Now that it looks like Minnesota Timberwolves’ power forward Kevin Love will be moving on from the Timberwolves at some point in the next year, several teams are expected to make a run at acquiring Love.
The Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers will all be squarely in the mix. Many consider the Bulls to be the favorite to land Love but Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders thinks the Phoenix Suns are actually the team to beat.
With three first-round picks this year (N0. 14, No. 18 and No. 27), the Suns have plenty to offer in terms of draft compensation, but more importantly, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports tweeted on Sunday, Phoenix is not opposed to offering up Goran Dragic or Eric Bledsoe in a deal for Love to go along with cap filler and a pick or two.
Both players were borderline All-Stars this past season for a Suns team that massively over-performed and just barely missed the Western Conference playoffs. As good as Butler and Gibson have been for Chicago, neither are likely to ever be quite as prolific as Bledsoe and Dragic. Bledsoe, for example, would look really nice next to Ricky Rubio in that Minnesota backcourt, and as a restricted free agent the Wolves would have a really good chance of locking him up for the long-term (or they could land him in a sign-and-trade). Even if he costs the max, he’d be a star player to partially replace Love’s production, locked up for the foreseeable future.
Love averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game last season while shooting 45.7% from the field, 37.6% from three and 82.1% from the charity stripe.