Thinking Outside the Box on the Draft and Love FA

It is rumored that the Minnesota Timberwolves are looking for young players over draft picks in exchange for Kevin Love. If CHI trades MIN, with Jimmy Butler then they will have major holes at SG and SF after the trade and still have Carlos Boozer on the books. Here is another approach worth considering:

Chicago trade with Orlando:

  • CHI sends: Carlos Boozer + the 19th overall pick in this draft + the protected 2015 pick from SAC (Deng Trade) to ORL.
  • ORL sends: Arron Afflalo + Maxiell (non-guaranteed) + Harkless + Nicholson to CHI.
CHI would receive $13.5M returning salary and ORL would obtain $16.8M, which works by the 125% + 100k rule. CHI taking less would be helpful because CHI will need to sign extensions for Love, Afflalo, and an extension soon for Butler if they can keep him.
How this benefits both teams:

  • Orlando already has Oladipo which is a native SG player on the roster as their replacement or Afflalo. They are rumored to be looking at drafting Exum with their 4th pick to play behind Jameer at PG. They have Nik at Center. They are desperately lacking at PF. They would get a 1 year rental of Carlos Boozer as their starter and still have their current starter O'Quinn at PF. They would keep Harris which has better numbers than Harkless at SF. Then they would still have their pick at 12 and now the 16 and 19 pick to grab any quantity of young forwards to rebuild such as Gary Harris/Rodney Hood/Adreian Payne and others.
  • Chicago will get out of the Boozer deal and gain an offensive SG or SF depending on how they want to use Afflalo and Butler. In a deal looking to trade with MIN, they would have Gibson + Dunleavy + the 16th pick + possibly some of the future 2nd rounders from the Deng trade. Now they have Harkless and Nicholson from ORL to float as young talent to MIN in addition to all of their young assets. If MIN wants Mirotic forced into this deal to make it happen, then they have Nicholson and Maxiell to play behind Love. If MIN wants Butler + Dunleavy, then they have Harkless and Afflalo to fill the SG and SF roles. If Maxiel is not needed, then he can be waived (along with James, Amundson, and Brewer that they have already as non-guaranteed deals) . CHI stays above the cap and keeps the MLE and BAE. If CHI trades Butler, then they have Harkless which is a SF. Assuming these extra assets helps improve the depth enough to obtain Love, they also have some depth left for their own bench with NBA experience.

Potential Ideal Roster for CHI:

  1. Rose / BAE (possibly DJ Augustin)
  2. Afflalo / Snell
  3. Butler / Harkless
  4. Love / Mirotic (MLE)
  5. Noah / Smith

The scenario that CHI gets Love and dumps Boozer can't end up much better than this no matter how you work it through a separate Boozer deal or Amnesty provision or using the draft picks or trading up in the draft. CHI also would still have all future 1st and 2nd round picks of their own.

ORL would only be losing some moderate level depth players, no starters, gaining Boozer as a loan for 1 year in a much needed PF position and gaining 2 first rounders in this deep draft to build around Oladipo + Exum + Vucevic development.

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