What is fair value for Kevin Love?
First let me preface this post by saying I am not really in favor of trading Love, but if he’s going to leave anyway then it is imperative that you get something in return of value. What is that? That’s has turned out to be a much harder question to answer. To look for a place to start I went to everyone’s favorite ESPN trade machine. I went through trade scenarios until I found ones that according to the Hollinger analysis were either a wash or in our favor. The flaw with this method is that it largely ignores draft picks. Draft picks of course have value, depending on where they are, how deep the draft is, and how smart the person doing the drafting is. I avoided it because I think that’s better served in another post and because we have Ricky due to be resigned and tanking right now is not going to encourage him to resign. Despite Ricky’s struggles this year I think he will still get a max deal. That is also another post. So without further ado here what I found.
I started with straight up trades and like you would guess there are really only two or three players in the league (Lebron, Durant, etc...) where you can trade love and get value in return. Those players are not getting traded. I also realized that sometimes logical trades don’t actually work according to Hollinger’s analysis. An example here would be Trading Love to Chicago for Gibson and Jokim Noah. I had to throw in AJ price to make the money work. Here the wolves suffer a -5 on their expected win/loss record. I’m not sure how accurate that is but I’m going with it anyway. Stat folks can contribute as to why this might result. There are a lot of trades like this. It’s very hard to trade love. I threw the lakers in some of these because we know Love would sign there. Obviously for some of these to work Draft picks are going to be involved here’s what I came up with.
Some that work are
Lakers receive Love, Shabazz, Price, and Nelson
Orlando receives: Gasol
Denver receives: Hummel
Obviously Denver and Orlando are probably getting first round picks from this. The lakers and Twolves first and maybe future firsts.
This trade resulted in a +1 gain for the wolves.
The second trade will make people grumble, but I had to at least throw in the numbers. It involves the Wolves, Lakers, and Knicks
Wolves get Carmelo (not sure why he would resign here, but…)
Lakers get Love and Shabazz
Knicks get Gasol and probably draft picks
This trade is a 0 gain for the wolves, but at least they don’t get worse.
If you remove the Lakers the options get more creative. I took a proposal from earlier in the week involving the wolves, Suns, and Philly.
The wolves get Thad Young, Evan Turner, and both the Morris twins
Phoenix gets Kevin love
Philly gets Shabaz, Okafur, and obviously draft picks
This trade resulted in a +1 gain for the wolves as well.
I realize this is a depressing topic; my hope is that the wolves make the playoffs, go on a run and love and Rubio sign extensions. This however is merely trying to get the ball started on if the wolves had to move love, what kind of deals are we looking at?