Kevin Love has made it clear he doesn’t wish to remain a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves for much longer, which to me is just fine given how little success he’s brought to Minnesota. The Timberwolves have yet to make the playoffs with Love on the roster, yet he’s still seen as a franchise player
In an increasingly competitive Western Conference, the Wolves are headed nowhere fast. Love isn’t a superstar who can create his own shot, and given he rarely makes a defensive impact when he does hustle down the court, he really isn’t a player the Timberwolves — or any other franchise for that matter — can build around. Love is often given the last shot in close games, yet the Timberwolves were one of the worst fourth-quarter teams in the league this year, showing he simply wasn’t getting the job done in crunch time.
As a No. 2 option, however, Love is a dream scenario for many teams including the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls. All four squads already have a young superstar to build around, and Love would excel as a second option running pick and pops to get open shots.
Love would be invaluable in this role as he would no longer be relied upon to create his own shot, one of his few weaknesses, and could continue to put up monstrous rebounding numbers. Other NBA teams realize this, making him a more valuable trade asset than many realize.
Love is widely considered one of the top two power forwards in the league, and given how deep and talented the upcoming draft class is, the Timberwolves would be smart to move him as soon as possible. They already hold the No. 13 pick which will likely get them a second-tier player who will immediately make an impact off the bench, but trading into the top six would get them an instant starter and perennial All-Star.
The Cavaliers have already stated they would consider trading the first overall pick in the draft, which means the Timberwolves would get their choice of prospects and likely go with either Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker. Parker would immediately fill the scoring void left by Love, and Wiggins would be a well-rounded player who would improve this team both offensively and defensively.
The Celtics are another team Love has been linked to, and considering they hold both pick Nos. 6 and 17, the Wolves could draft Love’s replacement early — either Julius Randle or Noah Vonleh — and use their remaining selections on high ceiling prospects like Dario Saric out of Croatia or Zach LaVine of UCLA.
The Timberwolves are losing Love one way or another, but management should be jumping for joy as they will have many offers on the table and be able to rebuild this team through one of the deepest drafts in recent memory. The real pressure comes with selecting the right players, however, which has been the Achilles heel of this franchise for quite some time.