According to various reports around the basketball world, the Sacramento Kings have emerged as potential favorites to land Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love.
— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) June 4, 2014
The key to Sacramento’s interest is that it would likely be okay with taking Love on without a contract extension. That has to be a major concern to certain teams currently in the sweepstakes, but the feeling with the Kings front office is that they need to make a bold move in order to be seen as serious contenders.
The other key to this report is that Sacramento won’t part with big man DeMarcus Cousins. Everyone else on the roster seems to be available in a potential Love trade.
In any event, let’s take a look at what a potential Love to the Kings trade might look like.
Eighth Overall Pick
Any deal involving the Kings and Timberwolves would likely include Sacramento’s lottery pick. This is a highly-sought after trade chip considering just how deep the 2014 NBA draft is. Acquiring a pick in the top 10 to go along with its 13th selection would be huge for Minnesota.
Any number of options would be available to the Timberwolves if they are able to acquire a high pick. Names that come to mind in that range include Tyler Ennis, Marcus Smart and James Young…all of whom would be top-five picks in normal years.
Ben McLemore, Shooting Guard
McLemore, the seventh overall pick last year, had his ups and downs as a rookie. He averaged nearly nine points and three rebounds per game, but shot under 38 percent from the field and put up a 7.8 PER. He was seen as a high-upside player out of Kansas and would provide Minnesota with the opportunity to build a strong young backcourt with Ricky Rubio.
Derrick Williams, Power Forward
Williams was Minnesota’s first-round pick (second overall) back in the 2011 NBA draft. He struggled big time to start the 2013-2014 season and was eventually traded to Sacramento after just 11 games. Williams’ involvement in this deal would likely be to move him to a third team and give the Timberwolves another young asset in return. A team like the Golden State Warriors (Draymond Green) or Cleveland Cavaliers (Dion Waiters) could potentially get involved here. As it is, Williams’ $5 million contract makes him a near necessity in a Timberwolves-Kings swap. In addition to this, Minnesota couldn’t re-acquire Williams until July 1st under the CBA.
Carl Landry, Power Forward
Speaking of necessity, there is very little that could be done as it relates to trade negotiations between these two teams if Landry isn’t involved. His $6.5 million salary makes it a near impossibility for Minnesota and Sacramento to work out a deal without including him. In terms of what this would do for the Timberwolves, they would get a solid starter-caliber power forward that could hold down the fort until a youngster is ready to take over. Landry averaged 4.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game last year.
The Kings might also have to part with a future first-round pick in this deal.
How it Works for the Kings
Acquiring Love would be huge for this downtrodden franchise. Teaming him up with Rudy Gay, Isaiah Thomas and Cousins would form one of the better young teams in the Western Conference. While they would still be pretty much a lottery team, the upside would be unlimited here. A solid inside-out game with Thomas, Cousins and Lee would make opponents have to think twice about coming into Sacramento.
Photo: Hoops World