Editor's note: The following (lightly edited) thoughts originated in the comments of a FanPost from DBB reader grahamcraka about how the Pistons could join the Kevin Love Affair by somehow convincing Greg Monroe to do a sign and trade with the Timberwolves. Is it feasible? And if so, should the Pistons even consider it given the expected cost? Mike Payne and Shinons* offer their thoughts:
From Mike Payne, addressing whether Monroe is talented enough to be the centerpiece of a trade: Seven years ago, the Boston Celtics traded Al Jefferson to Minnesota for Kevin Garnett, a prior MVP, the league’s top rebounder and a sure-fire hall of fame candidate. Prior to that trade, Jefferson was looking promising but still raw, and less accomplished to that date than Greg Monroe is now. The deal involved picks and other prospects, but it happened.
For a one-to-one trade involving Minnesota, Detroit would probably need to include Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Singler and Jonas Jerebko plus its 2014 first round draft selection, meaning it would have to be a draft-day trade. Minnesota would need to include filler like Ronny Turiaf and Robbie Hummel to make salaries work.
Minnesota would be trading one guaranteed year of a player who is absolutely, without a doubt going to bolt on them as soon as possible. That might even be next summer, given that he’s due for a raise if he wants it then. One guaranteed year of Love with nothing to show for it after he bolts is worth less to the Timberwolves than four guaranteed years of Greg Monroe, the "bird rights" of KCP and Singler, plus the right to have Detroit select a player for them in the 2014 first round.
The question isn’t whether or not this trade would be valuable to Minnesota. It absolutely would. The question should be whether or not Detroit should spend its entire wad of non-Drummond assets on Love. It’s an incredibly safe bet that Love will bolt in free agency and sign in a big, bright, warm market far from the midwest the moment he can. He’s a victim of circumstance thus far, being stuck in a shitty market and I think there’s little on his mind that matters more than choosing his own adventure.
I think if you trade for Love, you do so at your own peril. He’d be amazing next to Drummond, but the likelihood of him bolting is a risk that could cost Detroit dearly.
From Shinons*: The Kevin Love conversation is definitely one worth having. Out of all of the teams being floated as candidates in the Kevin Love sweepstakes, the Pistons are positioned better than any of them. None have a young, top-10 big man. None have a lottery pick. None have the combination of young talent, role players, and buy-low starters available.
Though Love is the type of talent that the Pistons should be looking for in a Monroe trade, I wouldn’t pull the trigger on it. I don’t think it does enough to make the Pistons better, especially if Josh Smith is still on the roster. Love is an amazing offensive player. But offensively, the Pistons are fine. It’s the defensive side of the ball that they need help – and Love might actually be a downgrade on Monroe on that side of the ball.
But it’s a great chance to unload Josh Smith. In deals like this, there are a lot of moving parts and the Pistons should be part of the conversation. The Wolves will be desperate to get as much talent back as possible and may be willing to consider including Josh Smith – and expiring deals for Will Bynum, Gigi Datome, and potentially Jonas Jerebko (as well as Brandon Jennings’ two remaining years) could have value to help make salaries match. One of RonMarshall’s TradeMachine busting suggestions could actually be possible here. But here’s a suggestion of mine:
• Boston Celtics: Love, Bynum, Jerebko
• Detroit Pistons: Chase Budinger, Kelly Olynyk
• Minnesota Timberwolves: Smith, Jared Sullinger, Jeff Green, Boston’s No. 5 pick
Boston gets a star to pair with Rondo while Love gets a major franchise. They’d need to identify some potential free agents who’d be willing to sign on, as they’d be pretty threadbare in the meantime. If the Pistons were willing to take Gerald Wallace off their hands they could certainly get the No. 17 pick for their troubles, and it’d be worth considering for both teams. It’d free up Boston to pursue Trevor Ariza, Luol Deng, or Pau Gasol, and the Pistons could be in range for K.J. McDaniels, Kyle Anderson, or potentially Nik Stauskas.
Minnesota gets a haul of young talent and veterans to help avoid another complete rebuild. They’d be able to trot out a starting five of Ricky Rubio/Kevin Martin/Jeff Green/Josh Smith/Nikola Pekovic, which seems like it could be competitive under the right circumstances – and they still have nice young core to build toward the future in Shabazz Muhammad, Sullinger, Gorgui Dieng, and their number 5 pick. Losing Love would be crushing, but this would at least give some hope that it wouldn’t be as devastating as the post-Garnett era.
Pistons dump Smith while also adding a pair of good young shooters, both of whom become expendable to their former teams. Better than Budinger would be Kevin Martin, but it’s tough to imagine the Timberwolves parting with a guy who scored 19 points per game and on a bargain contract.
Now your thoughts.