The Kevin Love trade sweepstakes is nothing if not fluid. A new favorite to land the Minnesota Timberwolves superstar seems to emerge on a daily basis, only to fall back to the crowded pack of suitors once more details and context materialize. It’s unclear if the Golden State Warriors are just such an option, but they’ve reportedly developed a contingency plan with the Los Angeles Lakers involving Klay Thompson if Minnesota ultimately balks at their initial trade package for Love.
The theoretical deal, first reported Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, has Golden State sending Thompson to Los Angeles in exchange for the seventh overall pick in Thursday’s draft.
The Lakers have been in discussions to acquire Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson for the seventh pick in next week’s draft, The Times has learned.
The deal would be part of a larger three-way trade that sends Minnesota All-Star power forward Kevin Love to the Warriors. The Lakers are interested but the deal has been put on hold because of a difference in opinion within the Warriors’ organization whether or not to keep Thompson while trying to obtain Love.
The trade makes sense for the Lakers. They’ll likely miss out on the opportunity to select one of the draft’s top four prospects – Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Dante Exum – if they hold onto their pick, and Kobe Bryant isn’t getting any younger. With its chances of nabbing a potential superstar on Thursday night slim, Los Angeles is smart to shop its draft choice in efforts to add a surefire impact player to the roster. Remember, the Lakers committed nearly $50 million over the next two years to the 35 year-old Bryant in November; they likely don’t have time to go young and develop into contenders for Kobe’s twilight. Thompson could help them immediately, still has room to grow as a player, and has ties to the organization.
After reportedly including Thompson in Love trade talks yesterday, though, Golden State has become hesitant. Despite the fact that Thompson will command a near max-level contract extension after the 2014-2015 season, the Warriors are reluctant to part with him even if it might mean sacrificing Love. Their ideal scenario, naturally, is to bring Love aboard and keep Thompson, too. Is that possible? And if not, what’s the best course of action? It’s a balancing act that General Manager Bob Myers discussed yesterday.
(H/T Marcus Thompson of the San Jose Mercury News)
I have a strong belief, as does our organization and ownership, that the more familiar you are with each other as teammates, the more chance you have (for) the sum of the parts (to be) better than each individual. We believe in that. And that would lead you to think that growing organically is the best way to do it. But that doesn’t preclude the organization, myself, from exploring anything. You have to. It’s your job.
But the daily work that we do each day is trying to answer that specific question: How do you improve the team in all areas? … How do you find better talent anywhere? It’s a constant evolution.
It bears repeating that the proposed Lakers-Warriors trade is part of a larger deal. As far as we can tell, this is not a swap the teams are discussing if Love and Minnesota aren’t involved. But it’s another wrinkle in the Love saga that certainly merits consideration from the Wolves. It’s unclear how desirable an asset Thompson and his forthcoming raise are to Minnesota, and it’s prudent for the team to grab as many players on rookie contracts as possible if it’s committed to a full-blown rebuilding effort.
This is all conjecture for now. Once Thursday night’s draft comes and goes we’ll hopefully have more clarity.
Would Thompson look good in a Lakers uniform?
Follow Jack on Twitter at @ArmstrongWinter.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.