As we all know by now, Kevin Love is not going to sign an extension with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Golden State Warriors are reportedly one of the teams on his short list of desirable alternatives.
Obviously, we'd all like to have Love on the Warriors: the idea of pairing him with Stephen Curry is just too enticing not to at least dream about. The challenge is coming up with a package that would make that dream into a reality.
Eric from SB Nation's T'wolves blog Canis Hoopus has been pretty vocal on Twitter about being unmoved by what the Warriors can offer and, frankly, I agree with him - barring a multi-team deal, I just don't see the tangible benefit of the Wolves trading with the Warriors over anyone else.
@AminESPN GSW pieces so unappealing. Lee at $15/yr? Barnes/Thompson marginally interesting at best. eim— canishoopus (@canishoopus) May 18, 2014
But for those who don't follow Canis Hoopus on Twitter or who want some more insight on what Wolves fans are thinking in one place, I contacted Eric to do a Q&A to serve as a primer to frame discussion about the Love rumors from a Warriors perspective.
Q&A with Canis Hoopus about Kevin Love
GSoM: Let's start simple: acknowledging that you're not enthused about any possible offers from the Warriors, what is the best offer involving the Warriors that you've heard/seen mentioned?
Eric in Madison: The problem with almost any Warriors offer is that we don't want to be stuck with David Lee for two years at north of $30M. It sours any deal. In truth, I would only take Lee if I were getting Curry, which I know is a complete non-starter for you guys.
That said, the two players I like best of those available from the W's are probably Thompson and Green. I suppose the best thing I could imagine (and it still isn't as good as I can get elsewhere) is Lee, Thompson, and Green for Love and Brewer. Another problem with it, though, is that both Green and especially Thompson will have to get new (expensive) contracts after next season.
GSoM: If the Warriors could throw in a 2015 draft pick, would that help move the needle a bit for you?
EiM: A little, but not much. That is unlikely to be a particularly high pick.
GSoM: Can you explain why the David Lee and Harrison Barnes package mentioned in the ESPN article is a non-starter for you?
EiM: Lee's contract is a huge turnoff, and Barnes just isn't very good. It just doesn't help us. Ties up cap space for no good reason. Lee is a clear downgrade at huge expense, and Barnes isn't interesting at all. Would much rather just play it out with Love and let him walk if that's what he's going to do then be tied up with those guys.
GSoM: If you were to do power rankings for the likely Wolves trading partners, a) where would you rank the Warriors based on what they can offer and b) what team do you think is at the top of the list?
EiM: Well, including only those teams where I think Love would likely re-sign, I would put the Warriors no higher then 5th. Clearly better deals are obtainable from Chicago, Boston, Houston, and Phoenix. Frankly, I would take the Lakers 6th pick and nothing else before I would make a Warriors deal.
GSoM: You've also mentioned that you'd rather the Wolves just take the risk of keeping Love and seeing how this plays out. What's the upside of that to you?
Well, he might decide to re-sign with the Wolves. I have no idea what he or his agent has actually told the Wolves, and neither do you. A lot of these kinds of stories come with an agenda from someone. Even if he plans to leave as of today, that can change in a year if things go well (not to mention the $30M he'd be leaving on the table). To me, taking that risk is better then a lot of the deals I've seen floated (not just the Warriors ones). The argument that it's better to get something than nothing is only true when that something is actually better than nothing. In a lot of these cases, nothing, meaning no extra commitments of salary, roster spots, and playing time is actually better.
For more on the Love and the Warriors, check out our storystream.