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Updated: May 21st, 2014 8:54pm
Mackey: The assets of seven teams reportedly interested in Kevin Love

Mackey: The assets of seven teams reportedly interested in Kevin Love

Audio Clip
Sports Over Beers, episode 17
Two special guests - Jon Krawczynski and Chip Scoggins - join this episode of the Sports Over Beers podcast. Jon covers the Timberwolves and just about everything else in town for the Associated Press; Chip is a columnist at the Star Tribune who recently weighed in on the Timberwolves-Kevin Love situation. -- Jon recently reported that the Wolves have softened their stance on trading Love, that they're more willing to deal the superstar than they were previously. Sports Over Beers talks about how it got to this point, and where this situation is probably heading. Might the Wolves keep Love or must they trade him? If you're Flip Saunders, what are you looking for in return? Does this situation compare to any other NBA stars in the past? Is Kevin Love a good leader? Should that matter? What kind of team could land Kevin Love? How will he be received when he returns to Minnesota in another uniform? -- Also, what kind of head coach are the Wolves looking for? Would the name Dave Joerger from Memphis intrigue you if he became available?
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by Phil Mackey

Now that the NBA Draft Lottery is complete, we now have a better idea of what the assets look like for any potential Kevin Love trade suitors.

If the Minnesota Timberwolves do elect to trade Love before the June 26 draft - or, really, at any point between now and the beginning of the season - below is a list of potential trade partners and what they might have to offer.

Note: Teams on this list have shown up in reports from Yahoo! and over the past few days.

Also, keep in mind Love is owed $15.7 million next season.

Chicago Bulls


16th and 19th overall this year

Realistic player trade bait:

PF Taj Gibson (3 years, $25.5 million left) - One of the best defensive big men in the game. Gibson is 28, he blocks shots, he finishes well at the rim, and he even scores 16 points per 36 minutes.

SF Jimmy Butler (1 year, $2 million left) - One of the best wing defenders in the NBA (notice a theme here?) who is a good complementary piece, but not necessarily a centerpiece. Only 24 years old and not a great shooter.

Golden State Warriors


No first round draft pick in 2014

Realistic player trade bait:

SF Harrison Barnes (2 years, $6.9 million left on contract) - a 21-year-old former seventh-overall pick who has averaged 12.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists while shooting 35% from three-point range and 65% (really good) from inside the restricted area the past two years. The Wolves would have to decide if Barnes can be a central figure, alongside Rubio, over the next several years.

PF David Lee (2 years, $30 million left) - The Wolves had interest a few years ago. Even though Lee is 30 years old and doesn't have Love's range, he's still a good player who has averaged 19 points, 10 rebounds and three assists the past three seasons.

SG Klay Thompson (1 year, $3 million left) - But probably not.

Boston Celtics


6th and 17th overall picks this year... and a ton more picks over the next few years, thanks to ripping off the Brooklyn Nets.

Realistic player trade bait:

SF Jeff Green (2 years, $19 million left) - Can shoot a little bit from outside (34% career), but Green, 27, is mostly just a role player who makes a lot of money.

Beyond Green, the Celtics mostly only have expiring contracts like Brandon Bass and Joel Anthony, although former first round pick Jared Sullinger would be worth a look if Boston were willing.

If they traded for Love, they wouldn't be looking to trade Rajon Rondo.

Phoenix Suns


14th, 18th and 27th overall picks this year

Realistic player trade bait:

C Alex Len (1 year, $3.6 million left + two team options) - The No. 5 overall pick last year, but barely played.

SG Archie Goodwin (1 year, $1.1 million left + two team options) -- The No. 29 pick last year, but barely played.

C Miles Plumlee (1 year, $1.1 million left + a team option for $2.1 million) - A 12 & 11 guy over 36 minutes who can block some shots.

SF Marcus Morris (1 year, $2.9 million left) - A 24-year-old former first round pick out of Kansas who shot 38% from three-point range last season. Role player.

PF Markieff Morris (1 year, $2.9 million left) - The brother of Marcus, and also a former first round pick out of Kansas. Averaged 13.8 points and 6 rebounds last season while showing very good range for a 6'10" big man.

Here's the key question: Would the Suns trade guards Goran Dragic or Eric Bledsoe? Probably not, considering they'd need both to build a core with Love.

Los Angeles Lakers


7th overall this year

Realistic player trade bait:


Like, literally. The Lakers have five players under contract for next year, and two of them are Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash.

Houston Rockets


25th overall this year

Realistic player trade bait:

The Rockets have a combination of two types of assets on their roster: Solid young players in three-point bomber Chandler Parsons (owed $964,000 next year, then hits restricted free agency) and bruising power forward Terrance Jones (owed a total of $4 million over the next two years) and also expiring contracts in Jeremy Lin ($14.8 million) and Omer Asik ($14.8 million).

The Rockets could mix and match these assets to put a pretty nice three-headed monster on the court - Love, Dwight Howard and James Harden.

Cleveland Cavaliers


1st overall this year

Realistic player trade bait:

The Cavs have reportedly tried pedaling youngsters Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters on the Wolves in the past, but let's be honest - the No. 1 overall pick would be the real coup if the Wolves decided to engage here.

It appears the Cavs do have enough cap space to take on Love's contract next year, but is it possible they'd like to unload Anderson Varejao's $10 million and another contract or two (Thompson makes $5 million and Waiters $4 million) to make room for a Lebron James reunion too?

Do any of these assets or packages sound appealing to you? 

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Kevin Love