FanPost

L-O-V-E


You might be tempted to consider Kevin Love to the Sixers in a deal that would quickly and assuredly propel the Sixers to the top 4 of the Eastern Conference next season. Even if we just assume that the Sixers performance next year mirrored the Twolves performance this year, that should easily slot the Sixers into Wizards/Raptors territory. That would be with Noel performing as a great rim protector, but not much more than that in season 1. On the surface, Love fits nicely into this team to pull defenses away from the lane while the Sixers slash and kick and the Sixers would be a joy to watch next year. All it would take is Hinkie making a simple phone call to Flip Saunders. Any of the top 3 picks are probably interchangeable from the Twolves standpoint so the Sixers have a real play here. But, a Kevin Love trade would crumble this Sixers rebuild. A hypothetical 3 and 10 swap for Love or even just a 3 swap with Thad would set the Sixers up for 5 years of fast and spectacular, dynamic, mediocrity.

Love is 3 years past when they can build with him. He is going to soon enter into his maintenance years. His minutes will have to be cut while his effort/athleticism stats, such as offensive boards, will drop and his already just acceptable defense is going to vanish. This is just the reality of a superstar that missed his window. From a trade value standpoint, Love is better positioned to go to a team that has or can quickly acquire other assets and not have to wait on existing players to improve in order to reach the team's potential. You see, there is a performance arc for each player that typically peaks around 24 years old (Berri and Schmidt, Stumbling on Wins) and then slowly declines until rapidly falling off around 30 years old (Tim Duncan notwithstanding). A team looking for that sweet spot of ascension (Sixers now, OKC-Durant/Westbrook/Ibaka (should have kept Harden)) versus existing performance (Heat-Big 3, Celtics-Big 3, Lakers-Shaq/Kobe) has to team up players that are productive and also project out a few years to see if you are intending to win this year, next year, or just sell tickets. In essence, that's the team building process.

Hinkie understands all of this. He dumped players that were through their ascension because they weren't going to be part of the future. Thad is a conspicuous piece that remains, but it's well understood that he's productive (when he un-Josh Smith's his game) and is currently undervalued as an asset so there is no reason to deal him until someone gives the Sixers an economic advantage, meaning, until next year's trade deadline. (I still argue that if the Warriors, OKC, or Heat would have added Spencer, the course of the NBA playoffs would have been different. We'll never know for sure. But Thad is tantalizing in that same equation next year. AND, someday, Hinkie will be there to pounce on that situation in reverse and i'll be around to post about it.)

This top-3 drama, which makes me ecstatic that the Sixers are a part of, is going to play out over the next month, but come to a head on draft night. Cleveland will deal for Love and the Twolves will take Wiggins or Parker. Cleveland has a nearly developed backcourt and legitimate depth to compete with Indiana and the Heat so they have to make Love work ("make love work"...too...many...puns). Meanwhile, it's an attractive spot for Love because the publicized alternatives, such as, the Warriors, are in a front office mess and meanwhile the Lakers are talentless. If I were a Cavs fan (glad i'm not) I'd be great with turning that bolt of lightning #1 pick into Kevin Love instead of another 19 year old. Then, I don't agree with letting Embiid slip purely from a draft theory standpoint, but Pekovic and Dieng are productive bigs already so the Twolves will pick Wiggins or Parker (maybe just use the acronym WorP?). Next up, the Bucks have no interest in flushing their Larry Sanders investment down the drain and even with all of the lessons of sunk cost (a class taught by Olowokandi in 13000+ NBA minutes) the Bucks will try to make WorP fit with the Greek Freak. That shouldn't be hard because Thanasis' brother looks like absolute mayhem on the floor and could defend from 2-4 without an issue.

Then, the Sixers will send Adam Silver to the podium to pull Embiid off the board.

A user-created LB joint. The Liberty Ballers staff does not contribute to FanPosts.

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