Monday, May 19, 2014

The Ideal Kevin Love Trade

Kevin Love for Terrence Jones, Chandler Parsons and Omer Asik

Houston one of the only realistic destinations for Love on the board - the most difficult part about trading a superstar is finding a team he would be willing to sign with that wouldn't have to empty its cupboard to get him. Love would form an absolutely devastating Big Three - Howard at the rim, Love at the three-point line and Harden with the ball in his hands. That group would score all the points, get all the rebounds and have a ton of passing too.

If he goes to Boston or the LA Lakers, there's no real reason for him to sign an extension, given the lack of talent on hand. The other teams in the mix - Chicago, Golden State - don't really have the pieces to compete with what Houston could offer. Phoenix might be the most interesting dark horse possibility, but I still think the Rockets can offer the best package of young pieces with upside who can also win now.

The problem for Minnesota is that even if they trade Love, they still have Pekovic, Martin and Rubio on the roster, so they couldn't commit to a full rebuild. All three of those guys have holes in their games, but they are still good players who can be starters on a good team. They aren't that far off from being a playoff team, as is. This is how they would look if that trade went down:

PG - Rubio
SG - Martin
SF - Parsons
PF - Jones
C - Pekovic, Asik, Dieng

From there, it would be easy enough to move one of their C's to bolster their perimeter depth and you have a team that could compete for the playoffs right away. It sounds crazy to say that they could be a better team without Love, but I'm much higher on Parsons and Jones than most people. I think both of those guys have the potential to be All-Stars.

Parsons is a 6'10 230 small forward who can shoot, handle and pass like a guard. He's got unlimited range on his jumper, he can get his shot almost any time he wants off the dribble and he can create shots for his teammates. 17/5/4 on 47% shooting is really good for a SF, especially for a guy with two-way ability. He's also put up those numbers without ever having the chance to dominate the ball - he had a 19.3 usage rating this season. He could easily get up to 20+ a game in Minnesota.

Jones got tore up by LaMarcus Aldridge in the first round, but he's still a really interesting young player with a ton of upside. He's 6'9 240 with a 7'2 wingspan, he has a near 40' vertical and he can handle the ball like a guard. While he's not a great shooter, he's a very smart player who knows how to move without the ball and impact the game without scoring. Check out his per-36 minute numbers as a 22-year old: 16 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks on 54% shooting. That's a 19.9 PER for a guy who should be a senior in college.

Parsons and Jones are role players in Houston, but they both have room to expand their offensive games if given more responsibility in Minnesota. Those two + Rubio on the break would be a very exciting team and they would offer way more two-way ability upfront than the current Wolves front-court.

That's the kind of haul I want back for Kevin Love: two under-25 front-court starters with two-way ability who can be the core of a good team for a long time.

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