Don't Believe the Hype: Why there's nothing to the Kevin Love to Nuggets rumor
It took one Steve Bulpett tweet, and then all hope in the heart of Celtic Nation dissipated. The Denver Nuggets are willing to offer the Minnesota Timberwolves a package that will feature Keneth Faried, Wilson Chandler, and Aaron Afflalo via the Orlando Magic for the services of Kevin Love.
While it's true, the Timberwolves have been long-rumored to be pursuing players with experience, there are two reasons this source could've surfaced:
1. The T'Wolves are sending out smokescreens to try to get the Celtics and Warriors to up their offers
2. The T'Wolves are out of their freaking minds.
While I don't have an exuberant amount of respect for Flip Saunders and the Minnesota Timberwolves front office, I can't believe that anyone would be willing to pull the trigger on such a poor trade. Let's take a quick look at what their financials would look like if they were to go through w/ this trade
all data courtesy of ShamSports
green = player option, red = qualifying, blue = team option
editor's note: In 15/16, only 2 million of Wilson Chandler's contract is guaranteed
For starters - that's their team. A roster filled with 'pretty nice', but not really impactful players. Highly unlikely that you'll see the Ricky & Aaron & Wilson & Keneth & Nikola shirts flying off the shelves, but oh well. 67 million in salary committed this year, 61 the following. But that's not the main issue. Look closer. No, closer. Close-er. OK, stop. Your face is an inch from the screen and your colleagues are wondering if you're about to be Poltergeist'd.
At the conclusion of the season Ricky Rubio and Keneth Faried will be restricted free agents, and Aaron Afflalo has a player option he's very likely to exercise.
What does that translate to? Here's an estimate on how the T'Wolves books would like.
Even using pretty conservative estimates (I think both Afflalo and Faried would command closer to 12 mil a year), if the Timberwolves want to bring the Love-Trade Band back (band name suggestion: free love freeway) they're going to be awfully close to the luxury tax line. And these figures don't even consider the first round selections they'll make.
No cap flexibility. Staring the luxury tax in the eye. All for a team that will have an awfully hard time making the playoffs in the West (but also not bad enough to get a good lottery pick). Doesn't seem like something a mid-market team is going to want to do.
Smokescreen or incompetence. There is no other option.