Now that the Minnesota Timberwolves seemingly are preparing to deal power forward Kevin Love, the Golden State Warriors look like the team to beat.
Reportedly, the Timberwolves and Warriors have discussing a deal that would send Love, Kevin Martin, J.J. Barea and the 13th-overall pick (which the Timberwolves reportedly won’t be moving) to the Warriors for Klay Thompson and David Lee. The Warriors obviously don’t want to part with Thompson, but it looks like they know he must be included to get a deal done.
Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune believes adding Thompson into the deal is a start, but the Timberwolves will likely be looking for more in a deal, likely either forward Harrison Barnes or forward Draymond Green.
Again, it’s more anonymously sourced chatter but you can see where this is going: The Warriors always have, in my book, been among the favorites, probably the favorite, because they have the assets if they were willing to include Klay Thompson, they satisfy Love’s desire to go to a place where he can win now, their owner is highly motivated and Love would likely re-sign there.
I don’t think Thompson being suddenly available is new. I think the Warriors always have known he’ll have to be part of the deal if they want Love.
That said, Thompson and Lee likely isn’t enough in return for Love. Taking back Kevin Martin’s three years and $21 million remaining on his contract helps, but taking on Lee’s two years’ left at $15 million per isn’t any favor the Warriors are doing the Wolves. You can bet Flip Saunders is saying, OK, he’ll take Lee back but he’ll want a third piece, either Harrison Barnes or Draymond Green.
Barnes put up 9.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game while shooting 39.9% from the field, 34.7% from beyond the arc and 71.8% from the free throw line. Green averaged 6.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 40.7% from the field, 33.3% from three and 66.7% from the charity stripe.