There are several moving parts in discussions with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but apparently the Philadelphia 76ers may be able to get themselves into the deal.
Per Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the Wolves like versatile forward Thaddeus Young as a potential replacement for Love.
Young is obviously not the scorer Love is, as evidenced by his 17.9 point-per-game average compared to Love's mark of 26.1. Love also trumps Young as a rebounder with a per-game average of 12.1 to six.
Young is, however, a more athletic player and a much better defender. Because of his length and athleticism, he can defend both forward positions without issue.
Would the T-Wolves prefer to keep Love? Absolutely, but it seems clear Love is determined to leave after the end of the season. Instead of losing him without compensation, Minny will in all likelihood make a deal.
Young is a solid player, and with the help of Andrew Wiggins—who most believe would be included in a deal—Minnesota should at least be able to remain respectable.
Wiggins seems to be ready to move on from the rumors.
His talent level would suggest that he'd be an instant hit in Minnesota. He projects as an above-average perimeter defender and nightly highlight reel in transition.
Young can be a free agent at the end of the season, so his stay in Minnesota could be a short one. That could leave the T-Wolves looking for another power forward next offseason.
Still, getting Wiggins would make the whole deal worth it in the long run.
Why would Philly be involved?
Because the 76ers are one of the few teams in the NBA with enough cap room to absorb a bad contract, their involvement in a three-team deal might be essential. Minnesota or Cleveland may want to dump a bad contract.
If that's the case, The Sixers are a team that can handle the weight if there is something there for them.
What do they stand to gain from this deal? Derek Bodner of Draft Express laid out a list of the most realistic assets Philly could hope to acquire as part of the deal in his blog.
- “First available” (2017) Minnesota 1st round draft pick
- 2015 Miami first round pick (top 10 protected)
- “Less favorable” 2015 1st round pick between Cleveland and Chicago
- 2015 Memphis first round pick (protected 1-5, 15-30 in 2015 & 2016, protected 1-5 in 2017 & 2018, unprotected in 2019)
- Young players like Gorgui Dieng, Zach LaVine, Alexey Shved, Chase Budinger, and Shabazz Muhammad.
Of the potential hauls listed, the one asset that should be the most appealing to 76ers fans is LaVine. The bouncy guard has tremendous scoring potential and could be a dynamic running mate for 2014 Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams.
By now, we all know about his ability to finish with flair, but he also has very good handle, a quick and pretty release on his jump shot and he's only 19 years old.
The Forbes List
Though his situation is obviously not as compelling as the one surrounding Love, free agent Gary Forbes is drawing interest from a few teams. In the wake of Paul George's leg injury, the Indiana Pacers are said to have some interest in Forbes, as do the Memphis Grizzlies, per Real GM's Shams Charania.
Forbes is a solid outside shooter. He has made 34 percent of his three-point attempts in his NBA career, but he hasn't played in the league since the 2011-12 season.
The 29-year-old from Panama played his college ball at Virginia. He spent the 2012-13 season in China and played in the D-League last season.
Despite a modest resume, he'd still be a decent addition for the Pacers considering their current situation. In Memphis, Forbes could be a valuable role player off the bench for a team that has been a bit offensively challenged over the last few seasons.
Pacers Also Like MarShon Brooks
Perhaps a more exciting replacement for George and/or Lance Stephenson—who left via free agency—is MarShon Brooks.
The 6'5", 25-year-old shooting guard has also drawn some interest from the Pacers, per Charania.
After a promising rookie season with the then-New Jersey Nets that saw him average 12.6 points per game, Brooks' production has hit a major snag.
He hasn't averaged more than 6.4 points per game since.
A lack of playing time is the most obvious culprit. As a rookie, he played 29.4 minutes per game. Since then, no coach has given Brooks more than 12.7 minutes per night of action. With a suddenly shallow group of wing players in Indiana, Brooks could find himself in position to play a major role every night.
It wouldn't be preposterous to see the recently acquired C.J. Miles slide over to small forward to take George's spot. That would leave only Rodney Stuckey—who was also signed this offseason—at shooting guard.
That dynamic would seemingly create an opportunity for Brooks to get some minutes if he lands in Indiana.
It would be a great opportunity for a young player in need of a second look.
Follow me on Twitter.