Sam Forencich/Getty Images
What's best for Love and what's best for the Timberwolves are two very different things.
If the Timberwolves decide to trade Love, they won't care where he ends up, so long as they're compensated handsomely for their superstar's services. The Sporting News' Sean Deveney reveals that they've already set the bar exceedingly high for what they want in return:
The Timberwolves have put out feelers on what possible offers might be on the table for Love on draft night. Despite their public protestations, around the league, front office executives say that the market for Love is open, but the initial asking price is high. While the Timberwolves would expect lottery draft choices in return for Love—including a high pick in this draft—they also want a young player with star potential, according to a source.
Dealing Love consigns the Timberwolves deeper into their already-unstable rebuilding process. Starting over is never easy, especially when you're subtracting a recurring All-Star from an unfinished product.
Finding the right balance of young talent and draft picks is paramount. They need to find players who complement what's leftover of their core, who can coexist with Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin. And then they need to secure draft picks and ensure they're not permanently pinned to who and what they're left with.
Negotiating perfect swaps isn't possible. The Timberwolves will have to make concessions at some point, skewing the parameters of any trade in one direction.
Forced to choose, they should favor draft picks. Acquiring actual players is enticing, but if the Timberwolves are indeed searching for the next big star, amassing draft selections is simpler.
Developing players—like Chandler Parsons and Klay Thompson—must be offered new contracts to stick around. Paying players who aren't guaranteed to fit into their new system equates to an expensive dice roll. In the event they trade for a more established player, the chance remains that he, too, will want out eventually.
Rebuilding through the draft is a better option for this team. Rookies don't hold the same clout as tenured talents. They can be retained through their rookie deal—and usually beyond—without much issue.
Picking up six, seven or more years of wiggle room is invaluable for small-market teams that rarely stage free-agency takeovers.