Let me just go on the record as saying I hope we keep Love and play him through the season unless some desperate team offers something too good to pass up at the trading deadline. Best case scenario we make the playoffs, show fairly well once we get there and have a LaMarcus Aldridge type situation on our hand with Love re-signing. Worst case scenario we blow the playoffs and Love leaves without anything to show for him other than extra cap room. I think it's pretty Flynnin obvious that this worst case scenario is better than many of those brutal trade offers we've been seeing bandied about the internet.
Let's say that Flip is dead set on trading away Love before the season starts however. The team would have several objectives that I think would need to be addressed:
1.) They need to shed as many of their bad contracts that limit flexibility as possible.
2.) They need more than just "potential" type young players.
3.) They need to get at least 1 player that has some legitimate upside to someday possibly be a top 10 player in this league as Love already is.
4.) Veterans we acquire must not have long term contracts if possible.
Let's look at the trade partners I'm proposing:
They have 1 year to show that they are up to the task of building a team around LeBron James. If they blow it James has set his contract up so he can walk in 2015. A VERY smart move on his part
They have the GM we all wish we had here on Canis Hoopus. He seems to be making every move by VJL's numbers and are in the second year of pulling all the right strings to put together a dominating young team in a couple more. They want young players with "potential" and need to get their team salary up to the minimum.
HERE'S THE TRADE:
PF Thaddeaus Young
SG Dion Waiters
SF Anthony Bennet
PG JJ Barrea
PF Kevin Love
SG Kevin Martin
WHY THE WOLVES DO IT:
It accomplishes all 4 of the criteria for what I think the team is looking for. It's a win now type of thing (as much as possible without Love) We would need to do some maneuvering to add a back up PG better than Barrea but that shouldn't be hard.
Anderson Varejao is one of the keys for me and I never hear his name come up. We could rotate him in with Pek and Dieng, and he's on the last year of his contract. The fact that he's hurt a lot could be minimized by playing him and Pek (player with similar issues) both less minutes than in the past. If Dieng is as good as I hope he is, letting Varejao walk after the year would open up some salary cap space to address weaknesses discovered throughout the season. Varejao is one of the most under rated players in my opinion and I'm sure we could find a role for him on this team.
Thaddeus Young is a very good, above average veteran PF on a ridiculously young team. He wants out and he's most definitely not in the Sixers long term plans. Philadelphia would be doing Young a big favor by trading him to pretty much any team and he would fit in very well with the Wolves.
Dion Waiters is a player I am not all that excited about but he could be a decent replacement for Martin. He may not be the shooter that Martin is but he's definitely more of an all around player. He's also young and on a halfway affordable rookie contract.
Andrew Wiggins is not a player I'm all that excited about either but he is probably the key to this whole trade. At least he has a fighting chance of being a star in a few years. One of the things I like about him is that worst case scenario he appears to be at least a defensive stopper.
Scoring for this team might be a problem but I would be willing to see how it worked out.
I know this trade doesn't include any draft choices but I REALLY have a hard time seeing that they are of any value to us. They would just give Saunders and his staff another opportunity to make the very worst possible decision. Until we get a new owner I don't see a draft choice as much of a positive.
WHY THE SIXERS DO IT:
Anthony Bennett still has the "potential" to be a lot better than he showed in his rookie season and what better team to take a flyer on that potential than one that could not care less if they win or lose while they find out. Bennett COULD be gold for Philadelphia.
Tristan Thompson has already pretty much shown that he's a below average but fairly solid PF that is on the last year of his rookie deal. At the very least he'll be a very good rebounder. He will probably be pretty easy to re-sign at the end of the year if the team likes him,
JJ Barrea and Chase Budinger would just be veteran players the team would have to take in order to make the deal work. Barrea is an expiring and Budinger COULD come back strong from his injuries but probably not.
If this trade went down the Sixers wouldn't be a better team but that's not what this is all about. They're counting on all this to start paying off in the Spring of 2016 and gambling on yet another 2 young players is exactly what they should be looking for.
WHY THE CAVALIERS DO IT:
Kevin Love.... LeBron, Irving and Love is definitely better than LeBron, Wade and Bosh were last year. I would be so damn excited to be a Cleveland fan right now if this trade went down.
Kevin Martin would be a veteran SG to replace Waiters. He may not play defense but he's still a great offensive player. I would say the fact that his offense is better than Waiter's and vice versa for the defense, making this part of the trade a bit of a wash. The Cavs need veterans now rather than young developing players with potential. Players with potential need to be gone if they can be replaced with known quantities like Martin.
Ronny Turiaf was thrown in there because the Cavs will need depth, especially at the center position and Turiaf looked pretty good as the back up center for the Wolves last year when he was healthy.
After completing this trade the Cavs would definitely be hurting at the center position but the Birdmanis still out there and so is Andrew Bynum. Regardless, with Varejao's injury history I would be pretty wary of counting on him for a championship run they're supposed to be making next year anyway.
The trade would also have stripped the Cavaliers of pretty much all of their high potential players. I just don't see that as a bad thing however. Their time is NOW, not 2 or 3 years down the road like they might have been trying so hard to be since LeBron left. I think it's hard for their fans to mentally switch gears and abandon that entire building for the future thing they've been hoping for all these years. One of the first things the Heat did when they landed LeBron and friends was to immediately dump Michael Beasley for nothing. Smart move on their part I would say and the Cavs dumping players like Wiggins, Waiters, Thompson and Bennett should not be a problem.