The Kevin Love trade rumors are beginning to die down, thanks to the Minnesota Timberwolves potential trade partners being unwilling to move key pieces of their team that would make the trade worthwhile for both sides.
One of the most likely landing spots for Love was the Golden State Warriors, but a deal seemingly can’t be completed without the inclusion of Klay Thompson.
It doesn’t seem like that is going to happen.
The Warriors value Thompson, but not just for his shooting.
According to reports, one of the big reasons Golden State does not want to trade Thompson away is because of what he brings to the team on the defensive side of the court.
From Sam Amick of USA Today:
The Mark Jackson firing and Steve Kerr hiring in mid-May were undeniably driven in part by the desire to improve offensively, as owner Joe Lacob and so many others within the organization grew tired of seeing their wondrous scoring talents so often struggle in the former coach’s system. But the post-Kerr question about Golden State’s third-ranked defense and what lied ahead on that end of the floor has been quietly answered during these seemingly-endless discussions about Love.
In short, they’re not willing to ditch the defense.
Their recent refusal to include guard and Timberwolves target Klay Thompson in the deal is rooted in this reality, as losing Thompson would not only leave Curry overexposed defensively in the backcourt but is compounded by the fact that Love — much like incumbent power forward David Lee, who would head to Minnesota if this deal got done — isn’t exactly known as a two-way player. From Lacob on down, this is a major part of the Warriors’ internal analysis and something that belies all the initial speculation about how this Kerr era might be defined.
It is a smart decision for the Warriors.
In today’s day and age, finding willing and capable defenders in the NBA is easier said than done.
With Golden State wanting to remain strong on defense, the chances that they add Kevin Love are increasingly unlikely.