The 2014 NBA Draft is over, but the deals for the rookies selected may be just beginning. Less than 12 hours after the Minnesota Timberwolves drafted Zach LaVine with the 13th overall pick, the rumor mill is churning and it seems that pick was made with the intent of adding LaVine to a trade that would send Kevin Love to the Golden State Warriors in return for Klay Thompson and a big man or two.
In case you didn’t notice, LaVine didn’t exactly look thrilled when the Timberwolves selected him; he was caught on camera dropping the f-bomb in a way that didn’t scream “enthusiasm.” LaVine obviously didn’t know at the time he was likely already headed West while being taken in the draft, but either way, Minnesota would be foolish not to trade him if he’s truly that unhappy about playing in the land of 10,000 lakes.
LaVine has been compared to Thompson, as most college players are likened to pro counterparts when they’re drafted, so the deal would make sense in that the Warriors would get a solid replacement at shooting guard in exchange for Thompson. As for Love, speculation is Golden State would send David Lee and/or Harrison Barnes to Minnesota to complete the trade.
Golden State’s starting five of Stephen Curry, LaVine, Andre Iguodala, Love and Andrew Bogut would be lethal while the Timberwolves would have a revamped young core about which to build with Flip Saunders now at the helm: Ricky Rubio, Thompson, Barnes, Lee and Gorgui Dieng.
Both sides would benefit from the deal as Love is a bigger, better version of Lee, LaVine is a younger, more athletic version of Thompson and Barnes would be the piece that evens out the scale in value and salaries exchanged between the two teams. Love would get to leave Minnesota and return home to California with a team that could not possibly be a better fit for him while the Timberwolves would get a solid return for him and a new future with experienced players.
The deal between these two teams revolving around Love has been imminent for some time, but expect the addition of LaVine to push this trade through very soon.
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