The Phoenix Suns were the surprise and enjoyment of the 2013-2014 season. They ended the 2012-2013 season at 25-57 and were left with the worst record in the Western Conference, two games behind the New Orleans Pelicans. They were 17-24 at home and were terrible on the road, with a record of 8-33. The Suns also had a record of 5-11 in Divisional games and 17-35 against their Conference. They averaged 95.2 points per game and allowed 101.6 points per game. Phoenix came into the 2013-2014 season expected to grab a top five pick in the 2014 Draft. However, they proved all of the doubters wrong. They went from last place in the West, to the 9th best team in the West, missing the playoffs by one game to the Dallas Mavericks. They ended the season 48-34, with a winning record at home and on the road. (26-15 at home and 22-19 on the road. They also split their divisional games at 8-8 and won 28 of their 52 games against the West. Although they allowed more points per game at 102.6, they increased their own points per game by 10 points, ending the season at 105.2 points per game. They truly had a remarkable season and are starting to establish themselves as a threat in the NBA once again.
Kevin Love has established himself as arguably the best Power Forward in the game, along with Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and Tim Duncan. He bounced back from a short 2012-2013 campaign, where he only played in 18 games before injury. He played and started in 77 games this season, re-establishing himself as a healthy player. He averaged 36.3 minutes per game, which is the second highest of his career. He recorded his best scoring season, averaging 26.1 points per game and also set a career-high in assists per game at 4.4 assists. He has always been one of the best rebounders in the game and continued that legend with 12.5 rebounds per game this season. Defensively, he averaged 0.5 blocks per game and 0.8 steals per game, which stayed consistent throughout his career thus far. Shooting-wise, he shot 46 percent from the floor, 38 percent from deep range and 82 percent from the free throw line. Sources have said that the Phoenix Suns are serious about pursuing the 25 year old power forward. He still has one year remaining on his Minnesota Timberwolves contract and has the chance to become a free agent after next season. So it would have to be done via a trade if they want it done this offseason, which they do. However, even if they do acquire him this offseason, a clause in his contract would allow him to become an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2014-2015 season. That would possibly only give the Suns one year to work with him, that is if he doesn’t want to stay.
What It Would Take To Add Some Love to Phoenix
If you take a look at what Phoenix has to offer exactly, you would see that it would be a difficult trade to configure. First off, if Minnesota were to get rid of an All-Star in his prime, there’s no doubt that they would want an All-Star in return. With that being said, Phoenix doesn’t have an All-Star big man to give Minnesota. The only potential All-Star players they have to give are Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic. Unfortunately for the Suns, they are both point guards and Minnesota seems stuck on their Ricky Rubio. If you’re Minnesota, it looks like you have some decisions to make regarding the players mentioned above. You can either have Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio entering the market together next summer, Goran Dragic and Rubio entering the market together next summer (having traded Love) or have Eric Bledsoe with a long-term contract with Love traded and Rubio a restricted free agent. Basically the message here is Love for either Dragic or Bledsoe is a no-go and a long stretch at that. With all that being said, it seems clear that the Phoenix Suns would need to involve a third team that would be able to provide the Minnesota Timberwolves with an All-Star player in exchange for the young talent and draft picks from the Suns, ultimately bringing Love to Phoenix. Again, unfortunately for Phoenix, this is where it gets tricky. They need to find a third team that is willing to give up an All-Star in exchange for a rebuilding process. ALSO, the Suns would need to find a way to make both of the teams happy enough to lure them away from just sealing a two-team deal. It’s a very tricky process which would end up with a lot of moving and the Phoenix Suns giving up more than they should want to. Although it is possible, it is hard to imagine the Suns saying yes to a deal that would change a majority of their roster.
What Love Can Do For Phoenix
Let’s say the Phoenix Suns pull off a trade and acquire Kevin Love. What exactly could Love do for Phoenix? Well, the answer to that is simply what he has done in Minnesota, if not more. First off, he would bring a lot of scoring as usual. He would open up the floor for Phoenix, which would be a huge advantage for them. Gerald Green, Dragic and Bledsoe are all fantastic at getting to the basket and with Kevin Love opening the floor, they would be unstoppable. It would also give the team an option to dish the ball outside to their PF for a three, which is lethal for any team since most PF’s aren’t the best at perimeter defense. Next, I believe his rebounding would increase. The Suns don’t have a prolific rebounder, with their best rebounder being Miles Plumlee at 7.8 rebounds per game and their second best being P.J. Tucker at 6.5. Kevin Love would grab the majority of the rebounds for Phoenix, bringing in a bunch of 20-rebound games. Conclusion Obviously, Kevin Love will shine in any offense for any team. He’s such a fantastic player at the PF position and a great shooter for his size. I would say the odds of Phoenix grabbing Love are slim, but possible. However, looking at what Phoenix would have to spend to make that happen, I don’t see it as worth it. (Which is hard to say for a player like Love)