Kevin Love wants to get out of the small market of Minnesota (and his people have told the team he will opt out next summer), a team that didn’t make the playoffs last year, to get to….
That’s not exactly on his list of “places I will sign a new deal” but the Suns want in the game, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports:
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.
A few thoughts here.
First, if I’m in a smaller market where Love likely would not stay but I want to make my fans happy, I make a call Flip Saunders in Minnesota to judge interest in a deal, then I leak that I made the call. Nothing likely comes of it, but you can say to your fan base “hey, we’re really trying.”
Next, a max deal for Eric Bledsoe?
I like him and his potential more than most, but a max? That’s a steep price. Bledsoe averaged 17.7 points per game last season when healthy, he added 5.5 assists per game and had a true shooting percentage of .578. He had a PER of 19.6. He played well paired with Goran Dragic, enough that it almost lifted the Suns to the playoffs (they were the surprise team the first half of last season).
Bledsoe is a restricted free agent this summer and someone is going to offer him a big new contract (which the Suns can match, or they can let him walk). But a max deal? If his agent Rich Paul can pull that off, a number of clients should jump to him.
Would Bledsoe or Goran Dragic be among the assets the Suns might offer? Ideally you’d like to pair that backcourt with Love, but the Wolves will be asking a steep price.
That said, if I’m Minnesota I would have to consider the offer. The goal for them is to get picks and quality young players, and if the Suns can offer that the Timberwolves would not care if Love re-signs there or not.
For Phoenix, it is potentially a lot to give up if you can’t get Love to stay. Really sets your building program back. And you’re almost certainly not going to get Love to stay.
-- Kurt Helin, NBC's Pro Basketball Talk