If you’re a true NBA fan and you watch any San Antonio Spurs games, you’ve heard commentators talk about certain players as “Spurs players.” They just fit the Spurs’ system, which most fake basketball fans call boring. Besides Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Love are the two players in the league who most fit that description. Leonard was born to be a Spur and he is one. Love was also born to be a Spur, but he unfortunately ended up with the Minnesota Timberwolves to play out his career as a star on a bad team, just like Kevin Garnett in the 1990s. But now that Duncan’s career is drawing to a close and San Antonio has rebuilt while still contending, the time is perfect for a trade to bring Love home.
Now everyone, including the Timberwolves’ brass, knows Love will walk in 2015 as a free agent if he’s not traded before then. But we know Minnesota doesn’t want draft picks because it turned down a deal for the No. 1 overall pick this year when the Cleveland Cavaliers called. So how about players?
A hypothetical trade between the Wolves and Chicago Bulls was recently discussed that involved Jimmy Butler as the centerpiece of the trade along with Love. If a player of Butler’s caliber could entice Minnesota to deal its superstar, then the Spurs could offer up a combo of Manu Ginobili and Marco Belinelli or maybe young up-and-comers like Danny Green and Aron Baynes.
But that’s all beside the point; the Spurs could ensure the continuation of their dynasty in the post-Duncan era because Love is the next Duncan — he rebounds like a machine, he plays terrific defense, his passing is incredible, he’s very mentally tough and his fundamentals are off the charts. He’s like Timmy Junior. Who better to insert into the Spurs’ core for the next decade?
Love to the Spurs would also mean he’d re-sign in 2015 unless he’s more interested in a big market than winning, which is a real possibility. But if he’s the old soul that we think he is, Love would think he’d died and gone to heaven if he was dealt to San Antonio. And with the string of championships that would follow, the folks down on the river walk would feel the same way.