A potential trade that would send Timberwolves superstar Kevin Love to the Golden State Warriors is dead, according to multiple reports. The Warriors and Wolves had reportedly been discussing a deal centered around Golden State guard Klay Thompson and power forward David Lee. The Warriors had been hesitant to part with Thompson, a 24-year-old shooter who would become a restricted free agent following the 2014-15 season.
This is the biggest time of year for NBA rumors with the draft being held on Thursday. Are the Warriors really completely out on Love after so much speculation over the last week? Let's break down this rumor.
Why this might be true
Thompson has developed into a quality, homegrown player since Golden State selected him No. 11 in the 2011 NBA Draft. The Warriors have experienced great team success since pairing Thompson in the backcourt with Steph Curry. Golden State's 51 wins last season were the most for the franchise in 22 years.
Golden State's starting lineup wasn't as much of an issue as its bench last season. If the Warriors believe they can become competitive in the Western Conference with changes around the periphery of the roster instead of an all-in move for Love, they might think they're better off keeping the Curry-Thompson backcourt together.
New Warriors coach Steve Kerr, as one of the best three-point shooting guards in NBA history, could find lots of appeal in a backcourt with as much range as Curry and Thompson provide. Lee is no slouch at power forward, either. The two-time All-Star averaged 18.2 points and 9.3 rebounds last season with an impressive 19.21 PER. He has two years and just over $30 million remaining on his contract.
Why this doesn't make sense
The draft is three days away. The Warriors are really pulling their offer off the table now?
This reeks of simple negotiation, one team (Golden State) trying to strong-arm the other into accept a trade before a potentially more appealing option shows up. It's likely Minnesota was always going to give great consideration to all of their options before moving a player as good as Kevin Love.
The other issue for Golden State is Thompson's contract. Curry has one of the most team-friendly contracts in the league, one that pays him an average of about $11 million over the next three seasons. Thompson will be able to get much more than that, but he's certainly not a better player than Curry. Would the Warriors be willing to pay an inferior player more than the face of the franchise a year from now? It's another facet Golden State will have to weigh when deciding just how valuable Thompson is.
The timing of this just doesn't make any sense. Indications are that the Warriors want Kevin Love. If that's indeed the case, why pull your offer now?
There's going to be a lot of conjecture involving Love before he is mercifully traded. Get ready for another rumor-filled offseason involving a star player.