Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

As the Kevin Love sweepstakes start to heat up, the Lakers are a team that has been heavily linked to the All-Star power forward for the last few years with many executives reportedly saying that Los Angeles is the likeliest of destination when the smoke clears.

Love is not eligible to become a free agent until 2015, but the latest reports say that Love’s representatives have told the Minnesota Timberwolves that he will not re-sign with the team if he opts out in 2015, speeding up the process of Love’s eventual exit.

That is unfortunately bad news for the Lakers which have limited resources this off-season outside of the #7 pick in the NBA draft and ample cap space.  The only players currently under contract are Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Robert Sacre.

The purple and gold will continue to make a push to acquire Love, but they will need to get creative.  While three-team deals are hard to make, that is the best option for the Lakers to get a deal done.

A plausible trade partner could be that of the Detroit Pistons.  Here is the trade idea (please note this would be main part of the deal):

Lakers receive: Kevin Love

Pistons receive: 7th pick in NBA Draft (LA would select player for Detroit in draft)

T’Wolves receive: Greg Monroe (Sign & Trade)

As the Stan Van Gundy era begins in Detroit, a slight rebuild is certainly in the cards.  The question is if the Pistons will bring back Monroe or let him go in the offseason.  If it decides to go with the latter, it could very well look for sign-and-trade offers that will bring back a piece or two.

The Pistons lost its draft pick after falling in the lottery.  The pick was sent to the Charlotte Hornets in the Ben Gordon trade as top-8 protected, so when it dropped to ninth, the pick went back to Charlotte.  Acquiring a lottery pick would be a nice coup for Van Gundy and the Pistons as they move forward.

For the T’Wolves, losing Love will hurt, as you don’t replace a player like him.  With Monroe, you are bringing in a 23-year old power forward that averages 14 points and 9 rebounds in four seasons.

After years of mediocrity and lottery appearances, it is not unreasonable to think that Minnesota hopes to bring a player in which helps the team move forward, instead of draft picks that could take a few seasons to develop.  With players like Nikola Pekovic, Ricky Rubio, and Kevin Martin in place, becoming a playoff team is not too far off.  Adding Monroe to the mix might be the best return in terms of  player quality and impact.

The key to the trade lies with Monroe.  If the Pistons decide against bringing back the 6’11 forward, what will Monroe’s motivations be in free agency? At such a young age, it could very well be going to the team that will give him the most money.  If that is the case, a sign-and-trade deal to the T’Wolves would be the best option.

Finally, for the Lakers, adding Love is essential.  There are plenty of people opposed to the idea of trading this year’s draft pick, but when you can acquire a 25-year-old All-Star, it is a no-brainer.

With Kobe on the books for two more years and not wanting to be part of a rebuild, adding Love would appease Kobe.  The Lakers’ seventh pick could net forwards Aaron Gordon, Julius Randle, or Noah Vonleh; and while they all have nice potential, will they ever average 26 points and 12 rebounds like Love did this past season?  With Love, teams know what they are getting, which cannot be said about draft prospects regardless of how great their scouting reports look.

The Lakers have never been about building for the future, opting for a more ‘win now’ mentality. Trading the lottery pick to acquire Love would only mean the franchise is staying true to form.

  • Omar

    Nope. As a laker fan, I want to keep that pick.

    • Ryan Caldwell

      Then you get julius

      • dollarbill4life

        Julius at least plays defense. Love is a walking slice of Swiss cheese on defense.

  • RoWyN

    You wish!

    • Kamal

      you got that right

  • dayton

    Nice idea but Minnesota would eant more

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  • J

    MIN would want to tank for better picks in the coming years. Bringing in Monroe won’t get them into the playoffs (think about it…they are replacing Kevin Love with a much inferior player) and they still won’t be bad enough to get a top pick. That trade would make no sense.

    If MIN even wanted Monroe, it would be better for LA to sign him to an offer sheet that DET very well may not match. After 3 months, they could deal him and whoever the draft for Love.

    With that said, LA should just keep the pick.

  • isaac

    can not happen until July. no signing and trading allowed til then.

  • Otis

    The mechanics of this don’t even work. Monroe needs to consent to any sign-and-trade, and free agency doesn’t start until several days after the draft. Plus, I don’t see Monroe agreeing to play for Minny in the first place, and they would be the stupidest motherf*ckers this side of Detroit if they wanted to pay that clown $60M to pretend to be a power forward next to Pekovic.

  • Kamal

    Are you HIGH??? This is the Stupidest thing i heard. Minnesota will want more for Love than monroe. (Which some team out there will give). Pistons will want more than the 7th pick for Monroe. The lakers would be the only team winning this trade. NOBODY in their right mind will do this trade!!

    • TheFreshPeddler .

      the wolves are not in a position of power, Love would have to agree to re-sign somewhere for a team to risk assets. their leverage is at his whim

      the same goes for monroe, though more likely to follow the money.

      you must be HIGH if you think teams are going to jump at the opportunity to part with so much to secure a 1 season k love rental. in the end they will get the most THEY ARE ABLE to get for him.

      What A Stupid Comment.

      • Computer Networking

        Well the cultic and the kings have already put together packages and have stated that they will take love without signing an extension so I guess there are some stupid tens out there

        • TheFreshPeddler .

          again, my point, all love has to do is say i wont re-sign somewhere and they are not risking their future on him. Timbo’s, for the most part, can only get what love allows them to get.

          Maybe he wants to go to boston, i doubt it for obvious reasons, but he was fortuitous enough to re-sign with minn once lol. I dont know who has said what as i have not read or heard any of that but it really doesnt matter if he decides to play hardball. This really is not a new thing, its been going on long enough.

          if he goes to boston, its because he either wants to or lets it happen.

          • Computer Networking

            You are right. It has gone on long enough, but like I said, there are teams with more assets than the lakers out there that has already stated that they would be willing to take love without reassurance.

    • Computer Networking

      Obviously you didn’t read the article. The writer stated that this would only be the main part of the trade. Of course minnesota would get more for love.

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  • SierraM363

    The Celtics could give the sixth pick and many more 1st round picks.

  • wangkon936

    How would the salaries work? Throw in players must be involved.

  • dollarbill4life

    Love is great on the boards and scoring, but the man plays absolutely no defense. Any moves made should be with an eye towards improving the interior defense.


    I feel like the Lakers should keep there pick and Draft some young talent, then take a crack at Love next season. Unless they can find a way to get Love and still have a top 10 draft pick because there is some awesome talent in this draft.

  • Nyce120

    He might not play defense but the guy rebounds if you bring in a athletic center to hide his defensive deficiency he can thrive he’s already the best power forward in the game he can score against double teams he rebounds everything and he’s very efficient the second best efficiency rate behind LBJ. And he is a very good and willing passer if you have a chance to get him for the number 7 pick you have to take it. Yes it’s a deep draft but in all trades if you can get the best player available you take it and who knows if they can get rid of Nash contract this might bring a Carmelo or LeBron to la to play with K.Lo and Kobe

  • Will

    i like how you are putting scenarios for land love, although i think wolves could get better package than just monroe, but monroe is more than just an above average player. I think if love really wanted to play in LA he can force his way there and make wolves take monroe, on the other hand, wolves get a potential all star to try make up the loss of nothing. great work

  • wardrobe99

    that is a good trade along with steve nash no brainer everyone wins now that the draft is over go offer a big contract to get monroe then just trade him strait across with nash in december if that could work with out nash on our cap this year