When Yahoo Sports’ Marc J. Spears broke news that the Sacramento Kings had informed the Minnesota Timberwolves they would like to trade for Kevin Love, the internet nearly came to a stop – not because of the interest, per say, but rather because the Kings were willing to take a gamble on the All-Star without a contractual extension.
It’s the ultimate roll of the dice but Sacramento’s risk also gives the Timberwolves a slight advantage in trading Love, assuming they make such an attempt.
While Love doesn’t have an official no-trade clause, the power forward effectively has one given he’ll simply refuse to sign an extension with any team he’s traded to. Unlike the Kings, few, if any teams would be willing to take such a risk leaving only a handful of potential teams who could acquire Love. That number grows even smaller in regards to teams with available assets that would intrigue the Timberwolves, thus the Kings reluctance to require an extension could put them near the top of teams the Wolves consider to be a trading partner.
But at what cost? Love isn’t going to come cheaply and is going to take a combination of other assets on top of the No. 8 pick.
We’ve already heard that the Timberwolves liked Ben McLemore in the 2013 NBA Draft, so would he and the No. 8 pick get the job done? It’s certainly a good starting point, but it’s unlikely to be enough.
Sacramento could include an additional first round pick in such a deal but it’s not known if the Wolves would be okay waiting a few years to get such a player.
Another name that could pop up is Isaiah Thomas in a sign-and-trade scenario along with McLemore and the No. 8 pick, though at that point you clearly begin overpaying and Thomas has shown a desire to remain in Sacramento long term while the Wolves already have Ricky Rubio.
I do think Sacramento is a viable option for the Wolves and the willingness to accept Love without an extension is a positive stance for both teams which will only make a trade easier, but there becomes a point when the price is too expensive, even for a player like Love given the lack of long term commitment.
How say you, Kings fans?