For years, Kevin Love has asked the Minnesota Timberwolves management to surround him with players that can at least contend for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. The front office has failed him to say the least as the franchise has floundered since acquiring Love on a draft-day deal with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008: 0 postseason appearances in 6 seasons.
At some point, the front office will realize that it’s just not working with Love around—either by pure unfortunate series of events (injuries to Rubio in recent seasons) or unadulterated incompetence like Jonny Flynn (6th pick) in 2009; Ty Lawson (18th pick, traded to Denver) in 2009; Wesley Johnson (4th pick) in 2010; Derrick Williams (2nd pick) in 2011.
Before Love leaves Minnesota without anything return, Flip Saunders should get value off their superstar. Here’s one trade proposal they can explore as the rebuilding start in Minneapolis:
Phoenix Suns-Minnesota Timberwolves Trade:
Emeka Okafor ($14M) + Marcus Morris ($2M) + P.J. Tucker ($884K) + Alex Len ($3.49M) + 2014 first round pick (from Minnesota) + 2014 first round pick (from Washington) + 2014 first round pick (own) for Kevin Love ($14.69M) + Kevin Martin ($6.5M) + Corey Brewer ($5M)
Fair warning: this is pure salary dump move plus acquiring maximum number of picks for the Timberwolves. There are other deals if they prefer to get instant stars in return but if they look to reload via youth/draft then this is the best possible move as Phoenix has a slew of first rounders to throw away in the next two drafts.
Okafor has a big expiring contract and everyone else involved in the trade is on a cheap contract with length less than 2 years except Len, who can be considered a project. Minnesota gets their own pick back (lottery pick), the Phoenix pick (mid round) plus the Washington pick (mid round).
Along with Love they also clear the dirty laundry: Martin and Brewers average but long contracts.
For the Suns, it’s a no-brainer move; they’ll have Goran Dragic and Kevin Love as the centerpiece of the franchise and even Eric Bledsoe if they choose to extend him alongside Love.