The Golden State Warriors believe they're a top contender to acquire Minnesota Timberwolves star power forward Kevin Love, and the team is going to be "aggressive" in their pursuit of Love, according to Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Love is expected to opt out of his contract with the Wolves after next season, and while Minnesota would prefer to keep its star, they recognize that they might have to make a deal so they don't lose him for nothing. Love isn't expected to re-sign in Minnesota after opting out.
Why this makes sense
Love has reportedly mentioned the Warriors as an "intriguing" destination, and new head coach Steve Kerr has expressed a desire to acquire a stretch 4. Love is the cream of the crop when it comes to stretch 4's, so it makes perfect sense that Golden State would want to make a run at the big man.
Love would be an especially great fit playing alongside Stephen Curry, as the two would be a matchup nightmare when running pick-and-rolls because of their lethal outside shooting ability. Love and Curry were close to being teammates in Minnesota, so perhaps they can finally team up in Golden State.
Why this doesn't make sense
Simmons says the Warriors don't want to include Klay Thompson in a Love deal, instead suggesting a package centered around David Lee, Harrison Barnes and a 2015 first-round pick, which can't be dealt until after this year's draft. The problem is the Wolves likely wouldn't want much to do with Lee's contract, which is set to pay him over $30 million in the remaining two years. Plus, Barnes' value isn't exactly high at the moment and the 2015 first-rounder would likely be toward the tail end of the round.
Marcus Thompson of the San Jose Mercury News threw out a different scenario. Thompson reports the Orlando Magic could be interested in acquiring Lee, and the Warriors could possibly land Arron Afflalo if the Magic deem Afflalo expendable following a draft pick of a player like Dante Exum or Marcus Smart. If Golden State was able to acquire Afflalo, they could then feel better about including Thompson in a Love trade.
The odds that the Warriors acquire Love without moving Thompson are basically slim to none. The scenario Thompson presents may be more likely, but it's still debatable whether the Magic would actually want to take on Lee's contract despite the fact that they could use a veteran big man. If the Warriors aren't able to get a third team involved, it could be tough to get Love without trading Lee due to salary purposes. So for Love to end up in Golden State, it will likely take either some slick maneuvering or the Wolves relenting and accepting Lee as part of the deal.