The Phoenix Suns are loaded with assets and could be interested in unloading them to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports. Phoenix can dangle restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and any number of their 2014 NBA Draft picks. The Suns own picks No. 14, 18 and 27 in the first round of the upcoming draft.
Phoenix also owns the rights to the Timberwolves 2015 first-round draft pick (top-11 protected) and the Los Angeles Lakers 2015 first-round pick (top-5 protected in 2015), giving them a huge reserve of assets to trade if needed.
Bledsoe is a restricted free agent this summer but could be sent to Minnesota in a sign-and-trade. The Suns will need Bledsoe to sign a contract with them, however, as he cannot be sent out in a sign-and-trade if Phoenix is matching an offer sheet from another team. And if the Suns want to control Bledsoe's free agency, they'll have to offer him a full maximum contract, according to Spears.
These teams trading makes total sense!
The Timberwolves are going to seek out a "Godfather" offer for Love, and rightfully so. Love averaged 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game last season and is a double-double machine. He is an immediate upgrade at a position in which the Suns have rotated the Morris twins and Channing Frye, and they have more than enough assets to make a sensible trade to Minnesota.
Minnesota will have plenty to pick from, and could even push to get their own 2015 first-round pick back. Goran Dragic is a proven commodity at point guard and Bledsoe is an up-and-coming guard who has proven able to play either backcourt position.
Phoenix has enough assets to be able to negotiate from a flexible position, while the Timberwolves will have options to pick through even if the Suns aren't ready to give up a few of their jewels in one shot. It's hard to pick out a team with more quality pieces to trade with than Phoenix.
Sorry, Los Angeles Lakers, Robert Sacre isn't getting it done.
Not in Love with this idea
Alright, the Suns may have an endless assortment of assets, but are they really ready to give up valuable pieces for a player who could simply walk away from the franchise once the 2014-15 season ends? It's a huge gamble, and the Suns might need a "superstar" player to get them back into the playoff mix in a competitive Western Conference, but if they just hang tight to those draft picks, who knows what kind of talent they'll uncover?
It's unlikely Minnesota will want less than two of the Suns' 2014 draft picks, and logically it makes sense they'd also want to control their own pick for 2015. Would Minnesota really want Dragic in the deal when they already have Ricky Rubio in place? Bledsoe seems like the most likely target, which brings this back to point No. 1.
If the Timberwolves push for Bledsoe and a handful of picks, would the Suns have enough pieces still in place to keep Love happy and in a Suns uniform long term? A lone year of Love could be a good year, but the Suns need something more substantial if they're going to unload some of their premium pieces.
Sometimes, the price just isn't right for Love.
What's the probability here?
This rumor makes total sense. The Suns have some excess future pieces along with established talent. The Timberwolves would be foolish not to begin seeking out the best deal possible for Love.
There's still a long way to go before the Timberwolves have to trade him, though, and Minnesota could be reluctant to pull the trigger this early. They can wait until the trade deadline in February, scout the incoming rookie class, and then worry about scrapping Love for whatever they see fit.
The Suns would also be giving up significant assets without a guarantee Love would stay, which isn't ideal either. It's not hard to see these teams ultimately making a deal, but it's far from certainty. For these reasons, I'll rate the probability of this rumor turning into reality at a 6.5 out of 10, which is still very high considering how high profile this trade would be.