Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love has been putting up historic numbers this season, averaging 26.5 ppg, 12.7 rpg, and 4.3 apg (per nba.com) but still finds himself on the outside looking in. With the Timberwolves all but eliminated from the playoffs this year, Kevin Love has yet to play in a single playoff game. Frustration is only natural for the 25 year old UCLA product, which leaves us wondering what will become of his future in Minnesota. With the way he’s been playing, it’s hard to imagine him playing for anything less than a title contender. So here are potential destinations for Kevin Love.
Traded to the Chicago Bulls in the 2014-2015 season
Chicago Bulls receive: Kevin Love, J.J. Barea
Minnesota Timberwolves receive: Taj Gibson, Kirk Hinrich, Jimmy Butler
This trade depends on a number of things, including whether or not the Bulls amnesty Carlos Boozer (which they should, as he is set to make nearly $17 million next year while playing with a below league average P.E.R. of 14) if the Bulls are unable to sign Carmelo Anthony in free agency, and if the Timberwolves struggle early. However, if this does pan out, the Bulls would receive an All-Star to compliment Derrick Rose while creating a frightening frontcourt of Joakim Noah and Kevin Love. The Timberwolves, in turn, receive in immediate upgrade in bench scoring, something they have struggled mightily with this season, defensive upgrades, and young talent. If the Timberwolves do not live up to their high expectations, they might as well get something in return for Love rather than let him walk for nothing. If he is not traded midseason, there is always the possibility of signing with the Bulls in Free Agency.
Signs with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2015 Free Agency
Beaches, playing with an NBA legend, and being the hometown hero. What more could Love want?
The Los Angeles Lakers currently sit near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, 8.5 games behind the Timberwolves, but they have been playing without the timeless play of Kobe Bryant and have been battling injuries and inconsistencies all season. However, with Kobe having an entire season and offseason of rest, and the Lakers looking to add top tier talent in the deepest draft class in recent memory, Los Angeles looks to be a great place to sign for the 3 time All-Star. The development of this young talent and the opportunity to place for one of the most renowned franchises in sports history should be very tempting for Love.
Signs with the New York Knicks in 2015 Free Agency
Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love are in very similar situations. Both are great talents with the bad luck of being on sub par teams. While the Knicks have not been officially eliminated from the playoffs, they have taken a significant step back from last year’s success. With Carmelo looking to join a contender, the Knicks will most likely be left with a huge hole in their offense. Enter Kevin Love, the inside-out scoring rebounding machine with an outlet pass down to a science. A chance to play in the big city and already used to cold weather, Love and the Knicks would have a chance to climb up the standings and re-earn their respect.
Signs with the Boston Celtics in 2015 Free Agency
The Boston Celtics have their point guard of the future in Rajan Rondo. The roster is filled with untapped potential, and all they’re missing is a go to scorer. Kevin Love would fit well here, as he would be back in a system with a pass first point guard and would be surrounded by talented prospects, such as Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger. After losing its top 3 scorers in the past 2 seasons, Boston would love to have someone like Love to fill the gap, and Love would enjoy having a better opportunity of seeing the postseason in a weaker eastern conference.
Resigns with Minnesota Timberwolves in 2015 Free Agency
There’s no reason the Timberwolves shouldn’t be winning right now. They have a phenomenal passer in Rubio, a deadly outside threat in Martin, an elite defensive specialist in Brewer, one of the best offensive centers in the league in Pekovic, and to top it off, an Elite do-it-all forward in Love. The bench play, however, has been horrific. Averaging 26.3 ppg (per hoopsstats.com), the Timberwolves’ bench is the 5th worst scoring unit in the league. However, if the Timberwolves were to find bench talent in the next two offseasons, Minnesota would become a much more desirable destination. To play within the same system he’s excelled in with a capable starting and bench unit, the Timberwolves would be a solid playoff team year in and year out if Love chooses to sign a long term deal with them. It would be the safest option and the most promising one.
Prediction: Kevin Love re-signs with the Minnesota Timberwolves