Look. I get why the Lakers do it. I mean, think about what that franchise's frame of reference is like. They haven't had a losing season since 2004. They haven't lost more than 50 games since 1975. In between, they've had absolute dynasties: Magic and Kareem, Shaq and Kobe, Kobe and Pau, and 10 championships.
And now, all the sudden, they live in a world where superstar centers desert them, Kobe isn't invincible, and the Staples Center actively celebrates being red and blue instead of purple and gold.
The Lakers don't understand losing. Their fans don't understand losing. Their media doesn't understand losing. When the Wolves were losing (err....were losing more) we responded by focusing on the process: parsing the CBA, coming up with draft analytics, studying patterns of usage and balance and management. The Lakers? Well.....29 teams showed up at the Sloan Analytics Conference last year. The one that didn't?
The Lakers don't fix their problems by getting smarter. They fix their problems by spending more money to chase everyone else's best players. Love played at UCLA? He loves Los Angeles? He plays for a small market team in a city half the west coast considers theoretical? Destined to be a Laker. Obvi.
As Eric has pointed out several times, simply keeping Love and rolling the dice on convincing him to stay is a completely legitimate option. In fact, compared to some of the offers floating around out there, it's downright preferable.
However, Love's previous comments and reported choice of destinations makes one thing crystal clear: he wants to win. That's it, that's all that matters to him right now. And winning does not appear to be in the Wolves' immediate future.
So he listed Chicago. He listed Golden State. And now he's wandering around Boston with his agent, taking pictures with everyone on the street and taking in baseball games where he may or may not (or did) have had a conversation with Rajon Rondo.
Need to see these guys together @kevinlove @RajonRondo #collectingdimes #breakingbackboards pic.twitter.com/aJz1aEvEqJ— Big Dub (@BigDub74) June 1, 2014
Factor in Love's heated history with this team...Rambis, Kahn, the ETO bomb, the Woj interview...and well, it's hard not to believe too many shots have been fired to smooth things over at this point. Smoke indicates fire. Teams and players that exchange this much animosity don't just magically work things out. Especially when Flip and Ricky lob off some less-than-diplomatic soundbites to the media. Flip seems indifferent to Love's opinions, and I strongly believe he would have seen Rubio as the future even if Love wanted to stay. Ricky, well...they're far from a Love/Barea level of antagonism, but I think it's safe to say Ricky isn't Love's biggest fan.
But perhaps the best argument for dealing Love now comes from none other than Charles Barkley...a guy uniquely qualified to speak about Love's situation...who gave his two cents to the Pioneer Press
Charles Barkley to @PioneerPress in conference call: "The #Twolves are in trouble. I think Kevin Love is the best power forward in the NBA."— Andy Greder (@twolvesnow) June 3, 2014
Given that Chuck's last couple years in Philadelphia almost exactly mirror Love's situation now...a singular talent on a poorly managed team that can't make the playoffs....you have to give a lot of weight to his words. He knows exactly what Kevin Love is thinking right now. He's lived that life before. He's thought probably every thought Love has had over the last year or two, verbatim. And I'm pretty sure if you asked him "Hey Chuck, if Philly had kept you one more year and blah blah blah, would you have changed your mind?", you'd get a very very emphatic "No" from him. He left the Sixers and made the Suns instant contenders. He won MVP with Phoenix. He went to the Finals with Phoenix.
Is staying one more year here to make the 7th or 8th seed going to change Love's mind about Chicago or Golden State? Not likely. The Bulls are his Suns. Love + Noah + a healthy Rose are an instant title contender. Even if we keep Love here, it would take us years to reach that level. We aren't going to be a more likely champion than Chicago with one extra year.
So. I think that makes this the point of no return now, with now being the operative word.
- You still have leverage over where you send him because Love can't opt out for a full year
- You don't have a cloud of anxiety hanging over the franchise over the summer and half, if not all, of next year
- The draft is how you rebuild and where you find stars. Deal him now and you'll know exactly which picks you're getting and who's going to be on the board
That last point is particularly important, in context of the debate about dealing him now versus as the February trade deadline next year. Trade him in February and you have a good 4-5 months of time to try and show Love the team will win. But if he still wants out, then you're stuck gambling on where any given team's picks will land and who will or won't declare.
So if he has to be traded, now is the best time to trade him. Not later in the summer. Not at the deadline. Now. And again, if your stance is to not trade him, that's fine. Just understand that the deals the Wolves will get offered for him all go downhill from June 27th on. The longer you wait, the more you risk David Lee. Or, if he does end up simply accepting less money by walking...which is a perfectly in the realm of possibility (Dwight Howard)...you risk Flip Saunders, I guess. Cap space has not been something the Wolves have historically used well.
And of course, when has a case of a guy wanting out and the team keeping him anyway ended well? Kobe is the only one I can think, when they landed Pau Gasol after Bryant's parking lot rant about Andrew Bynum and Jason Kidd
Now, if you've been following the Hoopus twitter feed, you've probably noticed that fans of other teams don't quite get how good Love really is. The Wizards fans wouldn't give up Bradley Beal for him. Some Warriors fans wouldn't give up Klay Thompson for him. Bulls fans wouldn't give up Jimmy Butler from him (??????) Ok then, guys...
So if Love is going to go, let's at least exert some control over where and for what.
The teams that Love wants to go to:
Golden State Warriors - possible deal: Kevin Love and Kevin Martin for Klay Thompson, David Lee, Harrison Barnes, 2 future first rounders
This scenario is awful, no matter which way it gets constructed, for two big reasons really:
- The Warriors owe their pick this year to Utah, so they have no 2014 draft pick to offer
- There's no way to make this deal without taking David Lee back
I have no interest in paying David Lee's salary. Even for one year. I have no interest in being the one to decide how much Klay Thompson's first big contact is worth. I have no interest in Harrison Barnes in any context.
Yes, Thompson would be a great fit next to Rubio in that backcourt. He's also a solid defender and an underrated athlete. But he doesn't rebound much, doesn't put the ball on the floor much, and his free throw rate is anemic. His only shot at becoming more than a reliable 2nd or 3rd option is to shoot like Peja.
A decent scorer, a guy you don't want, a guy who isn't any good, and a couple late first rounders for a top 10 player?
Chicago Bulls - Kevin Love and Kevin Martin for Carlos Boozer, Jimmy Butler, rights to Nikola Mirotic, the #16 pick and the #19 pick
Honestly, I don't totally hate this idea. In general, the Wolves should be looking for a high lottery pick, or a young player with high lottery pick cred, as the centerpiece for any Love deal.
This also moves Love to the (L)Eastern Conference, although it'd create a ridiculously skilled front court in Love and Noah. I think you can also plausibly convince Chicago to take Martin as well, both as just part of getting Love, and also in light of their absolute void at the 2 guard spot. It'd be great if the Wolves could pull off a miracle and get Noah back as the deal's centerpiece, but somehow I doubt the Bulls will go for that idea.
A lot will hinge on if the Wolves think they can convince Mirotic to actually sign and play here. Barring a wild card trade (addressed below) Mirotic is arguably the single best player the Wolves can get out of any Love trade with anyone...a killer catch-and-shoot power forward who also gets out in transition and is ever-improving at creating off the dribble. The guy is already Ryan Anderson, and has the potential to be Dirk.
If the Wolves make this trade and can't get Mirotic to sign here, then this deal is something of a waste, boiling down to basically cap space from Boozer expiring and unloading Kevin Martin. But if they can get MIrotic to sign, a high lottery talent, a couple first rounders, a reliable workman and $15mil in expiring salary is about as good as you could ask for, given the circumstances.
Teams that want to get Love:
Sacramento Kings - Kevin Love, Kevin Martin and JJ Barea for Rudy Gay, Jason Thompson, Ben McLemore, the #8 pick, and a future first rounder
The latest entry into the Love Sweepstakes is pretty ick, because there's just no way Sacramento will deal out Cousins for Love. That leaves Rudy Gay as basically the only option to make the money ends meet. Because Williams can't be traded back to us until July 1....at which time the #8 pick is no longer part of the deal....even the odds and ends path (something like Williams, Thompson, McLemore and Carl Landry) isn't viable.
So I guess if you're stuck taking on an unwanted, long term contract, you might as well get rid of a couple of them as well. Still, this is a highly unappealing trade partner, no matter what chips get put on the table.
Still, in the noise level of Commissioner Pelton's thing'o'meter...
Phoenix Suns - Kevin Love for Goran Dragic, Markieff Morris, Gerald Green, #14 pick in the 2014 draft, get back the first rounder in 2015 draft
This scenario is a little awkward for a couple of reasons.
One, you've no doubt noticed I've chosen Dragic instead of Eric Bledsoe. That's not a mistake. Bledsoe's younger and more athletic with a much higher ceiling. But it's going to take a max deal to keep him in Minnesota. And of more paramount concern, Phoenix's training staff (which are above any and all criticism and/or doubt at this point) have put a 9 year shelf life on Bledsoe's knees, which a 50% chance of a major injury happening during that time. And of course, if/when that injury occurs, the chances of a third one happening go up again.
Second, while the Suns have a boat load of draft picks, none of them are all that high, and they're pretty much all this year. Even if the Wolves were to engineer a deal that returns the #14, #18, and #27 picks, what would they do with them? They aren't going to camp with four or five rookies.
I think, if you're one of the people who's willing to role the dice on Bledsoe's knees and price tag, the Suns are a great trade partner. If not though, there's a lot of selective thinking to do.
Boston Celtics - Kevin Love for Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, Phil Pressey, Joel Anthony, Brandon Bass, #6 pick, #17 pick, and a future first rounder
There are definitely those who don't like this idea much, but I'm behind it, and here's why.
The first three picks in this draft will be Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid. No idea what order, but unless Cleveland pulls an Anthony Bennett again, it will be those three. Number four (Orlando), I'd think is almost certain to be Dante Exum, and I'd think there's a good chance the Jazz will take Marcus Smart.
That means at #6, the Wolves will have a shot at Aaron Gordon or Noah Vonleh. Or possibly even a choice between them.
Aaron Gordon is a supreme athlete. Let's start there.
Gordon is the guy Kahn tried so hard to pair with Ricky Rubio. A quick, explosive high flier to Rubioop to. His offense as a whole is very shaky, particularly his shooting (his FT% was a horrendous 42%) He's reportedly working with a shooting coach to correct his form, but either way he looks to be an absolute Amare/Griffin type of force in the pick and roll game.
He also has the tools to be an exceptional defender, and was the best defender on arguably the NCAA's best defensive team. Of particular note, Gordon showed he can guard the small forward and power forward spots equally well, which is becoming more and more important in a modern NBA filled with stretch 4s. We saw this happen a lot this year with Love, where teams would throw guys like Shawn Marion, Al Farouq-Aminu and Jeremy Evans at him.
Gordon dogged some of the best perimeter guys in college ball this year, including Kyle Anderson, CJ Wilcox, and even Parker....Jabari went 7-21 and committed 5 turnovers in Duke's lone game against AZ. He had been averaging 23ppg on 62% shooting up to that point. A guy who you can throw at anyone from Melo to Dirk...and who could possibly become a guy who can do battle with everyone from Durant to Dwight Howard...is an invaluable player to any NBA team. Especially so for one that has titanic struggles defending the ball on a possession-by-possession basis.
On the other side of the coin is Noah Vonleh. He's not the athlete Gordon is (although he's not bad, by any means) and probably won't be as much of a defensive force. But his offensive game is better and his skill level is much more refined.
Both facing up and with his back to the basket, Vonleh shows skill as a scorer. He also has touch from range, shooting 71% from the line and 48% from three (though keep in mind, he only attempted one 3pter a game or so)
Vonleh got a huge boost from the combine, where he measured much bigger than expected; 6'9", with a ridiculous 7'4" wingspan. That put complete rest to any doubts he would be undersized at the NBA level.
As a most likely scenario, I think Vonleh will be something like a Paul Millsap...a versatile scorer with respectable shooting range out to the 3pt line, a strong rebounder, and tough post defender. He'll still be short compared to guys like Anthony Davis and Timmy, but his arms will make up for most of it.
Gordon I think will fall somewhere in the Kirilenko/Joakim Noah range...a remarkably versatile defender who can also rebound and facilitate. His scoring likely won't be a strong point, but it'll be more than adequate to keep from being a liability.
Of the two, I'd prefer Gordon. I'm a little concerned with Vonleh's low FGA (just 7 per. Only attempted 10+ shots in 5 of his 30 games) For reference, Love attempted 10/game at UCLA. Griffin attempted 13/game at Oklahoma. Anthony Davis attempted just 8/game at Kentucky, but shot such an absurdly high percentage (64% !!!) that an increased volume regression would only knock him down from 'awesome' to 'really really good'
As his selling point is his offense, I think there's a risk that Vonleh's efficiency will get knocked down to a pedestrian level if he's asked to carry the scoring load (which he will be if he's basically replacing Love) He doesn't have Davis or Griffin's physical gifts, and doesn't have the best hands like Love, in terms of catching or rebounding in traffic.
Gordon's definitely not going to be able to carry the scoring load his first few years at least. Maybe not ever, if his shooting doesn't improve. But I like his fit next to Rubio in the pick-and-roll a lot better, he's all but certain to be the better defender, and his ceiling is higher (VJL has his star potential 5% higher than Vonleh's) But as it stands, either would be a pretty good pick at #6.
Los Angeles Lakers - Kevin Love for the #7 pick and.....uhh. .....uuuhhhhhhhh..........
Well, the #7 pick can still get you a shot at Gordon or Vonleh. But the Lakers have literally nothing else of value to offer here. Either you take on what's left of Steve Nash (who would promptly retire if he's actually traded) or shell out an overpriced multiyear deal to 33 year old Pau Gasol.
Not enticing either way. To say nothing of the fact beloved Los Angeles isn't on Love's list anyway. Even at the last trade deadline, Love was quipping about how we had a better team than the Lakers. And I somehow doubt he'd take well to being Kobe's #2. He saw how Dwight got treated by the Mamba. Someone like LeBron or Durant he'd probably be fine with, but not Kobe.
New York Knicks - Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic, Kevin Martin, Corey Brewer, JJ Barea and Alexey Shved for Tyson Chandler, Andrea Bargnani, Amare Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert, 10 future first rounders.
The Knicks have even less to offer than the Lakers, as they don't even have a first round pick this year. So if we're forced into this, might as well take advantage of Dolan's absurdness by dumping off every long term deal we can for every expiring they offer, plus all their picks for the next decade.
Rubioops to Chandler for 2 years, plus enough draft pick to make even Daryl Morey jealous. It's....something...
Team that wants Love that he'd probably be ok with if he was asked:
Houston Rockets - Kevin Love for Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin, Donatas Motiejunas, Terrence Jones, #25 pick in 2014 and at least 2 future first rounders
This scenario is complicated on two fronts.
One is the Rockets are already very good, so even their draft pick this year won't be worth much. And obviously future picks would be worth even less if they add Love to the Howard/Harden core.
And two, this deal depends entirely...not almost entirely....literally entirely on a gamble that Chandler Parsons will sign here long term.
Jeremy Lin would make a great backup point guard, which the Wolves desperately need, but his contract structure....which pays him $15mil this year....makes him absurdly expensive. Motiejunas has potential to become a good stretch 4/5, and Jones is a solid workman. But even with Parsons, this sort of deal is a questionable return for a top 10 player. Without him, it's historically bad. Dwight Howard for Mo Harkless bad, and Orlando was trying to get miserable deal out of that.
Teams that Minnesota should make a phone call to:
Utah Jazz - Kevin Love for Gordon Hayward (sign-and-trade), Jeremy Evans, #5 pick in 2014
If the Jazz are willing to play ball, then this scenario is rather great, offering three strong pieces to rebuild/retool/rewhatever with:
- A good (great, if you believe he can get back to his 2012 form) off-the-ball shooter for Rubio to kick out to who is also versatile and deceptively athletic
- A stellar athlete with great defensive potential to Rubioop to
- (Again) a shot at Aaron Gordon or Noah Vonleh
If you're going to lose a guy of Love's stature, you could do a lot worse than rewhatevering with a core of Rubio/Hayward/Gordon.
Washington Wizards - Kevin Love for Bradley Beal, Nene, two future first round picks
I'm bullish enough on Beal that I'd be willing to make this deal even though the Wizards don't have a first rounder to deal this year.
What impresses me most with Beal is his basketball IQ. The guy has terrific athletic gifts, but plays the game cerebrally, using his athleticism as a tool instead of a crutch. Always balanced, always calculating, always aware of the clock and everyone on the floor. He annihilated the Bull's first-class defense, and showed out against Indiana as well. And unlike Harrison Barnes, I'm willing to gamble that his playoff performance (which, in context, was a cap to a great ending of the season for him) is him making a first big leap, not just an aberration.
Nene meanwhile offers at least a stopgap at the power forward spot (or the center spot, if a Love deal also leads to a Pekovic deal) I'd also try and see if the Wizards would take on Barea and/or Kevin Martin and include Otto Porter and Andre Miller in the trade.
The Wild Card:
Cleveland Cavaliers - Kevin Love for Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, Alanzo Gee, and the #1 pick in 2014
Ok. So here's the thing.
What's getting overlooked in all of this "where does Love want to play" talk is that right now, it doesn't matter where Love wants to play.
I don't think Love would stay in Cleveland. I don't think Flip Saunders thinks he'd stay in Cleveland and I don't think David Griffin really thinks he'd stay in Cleveland. And guess what? It doesn't matter. What matters is if Dan Gilbert thinks Love will stay in Cleveland, and I'm willing to bet Dan Gilbert does.
And this applies to everyone, really. It doesn't matter if Kevin Love doesn't want to go to Utah or Boston or Washington or wherever, as long as a GM or owner of those teams is willing to deal for him. If Love wants out, then the Wolves owe him nothing. Take the best deal on the table, the end. If he wants out of his new team after that, then that's their problem.
We're seeing now something that benefits the Wolves a great deal: teams are willing to deal for Love even without his promise to sign an extension. Boston will do it because they think they can sell Love on being the next Celtic great. Sacramento will do it because, as long as they're not trading Cousins, they've got nothing to really lose anyway. And Cleveland I bet would do it because they think Love will take to Irving and then that duo will fetch them LeBron (which is flawed thinking in so many ways, but hey. Dan Gilbert. And Comic Sans)
Dion Waiters has had his ups and down on and off the court early in his NBA career. He was a reach at #4 in the draft, but that doesn't discount his talent level. Waiters is a great athlete who can create for himself or for others (he probably actually looks to pass too much) He needs to learn to play with his mind...unlike Beal, Waiters does use his athleticism as a crutch...and his shooting is very streaky. But if he can learn to read the floor and make smarter plays, he has potential as a compliment to Rubio or a poor man's Ginobili type off the bench.
Thompson is at least a servicable big who can fill in at power forward in Love's absence (he averaged 11 point and 9 rebounds last season) and should develop into a solid starter (like a Jason Thompson) given a couple more years, if the team decides to go that direction.
But the real prize here, of course, is the #1 pick. As you'd expect, Cleveland isn't ruling out dealing the top pick in the draft, preferring instead to say they're not shopping it but would consider it 'for the right player'. I'm inclined to think the Cavs are leaving that door open basically for the sole purpose of a possible Love deal.
As for who to pick? Hoo boy. Buckle up.
The top three guys in this draft (at least by who's actually going to pick picked top 3. Sorry Kyle Anderson) are Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Joel Embiid. All three have their virtues and all three have their flaws.
Start with Andrew Wiggins. The guy is athletic as all get out. And in terms of potential, probably does indeed have the most out of this trio. There genuinely are bits of McGrady in him. Bits of Scottie Pippen and bits of Grant Hill. His athleticism is by far his biggest draw. Lots of guys can go from playing recreation basketball to playing smart basketball. Very few can go from jumping 35" to jumping 40+
The flaws side of Wiggins is, while he puts up impressive highlight reels, he didn't actually play very impressive basketball. His shooting was nothing special (45%, 34% from three), he struggled with his handles, and just generally looked a little lost. He didn't rebound or facilitate particularly well, and while his man defense was indeed impressive, his concept of team defense was very lacking. Statistically, he fell in between Marvin Williams and Harrison Barnes (ugh) It wouldn't be unfair to say that Embiid rocketing up the board was in big part due to Wiggins' failure to grasp the spotlight.
On the other side of that coin is Jabari Parker, a scoring machine who looks as lost on defense as Wiggins does on offense. Parker shot the lights out...50% overall, 36% from deep...and showed a refined level of offensive skill that's very rarely seen in juniors and seniors, much less freshmen. He's not nearly as athletic as Wiggins, but has a much better understanding of his physical state and plays the game much more cerebrally. And his repertoire is nearly as unlimited as Wiggins' vertical...step throughs, step backs, post ups, transition, dribble-shoot, catch-and-shoot....Parker can do it all.
He needs to learn to move the ball more....Coach K actually benched him a couple times for jacking up contested shots when Rodney Hood was on fire.
But where Parker really struggles is defensively. Even while spending most of his minutes at the 4 and 5 spots at Duke (he's probably best suited as an NBA 3, at least in the early going) Parker had a lot of difficulty simply staying in front of his man. He doesn't move his feet well and has a poor sense of positioning. As he was generally the backfield for Duke, it remains to be seen if he has any understanding of how to force his man into help defense, but no answer isn't necessarily a good answer in this case.
And then there's Joel Embiid, who's stellar on both offense and defense. Great hands, great footwork, great athleticism, great timing. Embiid is remarkably good not just for a guy who's only been playing basketball for a few years, but in comparison to any college player period.
To illustrated just how good he is, VJL's most likely statistical comparison is Patrick Ewing. With legitimate comparisons to Hakeem and Charles Barkely.
But: the back. The back the back the back. Embiid's back not only kept him out of the last four regular season games for Kansas, but also their two tournament games (they were outed by Stanford. Not a great end for an Embiid/Wiggins/Selden team) Embiid's agent of course claims he's fine now....while at the same time jealously guarding his medical files like they're nuclear launch codes.
Embiid is the best player of this trio. It'd be damn hard to pass up someone who projects at an Ewing/Hakeem level. But taking him must come with the understanding that he's likely to deal with a variety of nagging injuries that will keep him out of games every year (think Andre Kirilenko) that could potentially snowball into a very serious, Greg Oden type of situation.
Of the three, I'm in the (I assume) minority of picking Jabari Parker first.
Between Parker and Wiggins....more than a statistical difference....I think there's a competitive difference. Let me explain what I mean by that:
Kevin Garnett's most standout play early in his rookie year came against the Rockets.
What's remarkable about that isn't so much the quickness and athleticism KG displayed, but the leadership. He gets the block, then starts the break by dragging down a rebound in front of Hakeem and kicking it forward to Terry Porter. Then he runs the floor and...when he sees he has a lane to the basket....starts clapping for the ball back. He's a teenager here, with more to prove than anyone who had entered the league in decades, and he initiates a fast break, then demands the right to finish it from a 33 year old veteran.
That's the look of a guy who's out to bend basketball to his will. Some guys take what they get. Other guys go get it.
Now take a look at the way Wiggins plays versus how Parker plays. Not in terms of skill or stats. In terms of confidence and presence.
Wiggins does a lot of tentative probing. Lots of drives into double teams, lots of shots lofted over guys in position to contest. He looks like a guy who doesn't know how to make smart plays, then uses his absurd athleticism to bail himself out of bad ones. Parker, by contrast, calculates where he's going, gets defenders out of position, puts up smart shots and just generally forces the game to play out at his own tempo.
The difference between Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker is a guy who's taking what he gets and a guy who goes and gets it. Parker plays with authority. He makes the game answer to him.
As for Embiid, well, you don't mess around with back problems. Broken bones heal, torn ligaments can be stitched back together, but back problems fairly immobilize you, and stick with you to a degree the rest of your life. Ask Tracy McGrady. Ask Dwight Howard. Ask Ralph Sampson. Ask Larry Johnson. Ask Larry Bird. All your body's movement starts from your core. A bad back isn't something you can take weight off of or hide, and it generally just gets progressively worse, particularly in a sport where guys are crashing into you and hitting your back all the time.
I'm willing to risk not taking Embiid over the risk of his back being a chronic problem. Maybe not picking him makes me the OKC doctor who sent Tyson Chandler away. Maybe picking him makes you the doctor who cleared Greg Oden. Not saying you have to agree or disagree, that's just my take.
But whether you favor Parker or Embiid...or even Wiggins, or even just keeping Love...if Cleveland is willing to deal this package, you have to give it serious consideration. The #1 pick in this draft is a Flynnin' prize, and the deal as a whole is the best you'll see for Love. If (seemingly when...) Love walks, you don't want to look back and realize you turned down the next Hakeem in a doomed effort to change Love's mind.
It seems undeniable at this point: Kevin Love's future is not with the Wolves. July 1, 2015 is the longest he'll be in Minnesota, and if we do hang onto him that long, we'll only be damaging ourselves for it. He'll get what he wants in the end either way. The Wolves should take the best shot at getting something out of it too, and that means trading Love in the next three weeks.