The Golden State Warriors had one of the best starting lineups in the NBA last season, but for the 2014-2015 season, what if the Warriors had a starting lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Love, and Andrew Bogut?
Many fans are more than willing to trade David Lee in order to get Love, in the hopes that the Warriors could potentially win a title with Love. The Warriors have been connected to Love in trade rumors for a few seasons now, but the trade rumors have started up again.
ESPN recently reported that Love has no interest in signing a contract extension with the Minnesota Timberwolves, which could ultimately force the Timberwolves to trade him this season, so they aren’t left empty-handed after this upcoming season. This report also said that the Warriors and the Chicago Bulls are two of the most intriguing trade destinations for Love.
As exciting as the Warriors’ starting lineup would be with Love in it, it seems rather unlikely that they will be able to pull of a trade for Love.
Obviously, unless the Timberwolves greatly value Lee, they aren’t likely to pull the trigger on a trade, especially since the Warriors don’t have any draft picks to include in a possible trade.
Bob Myers somehow found a way to dump the large, excessive contracts of Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson in order to get a quality player in Iguodala, so never say never with Warriors’ management. However, the Warriors’ ability to pull off a trade with the Timberwolves, without including another team, completely relies on how much the Timberwolves desire Lee’s production and “nice guy” reputation.
They might believe that he would be a good fit on the team because of his positive impact on a locker room, but the Timberwolves won’t be willing to give up their star player unless they know that Lee could take them to the playoffs.
The Warriors would also have to include some of their younger, more intriguing players such as Harrison Barnes, Thompson, or Draymond Green to sweeten the deal, but Joe Lacob and Myers have always been wary about trading away members of their young core. Lacob and Myers also aren’t willing to trade Curry, who the Timberwolves might ask for if they’re giving up their star player.
Even if the Warriors found a way to convince the Timberwolves to swap Love’s large salary for Lee’s bloated contract, it still might not be enough. The Warriors might have to find a third team to enter the trade, so they wouldn’t have to give up so much. It’s fairly unlikely that they’d be able to compile the resources that the Timberwolves would want or find a third team to enter the trade.
This potential trade is also somewhat of a risk, even from the Warriors’ perspective. First of all, the Warriors would lose some valuable players that make up a solid, young core right now.
Second, losing some of these young players and Lee might disrupt the Warriors’ impressive team chemistry, which is one of their strengths. Lee’s on-court production is often criticized, usually rightfully so, but his easygoing personality and his presence in the locker room is extremely valuable to this Warriors team.
Third, trading away Lee could possibly annoy or upset Curry. Given the fact that Lee is one of Curry’s closest friends on the team and that Warriors’ management ignored Curry’s opinion on keeping Mark Jackson, trading Lee might not be the best thing to do in order to keep Curry happy.
Lastly, Love will be a free agent at the end of the 2014-2015 season, and there’s no guarantee that if the Warriors were to trade for him that he would sign a contract extension with them at the conclusion of the season. This means that the Warriors could potentially be trading away a lot of their valuable assets for a one-year rental of Love.
For the Warriors, there are many benefits of a potential trade for Love, but there are a lot of costs too. In addition, unless the Timberwolves greatly value Lee, it’s unlikely that the Warriors can pull off this trade anyway.