I’ll give you all I’ve got to give
If you say you love me too
I may not have a lot to give
But what I’ve got I’ll give to you
I don’t care too much for money
For money can’t buy me love
— Lennon and McCartney
Everyone is on pins and needles waiting for the Kevin Love trade to come down. I don’t get it. I simply don’t buy the prevailing media narrative that the Wolves have to make this deal before the season starts. That the offers the Wolves are seeing right now are the best they will get, and that they will lose leverage the longer they wait.
I don’t believe the Wolves will have any trouble fielding mega-offers for Love, no matter how long they wait. In fact, I think the longer they wait, the better the offers will get. This is simply not the moment for the best offers to show up. Teams don’t put all their cards on the table until they’re up against a hard deadline. That’s when the real auctions occur.
It also helps to wait until the trade deadline, because that’s the moment when incompetent GMs can no longer escape the outright putridity of their creations, and realize with horror that only a breathtaking move can save their jobs. (Feel free to interpret Bob Myers’ strong advocacy for the Love trade in light of this universal truth.)
There is simply no downside for the Timberwolves in waiting until the trade deadline to deal Love. The Warriors and Cavs will still be bidders, regardless. But on the other hand, there is a HUGE amount of potential upside in waiting.
As I currently handicap it, it is highly likely that the Warriors will have taken a step back in the West by that time. Virtually all of their middle-of-the-pack competitors have taken strong steps forward with their rosters, while the Warriors have added… Shaun Livingston and the avatar of Brandon Rush. Virtually all of their competitors have good to great veteran coaches, running real NBA systems, while the utterly dysfunctional Warriors management have hired their third rookie coach in five years, a 48-year-old virgin who wants to impose the triangle — half-court post-up basketball — on what should be one of the best open-court and pick and roll teams in the league.
I find it exceedingly likely that Joe Lacob will be foaming at the mouth for a change by midseason, and no longer paying any attention at all to the blinking light on his Jerry West Bat-phone. And equally likely that a desperate-eyed Bob Myers will be nodding his head with even more vigor than usual.
I envision a similar scenario in Cleveland, if the Timberwolves are smart enough to wait. The 19-year-old Andrew Wiggins isn’t yet able to dominate on the college or summer league levels, and yet he’s ready to star for 82 games and the playoffs as an NBA rookie? Please. After struggling for a couple of months trying to whip the soft, self-entitled, knuckle-headed Kiddie-Cavs into an unselfish and hard-nosed contending team, there will be thunderbolts coming out of Lebron’s eyes, and steam coming out of his ears.
That’s the moment that Dan Gilbert and David Griffin will spread the entire Cavs team and all of their draft-picks before Flip Saunders like an all-you-can-eat buffet, and say “Dig in.”
It is astonishing to me that every single NBA writer seems to have already forgotten the Carmelo Anthony trade deadline lollapalooza. Wasn’t it made perfectly obvious at the time of that fiasco that Masai Ujiri had hit upon the perfect model — for all time — for handling a superstar extorting his way out of town? Or in other words, the perfect model for handling the desperate GMs and wanna-be-GM NBA owners who covet said superstar?
We’re dealing with universal truths here. Of human weakness. And human greed.
If Flip Saunders is smart, he’ll draw the process out to the very end, and let the volcano of folly build.
Can’t buy me Love.
Until the time is ripe, and the price is right.