ESPN's Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose are at it again. This time, they've concocted a potential trade that would send Minnesota's Kevin Love to Chicago in exchange for Carlos Boozer, Jimmy Butler and a bunch of draft considerations.
Check out what they had to say during this clip from their Timberwolves' season preview:
As always, my first order of business is running Simmons' trade idea through the ESPN NBA Trade Machine. This one would fly under league rules. So the only question is: Does it make sense?
When I evaluated a couple other trade ideas that came out of this series from Grantland, it was pretty easy to make up my mind on both. The Rudy-Gay-to-the-Jazz trade was a bad idea, while the Rajon-Rondo-to-the-Kings deal helped both teams. Initially, this one was more difficult.
Does Chicago really have enough to convince Minnesota to give up their best player? I know Jimmy Butler has a lot of potential, but is it that much?
Ultimately, this deal wouldn't be too much about the current players the Timberwolves would receive. Everything hinges on those picks. Chicago would surrender their own first-rounder and another one they received from the Bobcats in a previous deal.
The big score for Minnesota would be Charlotte's pick, which should be in the lottery.
In this upcoming draft class, a selection that high is going to be coveted like gold. The Wolves would be giving up a superstar in Love, but potentially gaining a franchise player like Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle or Jabari Parker.
In that way, Minnesota's haul would be similar to the one Utah got in exchange for Deron Williams in 2011.
Later in the video, Simmons related his trade idea to the one the Jazz pulled off. They knew Williams wasn't going to re-sign, so they sold high and got a great return in terms of future prospects. Now, they have five lottery picks from the last four drafts on the same team together and should be very good after a year or two of seasoning and chemistry-building.
Does Minnesota really think Kevin Love will re-sign when his contract is up? If so, by all means keep him. But if not, they could score big in the trade market.
Why it Works for Chicago
To me, this is a no-brainer. The only potential snag is Love's reputation as a mediocre defender, but he really can't be worse than what they have in Boozer right now.
And what he may lack defensively, Love would more than make up in offense and rebounding. His dominance in those two-thirds of the game make him the best power forward in the NBA.
Among active players, Love's career rebounding average of 12.2 is second only to Dwight Howard. And you can still make the argument that he's better on the boards because his total rebounding percentage of 21.5 is actually higher.
That essentially means that Love grabs over one-fifth of every available rebound while he's on the floor.
And after he grabs those rebounds, he becomes dangerous in a couple other ways. Offensively, the putbacks are the obvious result. On the other end, it's his outlet passing.
Love has become known as perhaps the best outlet passer in the NBA. This is just one example from his college days with Russell Westbrook. YouTube is littered with more.
Those passes are one of the reasons Love would be a perfect complement to Derrick Rose. About the only thing that could make Rose more dangerous on the break is catching the ball in a better position to start it.
He would be a perfect addition in the half court as well. Rose dominates in the paint and Kevin Love's range would force big men to stay with him on the perimeter rather than collapse on Rose.
Imagine the pick-and-pop possibilities. One of the most explosive players with the ball in the NBA in Rose turning the corner on a screen from a 6'10" player who shot 39.1 percent from three-point range over his last two healthy seasons (2010-12).
Why it Works for Minnesota
Again, the Timberwolves should only do a deal that costs them Love if they're pretty confident he won't re-sign in 2015. They'll have a better idea of whether or not that's the case by the time the trade deadline rolls around.
If the Wolves are no longer in the hunt for a playoff spot in February, their best player might start to get weary of the organization and moving him will become a possibility.
Initially, it would hurt for Minnesota fans. As a Jazz fan, I know the feeling. Trust me, I was not happy when everything went down with Williams.
But ultimately, it put the franchise in a better position for the future. Which is exactly what this deal could do for the Timberwolves.
That Charlotte pick is going to be valuable, because the 2014 draft class is widely considered to be the best since LeBron James' 2003 group. And the late first-rounder from Chicago could be valuable as well. They could use it to snag a Kevin Love-lite like Creighton's Doug McDermott.
Combine a lottery pick with up-and-comers Jimmy Butler and Rick Rubio, as well as Nikola Pekovic, and Minnesota could be reloaded and back in the hunt within a year or two.
Does it Make Sense?
Initially, I wasn't sold on this deal. But when you think about the long-term implications it could have on the Wolves, it starts to make more sense.
For the Bulls, I don't anticipate many people arguing against the logic there. Sure, the Charlotte pick would be big for Chicago as well, but they're in more of a position to add proven players rather than prospects.
I haven't agreed with every trade idea that Clairvoyant Bill has thrown out during Bill and Jalen's 2013 NBA Preview, but this one makes sense.
All stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference unless otherwise noted.
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