As of June 7, the Phoenix Suns have entered the Love-triangle.
Kevin Love‘s one of the top 10 players in the NBA. Either via trade or by hitting unrestricted free agency and leaving the Timberwolves with nothing in 2015, Kevin Love’s leaving Minnesota.
Sleeper: The Phoenix Suns.
Are the Suns willing to pursue K.Love with everything they’ve got? Yes.
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
Is it a good idea for the Suns to “blow it up” for Love? No.
1. Why would Love want to go to a team with no depth? It’d be the Timberwolves all over again!
What’s it like having no depth? Look at the 2014 NBA Finals, the Miami Heat had the greatest player on the planet (LeBron James); the San Antonio Spurs ran 12 deep (led by one of the five best players in NBA History). The result: The Spurs won The Finals in five games. Against the two-time defending NBA champions. By the largest average margin in NBA Finals history (+14).
Depth > No-Depth.
2. Picks: They could start (even though they might’ve started last year) building a great team for the future.
The Suns have the 14th (Gary Harris, PG), 18th (T. J. Warren, SF/PF) and 27th (Jordan Clarkson, SG) picks in the 2014 NBA Draft. They could keep the core they’ve got, replace Eric Bledsoe and Gerald Green (they’re clearly out on both since they’re looking to get max deals elsewhere) with Gary Harris and T. J. Warren. Either Harris or Clarkson could take on Dragic’s minutes off the bench.
3. Cap-Room: They’ve got only $36 million committed for 2014-15, $7.5 million for 2015-16 (this is kind of irrelevant since they don’t even have a complete roster for next year so the numbers are clearly going up).
Pipe-dream: if LeBron James does not opt-out until next summer and the Timberwolves decide to keep Love until 2015 and get no compensation for him, the Suns would be the favorites (money-wise) to land both LeBron and Love in 2015.
4. Cap-Room 2.0: It’s unlikely they’re running into some kind of $20 million a year player in the near future. So they should be able to spend their money on several guys in their quest for depth.
5. Small market: The Suns fans, being in the small market they are, have never had the biggest of expectations for their team. The fans in Phoenix won’t hold the team accountable if they don’t get a ring in the next five seasons. If the organization’s smart (they’ve yet to prove otherwise) they’ll pass on Love and look further down the road.
Of course they’re nowhere near the San Antonio Spurs’ ability to develop players, but we’re still talking about the team who kept Steve Nash‘s body from growing old for eight years. If they’re able to develop even one of the five players they’re (hopefully) landing this summer, they’ve got a great chance to go deep into the playoffs as soon as next season.