As with every other star player that is rumored to be traded or leaving their current team, the Houston Rockets are among the possible landing spots for Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love. Coming off of a career-best 26.1 points per game and a solid 12.2 rebounds per game, Love is one of the top power forwards in the league.
The Rockets weakest position is at power forward. With a great young core of James Harden, Dwight Howard, and Chandler Parsons, it makes sense that Kevin Love might want to play in Houston. This team gives him a chance to win now, which isn’t something he’s been accustomed to in Minnesota.
The Rockets are rumored to be willing to offer Omer Asik and Chandler Parsons, with the possibility of adding a third team to take Jeremy Lin‘s contract. There are a couple of reasons that Minnesota wont accept this particular offer.
1.) The Minnesota Timberwolves have two solid centers.
With Nikola Pekovic and Gorgui Dieng (who had a 20+/20+ game against the Rockets this season), there would be no room for Minnesota to take on Omer Asik‘s contract, unless Dieng were sent with Love in the package (which is unlikely). Pekovic was injured a bit this season, but still posted averages of 17.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game this season. Pekovic’s offensive game is much more polished than Asik’s and it would be hard to imagine Minnesota would want to spend an entire year with Asik’s contract for him to be a bench player again.
2.) Other teams can offer a better package.
Holy hell, Cleveland. 3 of the past 4 years the Cavaliers have won the draft lottery (this year with a 1.7% chance). Sorry, Lakers. Anyway, the Los Angeles Lakers have the 7th pick in the draft. I have Aaron Gordon as the 7th best prospect, who has a good chance of being a legitimate starter in the NBA and the Wolves may be able to get a nice replacement for Love. Two high draft picks would be really enticing for a rebuilding team.
The Celtics could send their number 6 pick overall, along with the expiring deals of Brandon Bass, Keith Bogans, and Joel Anthony. Pair a number 6 or 7 draft pick with the 13th pick that the Timberwolves own, in a very deep draft, and Minnesota could really kick their rebuilding phase into action.
I’m also hearing rumors of the Cavaliers being interested in throwing together a package to land Kevin Love. With the 1st overall pick in the draft, the Cavaliers may have the best shot to do so. Given the Cavs’ young core of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, mixed with veterans like Anderson Varejao and Jarrett Jack, Kevin Love may opt to re-sign with Cleveland. What could be more enticing to the Timberwolves than having the 1st pick in this years draft?
With the success of the Rockets pulling off this trade hinging on a late-first-round draft pick and a position the Timberwolves are already deep at, it doesn’t seem likely that this trade will happen. The Rockets would need to involve a third team to take on Lin and Asik (and their $30 million actual payout next year), and it seems unlikely as most teams looking to make a big move like that are looking at Kevin Love as their target. The Rockets will need to look elsewhere to get their 3rd star.