In the NBA, having a “Big 3” wasn’t a popular thing until the Boston Celtics were able to acquire Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to play alongside Paul Pierce.
In 2010, the Miami Heat signed free agents LeBron James and Chris Bosh to team up with Dwyane Wade.
The Golden State Warriors, unlike the two teams before them, drafted their trio of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
After the Dubs finished the 2013-14 season with a 51-31 record and lost in the first-round to the L.A. Clippers, reports surfaced that the team was exploring a trade that would send Thompson to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Kevin Love.
Thank goodness, the Logo Jerry West, who was an executive with the Warriors at the time, vetoed the deal, leading to Thompson being a huge part of the franchise winning three championships in five seasons.
Bleacher Report got its staff to come together and propose hypothetical moves for teams around the NBA to assemble a new “Big 3.”
Grant Hughes suggests the Dubs look into acquiring Love from the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Andrew Wiggins, two players that were traded for each other back in 2014.
“Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are basically guaranteed to make Andrew Wiggins look good, but why not swap out the 2014 No.1 overall pick for someone who can return the favor? Kevin Love, 31, could give the Warriors the facilitating, floor-stretching big they’ve never really had. He’d command attention at all times, allowing Curry and Thompson to zip around off the ball. Would any team have a better 4-5 passing tandem than Love and Draymond Green? Also, if Green is going to play more center next season anyway, it makes sense to slot him alongside a 4 who can stripe it from deep. Imagine the Dubs in a five-out set that doesn’t really surrender much size or rebounding. It’d be the best of both worlds. As an added bonus, Love could punish switching defenses by taking smaller matchups to the post, where he’s a gifted foul-drawer and passer. The 25-year-old Wiggins has youth and, theoretically, the potential to play shutdown wing defense on his side. But Golden State will have Thompson back, and Green should be able to wrangle most opposing 2s and 3s if the Dubs switch liberally to protect Love. It’s hard to know whether the Cavs would accept a straight-up swap of pricey deals that expire in 2023. They might; Love is six years older, and Wiggins would fit into a much longer timeline for a younger, rebuilding squad. If they had to, the Warriors could sweeten the pot with their 2020 first-rounder.”
The easy part about a potential Wiggins for Love swap is that the salaries are nearly identical, with each player averaging roughly $30 million a season.
For the Warriors, this move doesn’t make a ton of sense. At 31 years old, Love is still averaging 17.6 points and 9.8 rebounds this season with a terrible Cavaliers team, but I don’t think he will near those numbers in a couple of seasons. He is a liability in the pick-and-roll and injuries are always a concern.
Although Wiggins’ contract is expensive, the six years in age difference is huge. He will never live up to being picked No. 1 overall in 2014, but that I am excited to see how Wiggins fits alongside the Splash Brothers.
Hughes’ suggesting the Dubs could add their 2020 first-round pick as a sweetener is also a head scratcher, seeing as it’ll be a top-five selection.
With Curry and Thompson in their 30’s, Bob Myers is in prime position to add a young piece through the draft or trade that can help with the Warriors win now and still have a potential All-Star on the roster when Steph and Klay get towards the end of their careers .
What do you think of Hughes’ proposal?
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