NBA AM: Are The Wolves Keeping Kevin Love?


Wolves swing-man Kevin Martin talks about the issues the Wolves had this year, what looks to be a crazy off-season and the future of the team.

Are You Ready For The Circus?:  With a small handful of games remaining for most of the NBA, several teams are heading into the offseason with looming doubts and daunting questions; none may be bigger than the Minnesota Timberwolves’ and their future with star forward Kevin Love.

Love’s name has been kicked around in trade rumors for most of the season and it’s expected that Love-mania will resume in full force this summer.

Minnesota unfortunately finds itself at a crossroads of sorts with head coach Rick Adelman, who is likely out at season’s end and needing to try and convince Love that his brightest future remains in Minnesota.

The popular opinion is that the Wolves have to move Love this summer while they can control the market in some ways and extract the most value out of a trade involving Love. However, the word around the team is that not only will the Wolves not move their star this summer, there are still some in the organization that believe the right coaching hire and the ability to offer him the most guaranteed money for his services could sway Love into a new long–term deal.

»In Related: The Timberwolves Salary Cap Chart.

There may be some delusions in that approach, but the logic that’s being laid out is simple. The Wolves won’t get nearly anything in return for Love in trade, so why not take their chances? If things are still uncertain at the trade deadline, the team would look to liquidate. The idea is that Minnesota, when healthy this year, looked like a playoff-caliber team, and with a few roster tweaks and the right coaching hire, the roster is talented enough to compete, even in the West. That, combined with a boat load of money, might be enough to sway Love into staying beyond his current contract.

If this sounds familiar, it’s exactly what the Orlando Magic did with Dwight Howard, conceding that six months of Howard and a possible playoff run was better than anything they could command in trade. A circus ensued and the rest is well documented history.

»In Related: The History Of The NBA Trades That Got Done.

The Atlanta Hawks did something similar with Josh Smith, only to find almost no market last year at the trade deadline for him and ultimately lost an All-Star caliber player for nothing in return this past summer.

The Wolves seem like they are more open to letting things play out with Love than trying to conduct a fire sale for him this summer, even though that might be the best return they can get.

As with all trades, the right combination of assets could turn a “no” into a “yes” fairly quickly, but if you are expecting Minnesota to open the trade hotline once their season comes to an end, it does not appear like that is their plan, in fact it seems like the Wolves are ready to hold on to Love, knowing full well they won’t get anything close to what he is, in return and that putting him in a winning situation might sway him into staying.

The Orlando Magic thought the same thing about Howard… Queue up the circus music it looks like the Wolves are ready to open the curtain for what is likely going to be a rumor filled summer.

Re-Drafting The 20102 Draft:  They say ‘hindsight is 20/20’, which means you can always accurately predict what just happened, but as we learn every year from the NBA Draft process, teams don’t always get the draft right. Admittedly some of a player’s success is directly tied to where he landed and the opportunities his team gave him, but if you look back at the 2012 NBA Draft, there are some players that would clearly get ranked and ultimately picked a little differently if the draft could be done again today.

Here is a look at how the 2012 NBA Draft would likely play out based on what we know today:

Pick Team Player
1 New Orleans Hornets Anthony Davis
2 Charlotte Bobcats Damian Lillard
3 Washington Wizards Bradley Beal
4 Cleveland Cavaliers Andre Drummond
5 Sacramento Kings Dion Waiters
6 Portland Trail Blazers (from Brooklyn) Terrence Ross
7 Golden State Warriors Jared Sullinger
8 Toronto Raptors Harrison Barnes
9 Detroit Pistons John Henson
10 New Orleans Hornets (from Minnesota via Clippers) Maurice Harkless
11 Portland Trail Blazers Kendall Marshall
12 Houston Rockets (from Milwaukee) Terrence Jones
13 Phoenix Suns Tyler Zeller
14 Milwaukee Bucks (from Houston) Thomas Robinson
15 Philadelphia 76ers Jeremy Lamb
16 Houston Rockets (from New York) Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
17 Dallas Mavericks (traded to Cleveland) Tony Wroten
18 Houston Rockets (from Utah via Minnesota) Miles Plumlee
19 Orlando Magic Draymond Green
20 Denver Nuggets Evan Fournier
21 Boston Celtics John Jenkins
22 Boston Celtics (from Clippers via Oklahoma City) Jae Crowder
23 Atlanta Hawks Will Barton
24 Cleveland Cavaliers (from Lakers, traded to Dallas) Kyle O'Quinn
25 Memphis Grizzlies Austin Rivers
26 Indiana Pacers Jeffery Taylor
27 Miami Heat (traded to Philadelphia) Festus Ezeli
28 Oklahoma City Thunder Andrew Nicholson
29 Chicago Bulls Meyers Leonard
30 Golden State Warriors (from San Antonio) Robert Sacre

Don’t agree? Drop your Re-Draft in the comment section below.

»In Related: The Top 100 NBA Draft Prospects.

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