is the potential of Thompson. In my opinion, while Bledsoe might not have the kind of ceiling that Wiggins and Thompson have, the combination of Bledsoe, any combination of rotation players the Suns have to offer, and Minnesota's 1st round pick next year (which is bound to be a high lottery pick after losing Love), is a better package as a whole than either package, even if Cleveland or Golden State were to include Wiggins or Thompson at the present time. We don't know how good either player will be. Right now, Bledsoe is better and more experienced than either, so far as we know. If neither Cleveland nor Golden State offers Wiggins or Thompson, Phoenix's offer is by far the best option.

The potential for a top-5 pick is something that isn't offered very often. Ultimately, Minnesota's hand may be forced by its own pick. Love, like Charles Barkley twenty years ago, would have the ability to be the #1 option on a deep team with an experienced coach and potent 2nd and 3rd options in Isaiah Thomas and All-NBA performer Goran Dragic, a probable All-Star in own right.


With the most comprehensive, most easily offered trade package at present for a player who would be perfect in Phoenix:

1) Minnesota would undoubtedly get a lot in return for Love.

2) Phoenix would be able to solve its roster excess problem, and improve their strength of their roster with Kevin Love, instantly transforming the Suns into a top 4 team in the West, if not top 2 or 3. (Two All-Stars, a potent bench, Isaiah Thomas, T.J. Warren (who is beyond legit) and Jeff Hornacek actually might not be enough to make the Western Conference Finals. Imagine if we had this potential roster in the East!)

3) Love would be in a great position to compete for a championship for as long as he wanted to stay in Phoenix.

The odds are that this is the best situation for Minnesota, for Phoenix and for Love. I'm not sure why it couldn't happen soon.

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