As Kevin Love trade rumors float about Boston, Cleveland, Chicago and Golden State, those in Phoenix might wonder why the Suns and their many assets to offer aren’t as often discussed as potential trade partners with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
But the latest rumor might make Suns fans feel less excited and more queasy about what Phoenix might have to do in order to trade for the All-Star power forward.
Suns interested in Love deal w/best assets Dragic, Bledsoe & picks.NBA sources say it will take full max deal to control free agent Bledsoe.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 7, 2014
From Spears’ tweet, we get another confirmation Bledsoe will be breaking a team’s bank.
On to the more surprising issue, the Suns’ rumored willingness to hand over one of their two best players. Before losing your lunch, know that this could all be a smokescreen, as Kurt Helin of NBC Sports points out. There are a couple things to consider, however, if this is indeed something general manager Ryan McDonough is contemplating.
What is the maximum the Suns should give up for Love?
With so many draft picks that could be thrown into the gift basket heading to Minnesota in such a trade, it would seem that the Suns should only be open to trading one of Dragic or Bledsoe. That might be obvious, but Minnesota surely is going to push hard for a Carmelo Anthony-like trade, where wiping a team’s roster of talent is perhaps plausible — though we can thank the new Collective Bargaining Agreement for that being hard to fathom these days.
But which one of Dragic or Bledsoe should go?
Sean Highkin of USA Today gave his thoughts on a potential trade.
I think if I'm Minnesota and Phoenix is calling about Love, I'd rather take Dragic on a really good contract than max out Bledsoe in a S&T.
— Sean Highkin (@highkin) June 8, 2014
Highkin brings up a very good point, but while Minnesota might rather have Dragic than Bledsoe, there’s reason to believe the Suns see Dragic as the better value, thus refusing to make such a deal. Dragic is older, but it seems that both marketing-wise and on the court, there is appreciation for the Slovenian point guard. There’s a reason he wasn’t included in the busy veteran-dumping last offseason.
Bledsoe’s 2013-14 season of course was far from poor, but it felt hard to argue he’d completely answered the two big questions about his health and ability to lead.
How Dragic or Bledsoe fit with point guard Ricky Rubio and the T-Wolves might be irregardless at this rate, especially since Rubio seemingly plateaued this past season. It might simply come down to which player the T-Wolves would like to have more, and if that is a shared opinion in Phoenix.
This is often how trades go down, or fail to. If the Suns like Dragic’s value and the Timberwolves think Bledsoe is worth a max contract — a completely debatable thing, in my opinion — or vice versa, that’s what could seal a Kevin Love trade to Phoenix.
Then again, the Warriors, Bulls, Celtics and Cavs may have something to say about it.