By Alex Moss on July 18, 2014
It’s no secret that the Golden State Warriors have been pushing hard to trade for Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love for a while now. While Love could provide the necessary talent to push the Dubs into the coveted category of title contenders, a trade for Love is not without risks.
Here are the five biggest risks Golden State would incur by trading for Love.
In a trade for Kevin Love, the Warriors may be forced to sweeten the pot with a future draft pick or two, especially if a bidding war with the Cleveland Cavaliers ensues. In its three-team trade with the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets to obtain Andre Iguodala, the Dubs offloaded two first-rounders and three second-round picks, leaving Golden State’s stash of future assets rather diminished.
If the Warriors are to receive Love, they will most likely have to ship off Klay Thompson in the deal. Thompson is a valuable player on both sides of the floor for Golden State, and moving him would leave the Dubs with a dearth of options at the two. While Iguodala can ably slide in at shooting guard, he lacks the sweet shooting of Thompson and will have trouble guarding quicker, more athletic guards in the future as he begins to slow with age.
Ever since his days at UCLA, Love has been his team’s No. 1 scoring option. Should he join the Warriors, however, that would change. The Dubs are undoubtedly Stephen Curry’s team, and there’s no telling if Love would be able to adjust well to being a secondary scorer or if the transition would be smooth for him.
Because he played 77 of 82 possible games last season, it’s easy to forget that Love used to be considered an injury-prone player. In fact, before last year, Love had only played more than 60 games once since his rookie season. There is no guarantee Love will be able to remain healthy for a full season and a month or so of playoff basketball, which he has never been expected to do.
If Love joins the Warriors and the team underachieves next season due to injuries or a rocky transition under coach Steve Kerr, there is no guarantee that Love is sticking around and signing an extension with Golden State. Losing Thompson and Lee for one year of Love would hurt, and should Love walk after next season, the Warriors could be left without any hopes of contending.
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