May 20, 2014, 2:58 PM EST
Golden State is a very good team, but one a notch below the contenders in the West — San Antonio, Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Clippers. Steve Kerr enters with the expectation he will help lead this team to another level (no pressure, Steve).
But whoever is the coach his roster needs more talent — someone like Kevin Love. Which apparently is a possibility. The question is how much of their core would Golden State give up to get Love?
Love has reportedly told Minnesota he will choose to be a free agent in 2015, which has Minnesota realizing they have to trade him. Love has power in this process because only teams where he says he will sign an extension will put decent assets into a trade for him.
Love’s people reportedly have said Golden State is one of those teams. For the Warriors to make a deal work would require David Lee for salary purposes then some younger players that intrigue the Wolves. Who Minnesota will ask for is Klay Thompson, but the Warriors might be hesitant to go there reports Marcus Thompson at the Mercury News.
Ideally, the Warriors could pull it off with a package of Lee, forward Harrison Barnes and the 2015 draft pick. That’s probably the best the Warriors could offer.
A team source said the Warriors don’t want to give up Klay Thompson to land Love. Draymond Green doesn’t make enough to impact the trade financially. That leaves Barnes, whom the Warriors stuck by during his sophomore slump.
Perhaps Barnes and Green, in tandem, would qualify as enough young talent to pair with Lee — but that’s giving up too much as Green has proved invaluable off the bench. Maybe the Warriors could get their hands on another first-round pick to bolster their offer.
I love how much Green improved but you throw him in the deal if you’re Golden State. Talent wins and Love upgrades the Warriors dramatically at the position they most need it, plus it creates a potentially deadly pick-and-pop partner for Stephen Curry. There are a lot of possibilities.
Thompson is a harder call — great shooters who can defend as well are not that easy to come by. That said, if I were the Warriors I would likely still do it because there are more shooters on the market than there are elite power forwards, you can come closer to getting a replacement for Thompson.
The Warriors may have to consider it because teams like the Bulls or Rockets can also put together interesting packages, as could the Lakers and Celtics (depending on how the draft lottery goes). There will be competition.
If the Warriors can get Love they just need to find a way to keep Andrew Bogut healthy, then they are in the mix.
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