Nba nerd

Why Flip Will Lose Love, and Why That Doesn't Matter

When it comes down to it, the Timberwolves are doomed to lose Kevin Love because he doesn't want to play there, and the current CBA doesn't help Minnesota to outbid any rivals. Because of this, other teams seem to be assuming that they can lowball; after all, the pressure is on Flip. He "must" trade Kevin Love. But this is false; the pressure is, in fact, on every competing team. This is because if you are a competitive team (i.e. a team that Love will want to stay on), there is actually tons of value in inheriting Love's bird rights -- just not until 2016.

The Wolves have two problems: first, they aren't competitive enough to interest Love. This is partly the other players on the team, partly bad coaching, partly bad luck, but mostly this is simply because the Wolves play in the west. The second problem is that the major way in which the CBA lets you keep players is by being able to add an extra year. This is probably why Bosh stayed in Miami instead of going to Houston for the same annual salary.

The problem, though, is that Love won't want extra years, no matter who he's playing for. His agent, Jeff Schwartz, is fully aware that contract sizes are about to undergo dramatic changes. Because of this, no matter where Love goes, he will either a) opt in to his fourth year, and become a free agent in 2016, or b) opt out of his fourth year and sign a one-year deal in 2015/16. Option b) is a litte more money, but he might take option a) in a "wink-wink, nudge-nudge, if they trade me here I'll opt in" move.

Love is 25. He has more earning years left. If he waits 2 years before signing long-term, he will be 27. If he goes to the finals with LeBron (or Stephen Curry, or Dwight Howard) before then, his value is ensured.

Nevertheless, in 2016, it is pretty likely that almost every team will have room for a max contract; the cap will likely baloon to 85-90 million. Consider the situation of a contending team. Do you think it would be valuable to say to Kevin Love "well, we can give you an extra year and 7% yearly raises instead of 5%" when he's 27 and looking to sign a max deal? Of course it will be.

That is why teams should want to be in this position. And that is why Cleveland would be insane to try to lowball Flip, and why Golden State is crazy to keep Klay Thompson off the table if the Flip is stupid enough to want him (I'm really scratching my head to figure out why anybody wants to pay Klay Thompson $15m a year).

I said this on the podcast but it bears repeating: Love is not like a new iPhone. When the new iPhone comes out, you might say "I don't want to wait in line 4 hours to get one, I'll just wait until next month when it is easy." And that is totally justifiable.

He is also not a brand new 4k TV. You might think "4k is cool, but I'll just wait until it comes down in price as more models hit the market."

Love is like a Picasso. You walk into a store where somebody wants to sell the Picasso for $500, you do not think "Oh, this sucker doesn't know he has a Picasso! I'm going to see if I can get it for $250. I'll wait him out, he clearly wants to sell."

You do not do that. You take out your wallet, and you plop down $500 as fast as you fucking can before someone else walks in the store and yells "Holy shit, a Picasso!" and starts a bidding war that you might lose. Because there are no other picasso's coming on the market any time soon.

Right. You're not paying $500 against the value of a "replacement" Picasso that can be had for $200 because a) no such Picasso exists and b) the market has made available to you a Picasso for $500, a price which you are willing to pay; this price is not a reflection of "marginal value" against the fictitious "replacement" Picasso, but rather the price of the total production (in terms of happiness or status or whatever reason people buy Picassos) of this one, distinct, unique Picasso.

I don't want to beat a dead horse, but the limited amount of wall space that you have available for paintings should not, and in practice does not, influence the buyer's determination of the price he'd be willing to pay for a Picasso. This is as opposed to the "car dealerships can add sales positions, but NBA teams (and wall owners) can't add roster spots or room for more paintings" argument, which, as I showed in the last thread, is a specious distinction; the idea that "God" restricts the availability of NBA roster slots while merely the market determines the total possible payroll for car dealerships is a distinction without a difference. All expenditures carry opportunity costs, and the extension of this insight into various markets- whether for labor or art- is not a cause for the conflation of the evaluation of marginal productivity with the determination of prices in the market.
Picasso situation I would describe differently:
Picasso seller says "Give me Van Gogh you have at home and I will rent you Picasso for one or two years. Then I will let you to buy it at the market price with 2% (7%-5%) discount."

Why everyone thinks that all superstars want to team-up with other superstars in the long term? I see such scenario: Love goes to Cleveland. Gets one championship in two years. During 2016 summer some stupid critics will say what Lebron gave that championship to Love and he is not worth it. Love will hear some critique and his ego will kick in. He will want his own team. During 2016 summer he will sign with Celtics/Chicago/etc./Minnesota (comes back home) there will be very good role players. In that scenario, still do you say worth it to lose 4 players (Wiggins+Bennet - trade Thompson/Waiters - cap space 2015/2016 and playing time).

I see boxscore geeks very good at the data (actually one of the best:)), but please do not underestimate player psychology and ego.
I disagree with the main premise of this article. The only way the Wolves are guaranteed to lose Love is if they trade him. While the probability of Love re-signing with Minny may be small *right now*, it is certainly >0, and there is definitely a possibility for that probability to improve by the time the 2015 off season rolls around. This past season was a very weird one for Minny, IIRC they lost a ridiculous number of close games.

IMO I think it would be foolish for the Wolves to trade Love, he's simply too talented a player. While the probability of him re-signing is certainly small, I would say it is significantly higher than being able to acquire a similarly productive player in the foreseeable future.
Minton,
I told Galletti in an email a couple days ago that if i'm Minn, I would ask for a team's drafts pick for 3 years (I would see can I get 4 years). He replied with that is what the Celtics are trying to do. Cavs are trying to do it essentially too by giving up two past number 1's( Wiggins and Bennett) and a future number 1. Picks not chosen are better than chosen picks. My thinking is that the more scratch off tickets (picks) I can get, the better my chances are at replacing my ex star level talent. I would also be willing to take back an expiring contract but they have to take Martin in the deal with Love.
The simpler version is that more than one team wants Love, and at least one team can sign him outright.

That said, I boggle that Klay Thompson is the sticking point. Martin is the superior player right now (not to mention a perfect fit) anyway. Warriors have a two year window with Bogut and Iggy, so you take the temporary upgrade there because it gives you a real shot at a championship.
@nos

That's not the premise of the article (i.e., "the probability that Love re-signs w/ Minny vs the probability that Minny gets another player of similar value"). Rather, the premise of this article is that Minny seems stupid enough to be dangling Love for "peanuts," but that CLE and GSW seem reluctant to give up those "peanuts," and would much prefer a scenario that saw them give up "lint" instead.

Patrick is basically implying that CLE or the GSW should be ready to give up anything short of their own superstars/stars, especially since it doesn't appear that Minny is even asking for those types of players anyway. E.g., CLE's most productive players are actually James, Thompson, and Varejao, yet the only names Minny seems interested in (outside of James who's off-limits ofc), are Waiters and Wiggins (and possibly Bennett's partially guaranteed contract). That's a steal for Love and the 3-years left on Martin's deal imo. Yet, CLE seems more interested in "playing hard to get," as opposed to "playing smart."
"Love goes to Cleveland. Gets one championship in two years. During 2016 summer some stupid critics will say what Lebron gave that championship to Love and he is not worth it. Love will hear some critique and his ego will kick in. He will want his own team. During 2016 summer he will sign with Celtics/Chicago/etc./Minnesota (comes back home) there will be very good role players."

Sounds like a pretty sweet deal for the Cavaliers, a team that has 0 championships in its 44 years of existence. Even if Wiggins is the next Lebron (God is he ever not), the Cavs still won't win a championship with him, because the Cavs can't build a championship team, they can only hope to miraculously have one fall into their lap. This is what is kind of happening right now, and they're running away... Lunacy.

Sabotaging a legitimate chance at a championship because you can't be guaranteed of 4+ shots at is is the height of self destructive greed.
And let's keep in mind that contender status is being bestowed on the Cavs /in spite/ of their team running abilities, and not because of them. They need to get to carpe-ing the fucking diem post haste! Wiggins, a player who is running on the fumes of his highschool hype since he wasn't particularly effective in college against better competition, does not improve their chances of landing a single championship (let alone MULTIPLE championships), especially when compared to Love, a legitimate top 5 player last year. I mean, Lebron has a player option for 2015. He wants Love, and the only reason that any top player is ever coming to Cleveland is because he 1) grew up in Akron so is willing to give the Cavs way to many shots at not fucking things up, or 2) he wants to play with LeBron (these conditions apparently extends to #1 overall draft picks too, given the Cavs drafting history).

And when was the last time the Cavs had the good fortune of having 2 top 5 players on their team anyway, and when do you think they'll next have the opportunity? Never, and never? Yep.

All of that being said, the Cavs should totally dick around with the T-Wolves so that they can have the opportunity to have Wiggins be their best player in 2016 (what with all of the actually good players having left).
"When it comes down to it, the Timberwolves are doomed to lose Kevin Love because he doesn't want to play there"

Everything else that followed is based on that underlying assumption. The title of the article makes this even clearer, "Why Flip Will Lose Love..."

While Patrick's argument may be valid (even there I might be inclined to disagree, I don't think it follows that because contract sizes might increase dramatically that Love wouldn't want extra years), it is definitely not sound, because P1 is incorrect. The only thing Flip "must" do is decide whether or not to trade Love. As long as he still has Love the ball is in his court, As a result the pressure is still on him.

I do agree that the cavs and warriors are stupid for not accepting these trades, but I take issue with treating Love's departure as an inevitability.
nos,

You misunderstand me. If I was Flip, I wouldn't trade Love either. I'd keep him, compete with him, and see what happens in 2015.

But if there were a futures market for this in Vegas, I would bet HUGE amounts of money that Love will not sign a deal past 15/16 no matter what happens (other than player option deals), or who he signs with. He'd be leaving something like $50+ million dollars on the table. The only way he'd do it is if an injury occurred that made him more concerned about security than earning potential.
Patrick, I am glad we agree on the first point.

As for your second paragraph, while I do think that there's a good chance that Love will sign a one year deal that ends in 2016, I'm not quite sure if I can be as certain as you are. It's not as if this is the last big contract he plans on signing. Kevin Love would want to sign (or at least give serious consideration to signing) his "next"-next contract in the summer of 2018, because that's the soonest he'll be eligible for the full max offered to 10+ year veterans. He'll have 7 years experience next off season. Now could he sign a one year deal (or opt in) next year then sign a 2 year deal in 2016 instead of a 3 year deal next year? Certainly, but what's nice about signing a 3 year deal next year is that it would matter very little if that team has his bird rights or not because the team he signs with would have them in 2018 regardless, when he can sign for a contract that is 35% of the salary cap with 7.5% annual raises.

I am not saying this is what will happen, just laying out what is a conceivable scenario (if I am understanding the CBA correctly and have all the years right - I should also point out that there will probably be a lock out in 2017, although Larry Coon expects those negotiations to go over much more smoothly than they did next time around - it might even be the case that there will be fewer restrictions on top level 10+ year veteran talent under the new CBA, Larry Coon expects the players to be the ones opting out)
John,

If that's what you took from the previous discussion, maybe you should read it again. Nobody's arguing about $200 Picassos, they're saying you should judge the value of the Picasso against the value of putting an empty frame that just displays a patch of your wall.
Sigh, I had high hopes for the T-wolves for the last 2 years to turn things around. To bumble away a strong point differential is no small feat. Then they went and took Zach Lavine, probably the worst prospect taken in the lottery and are going to trade Klove for nothing. So sad.

But if I was Flip, I'd trade Pek for any sort of shooting so I can play Dieng and try to pull a 2013-14 renaissance blazers.

I don't see the appeal in paying Klay Thompson so much money. Until Wiggins actually plays games, I'm going to withhold judgement.
The issue for the Cavs is simple: you pay any non-LeBron price to get Love.

The issue for GSW is more complicated with managing their entire roster, but the punch line is that Thompson is not worth holding up a Love trade for.

The issue for MN is more complex: you have to determine if Love is unwilling to stay because of the losing (in which case you rationalize your roster by trading Pek, add some positive value guys on the wings from the d-league or via trade, and roll the dice), or if Love is unwilling to stay because he has an ax to grind with management based on personal feelings over how they have handled him and no result short of a championship this season would keep him (in which case you trade him, because he is leaving full stop).

MN needs to make that determination, which should guide their course of action.

Last, if MN trades him, it should be for as much future value as possible. They are not winning the west in the next 2-3 years. They should be focused on trades that help them build the best team 2+ years forward (maybe trade him to the Spurs for Buford...?).
@Reinholt. That's some Love for Buford right there!
Thompson is not holding up a trade for Love. He is holding up a trade to improve the odds of signing Love when he hits free agency. No one is saying Thompson or Wiggins is better than Love but trading them is closer to staking the odds bet in craps that it is to a player-for-player swap. I don't know why a team would trade any core player just to increase their odds of signing Love long-term from decent to good.

Especially in the case of the Warriors, there is a reasonable chance that the team takes a step backward for a year if they make the trade Flip is looking for. How committed is Love to sticking around and doing what it takes to win a championship? We know that in Minnesota, he wasn't even willing to challenge opponents shots at the rim to help them get to the playoffs. It's fair to wonder what dirty work he is willing to do to get a ring besides latching onto a team with a better roster.

Love is a great player but he brings a lot of risks. And truthfully, to be compared to a Picasso - one of the most diverse artists in history - Love would need to be a little more well-rounded on the defensive end. He's clearly a Chagall. Everyone assumes he is going to be a missing championship piece for whichever team pulls the trigger on a trade but there is no precedent in the modern NBA of the last 30+ years for a team winning a championship with a superstar who is disinterested in playing defense. Not saying it couldn't happen, but it would be a first.
>There is no precedent in the modern NBA of the last 30+ years for a team winning a championship with a superstar who is disinterested[sic] in playing defense.

Uhmm... Dirk? Not exactly the world's greatest defender. Had to traverse a whole 3 years into that 30+ year timeline.
My thoughts:

1) It really does not matter what Minnesota gets for Kevin Love because this franchise has always and will always suck so long as Glen Taylor owns the team. Taylor has what appears to be an infinite amount of tolerance for gross mismanagement and this has always been the case. Good franchises do not alienate superstar players to the point that they are demanding to be traded away and this is the second time in less than a decade that it has happened with Minnesota (Kevin Garnett obviously is the other instance).

2) Thus, no matter what kind of return Minnesota gets for Love, this team will continue to be bad. Love, like Garnett before him, has been the only thing preventing this team from being a complete bottom feeder.

3) Of course Love will leave Minnesota, in which case of course Minnesota must trade him.

4) If Cleveland really was offering the #1 overall pick in this past June's draft, the #1 overall pick in last year's draft, AND a future first round pick, there is no way Minnesota turns that shit down. Which leads me to infer that Cleveland has NOT offered Wiggins. I suspect that Minnesota put that misinformation out there so as to force Golden State (and others) to up the ante, which in turn will (ideally) result in Cleveland capitulating by trading Wiggins, after all.

5) Wiggins is THE prize if you are Minnesota. He is under team control for years and he is a potential superstar who will sell tickets. Minnesota needs a guy under team control for as long as possible so as to postpone the inevitable (a repeat of Love, and Garnett) for as long as possible.

6) Flip Saunders has been an incompetent boob for years and years but the ultimate problem is Glen Taylor. If Flip Saunders were abducted by aliens tomorrow, Taylor would simply hire someone else who would be equally incompetent. And my guess is that there is plenty of meddling by Taylor, and that there always has been.

7) The author is, of course, correct, if a player like Love is available, which does not happen very often,you do not mess around. Trade for him. Just get it done.

8) Having said that, an offer of Anthony Bennett, Dion Waiters, the Miami first rounder, one of Cleveland's own first rounders, and Tristan Thompson is almost certainly the best offer on the table, if this is the offer that is being made. How great would it be to get Love without giving up Wiggins?

9) And, because of #5 and #8 above, Cleveland probably should play chicken with Minnesota here. Either a) Minnesota caves in, and Cleveland winds up with both Love and Wiggins, or b) Golden State caves in, at which point Minnesota goes back to Cleveland and informs them that Golden State caved in. Only then do you cough up Wiggins.

10) I predict Cleveland gets tired of Flip Saunders' dilly dallying and trades a Bennett-centered package for Al Horford. I believe Danny Ferry would like to receive maximum value for Horford sooner rather than later. Horford is older than you think he is (28, I think) and will be 30 when he hits unrestricted free agency in two years, and man, is somebody goingto overpay the shit out of this guy!
"Uhmm... Dirk? Not exactly the world's greatest defender. Had to traverse a whole 3 years into that 30+ year timeline."

Via Tim MacMahon
"Nowitzki had Dallas’ best defensive rating (100.2) during the 2010-11 title season and has been at least a point below the team average in four of the last five years, with last season the exception with him coming off of knee surgery. "

And
"Synergy’s analytics ranks Nowitzki as the NBA’s sixth most successful defender on post-ups (0.53 points per possession, 33.3 field goal percentage) and four (sic) most successful isolation defender (0.44, 20.8)."

Considering where he started out, it's hard to argue that Dirk is disinterested in defending. Did you think I'd really make that claim if I didn't have stuff about Dirk ready to paste? Perhaps you pulled the rip cord a little prematurely on your journey back in time.
No one trades for Love without some assurance he's going to at least opt-in. In fact, from Love's perspective being traded to a better team and then opting in, taking him right up to the new TV deal, is basically the best possible world, so that isn't exactly a hard sell. So realistically you're trading for two years of Love, regardless of what happens in free agency after that.

Holding up a trade for Kevin Love for Wiggins or Thompson is a form of criminal mismanagement of the team. We've seen 3 years of Thompson now, and he looks a lot like a Kyle Korver who makes bad decisions (but has a pretty jump shot). The 'basketball guys' love him, which means he's going to get a fat contract offer next year that you'd be dumb to match. You absolutely move him while he still has value.

Wiggins? Look, I don't know how good he's going to end up being. No one does at this point. I'm confident he's not going to be a superstar next year, though. He's also not likely to be a superstar the year after that, either. The problem when you draft these raw 19 year old kids that didn't perform in college is that they very, very rarely perform until the very end of that rookie scale contract, so all you've really gotten is the right to match a max contract once they hit RFA at 23. Why would you ever want to hold onto that over a guaranteed top 10 player now?

I get that these guys are playing chicken trying to squeeze every bit they can out of a trade, but there really isn't anything wrong with taking 15 wins from Kevin Love for a year and letting him walk from Minnesota's perspective; not compared to what is being offered.
I hope wiggins isnt what the wolves get for love...
benbrung

Alright, yeah, I'm not doing that. I'm not going to list names so that you can cherry pick stats post hoc. You didn't define your metric ahead of time, so I'm using traditional defensive stats for Dirk: Steals, Blocks, and Rebounds. He's below average for his position in all 3.

I didn't say that Dirk doesn't have any conceivable strong defensive stats, I said he didn't have a particularly good reputation for defense. That's a true statement.

We've yet to find a model of defensive productivity that has robustly been demonstrated to reliably quantify an individual's defensive contribution. None of the stats that you mentioned have been shown to mean anything (please point me to the evidence that these statistics have anything to do with win production).

So I'm sticking with Dirk as my counterexample.

Let me go a step further. Since you didn't define your criteria ahead of time, I can take advantage of that to demonstrate that Love is a very good defender:

Love is an elite defensive rebounder.

Defense is about ending the opponents offensive possessions.

Defensive rebounds end the opponents offensive possessions.

Therefore Kevin Love is an elite contributor to his teams defense.

QED

Also, there's this:

@ArturoGalletti via @forgottenboy: "Kevin Love’s defense ranks: 30% steals, 63% opponent pts, 100% rebounds, 21% blocks, 96% fouls (+0.8 points per 48 mins)."
Looking at those numbers, there's a strong argument that Love's reputation probably comes from the fact that he's a big guy that doesn't block shots. But even without blocking shots, his defensive assignment's shooting % goes down pretty far anyway, and Love doesn't bail people out by fouling them. And the Rebounds speak for themselves.

Since Dirk is a poor defender by some measures, then your claim doesn't stand.

Since Love is a strong defensive contributor by some measures, then your claim doesn't apply to him, and he might as well be the last piece in a championship team.

Of course Arturo's metrics here are experimental, and not proven. Likewise, my definition of defense, crafted specifically to make Love look good (though it's still defensible), would be argued by plenty of people. But when you don't specify your metric ahead of time, then you don't bind me to any particular metric to counter your claim with. In short, allowing for the ability to cherry pick stats cuts both ways.
The whole "Love is an awful defender" thing just fucking needs to go away.

This argument sucked back in 2009 when most of the people making hadn't actually ever watched Love play basketball, and it has not aged well.

And yes, Love complains to refs too much instead of getting back on defense. Don't know if any of the morons who harp on that particular fact have ever watched a Miami Heat game, because Wade and LeBron were both awful perpetrators of this as well.
Unless a player is simply giving a player easy layups or wide open shots, defense is overstated anyway. Even if Love's defense is as horrible as people make it out to be, put him around better defensive players because defense is a team activity.
"Alright, yeah, I'm not doing that. I'm not going to list names so that you can cherry pick stats post hoc."

I offered a broad measure of Dirk's defense and provided a couple of deeper examples - that often surprise people with the old habit of dismissing Dirks's defense - to illustrate the point.

But after you accuse me in advance of ad hoc cherry-picking to refute a long list of names that you supposedly are refraining from mentioning, cherry-picking is ironically the route you chose to refute a point you mis-characterized as mine. Further, you did so with 3 stats that even the anti-analytics crowd will admit are woefully inadequate and misleading. Literally what I said was, "there is no precedent in the modern NBA of the last 30+ years for a team winning a championship with a superstar who is disinterested in playing defense." All I was attempting to illustrate was the relatively low bar of Dirk's willingness to successfully do the dirty work defensively in the paint making it difficult to argue that he isn't interested in defending - not that he is a dominant defender.

Anyone who chooses to think it's a coincidence that his improved defense and a Mavs championship happened simultaneously has that right but denying his improvement is a relatively untenable position to credibly take.

As a coach for 20 years, the bane of my is existence is players' pursuit of steals and blocked shots on defense. The horrible Warrior defenses under Don Nelson always excelled at forcing turnovers and made his teams entertaining to watch but laughable as a deep playoff threat. With the exception of a handful of players who achieve these stats intelligently, they generally come at the unaffordable cost of high percentage shots for the opponent due to poor defensive positioning. The problem would be more pronounced if more NBA players knew how to pump fake but it's still problematic. A good coach will tell you that good defense is a numbers game designed to cause your opponent to take lower-percentage shots. For the lower basketball IQ players who choose to pursue these destructive bench marks anyway, they demonstrate little interest in team defense.

For me Love's disinterest is demonstrated by 2 things: 1) My eye test as a coach. While me recognizing the help rotations and transition defense of a player with little devotion to helping his team mates defend makes me confident in my assessment, it's not impacting his trade value or changing anyone's mind so it matters little. 2) Love's bigger problem is the impression left by his most damning combination of stats. He is in position to challenge shots at the rim at a decent clip but is 3rd highest in opponent shooting percentage at the rim and is twice as likely to "challenge" shots with both hands down rather than either hand up. Coupled this with his high defensive rebounding numbers and you create a perception problem that perpetuates questions about his will and the value of some of his stats. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that he is sacrificing shot challenging in order to establish better/earlier rebounding position. David Lee has been rightfully reamed in the Bay Area for the same damning combination. More damning to Love's case is that Lee was able to solve that problem and greatly improve his defense with one single season of effort on defense.

Whether this is cherry picking or not, these are exactly the kinds of statistics that teams - including The Warriors - are currently investing millions to explore. Considering the defensive emphasis of the championship-hopeful teams he is willing to sign with it's difficult to believe Love's woeful rim protection and stat-chasing reputation aren't currently hurting the market for a trade. While limiting an opponent to one shot with defensive rebounding is important it isn't defense and does nothing to alter the percentage of the shots being taken except to make it go up. His near league-high opponent shooting percentage at the rim not only diminishes some of the importance of his defensive rebounding, it makes it fair for improving teams trying to add a missing piece to question his will on defense. Dismiss this as cherry-picking if you will but you haven't offered a single shred of evidence (cherry-picked or otherwise) support the idea that Dirk is a disinterested defender rather than a player with physical limitations who has worked to maximize his effectiveness on defense. That's all I said a superstar needed to do to be a champion and it's really all anyone is feasibly asking of Love.
Dirk has great defensive isolation numbers? That's great, so does Andrea Bargnani. Who would have guessed that 7 foot defenders are hard to post up?

I'm pretty sure the Mavs run to a championship had more to do with replacing the hodgepodge of broken down guys at center with Tyson Chandler than Dirk's interest in playing defense - for some reason, Dirk's defense looked a lot better when he wasn't the primary paint defender and got to stick to second options.

It's almost like defense is a team activity or something...
I'll concede your point that Love has perceived poor defense, and that this effects his perceived value in the eyes of teams. Not so sure that it has a lick to do with winning a championship.
Also, the extraordinary claim is yours. The burden of evidence lies on you, my friend. Not me.
Just to be clear, I'm not saying Love is a bad player, doesn't warrant a superstar payday or is simply compiling empty stats. He definitely deserves to be valued highly on the open market. He has limited the market, though, and his ability to sell season tickets or help turn a struggling teams fortunes around are nearly worthless in this market.

A rising team like the Warriors who are being asked to sacrifice a player who helped them rise, are justified in wondering what Love is willing to sacrifice for the team. Would he be willing to sacrifice a glamor stat like rebounding that leads to bigger contracts and endorsements to defend the rim at a higher percentage? Considering the importance he says he places on winning and the simultaneously disappointing effort he devoted to playing the kind of defense that would help his team win, teams are right to hesitate before dismantling what they've already built. So far the only potentially painful sacrifice he's demonstrated a willingness to make in pursuit of a championship is to leave his team mates to latch onto a better roster. Seems like there should be some amount of looking inward for the current listless market for his services.
"Also, the extraordinary claim is yours. The burden of evidence lies on you, my friend. Not me."

How extraordinary can it be if you can't offer a single piece of evidence to refute it? I believe I've shouldered the burden of proof to this point and there is nothing more I can do unless you offer some evidence of Dirk's or another superstar champion's defensive disinterest. I'll take on the greater burden of proof but I won't mount the challenge for you to.
BTW, even though I was clear how misleading I think steals, blocks and (in a limited sense) rebounding numbers even your attempts to offer them as proof of Dirk's poor defense is completely bogus. If you had cited what his numbers were instead of arguing how they are a better measure than all other bogus stats and assuring us how damning they were to Dirk , you might have noticed that out of 62 power forwards in the league, he is 22nd in rebounding, 8th in steals and 34th in blocks. I'm not sure how you crunched those numbers but forgive me if I doubt that being slightly in the bottom half for rebounding and near the top third in the other two categories for his position supports the conclusion that he is below average in all 3 categories, as you stated.

Since Love is behind him in both of the categories that are technically defensive stats, it seems odd that you would use the theoretical existence of those numbers (which you presumably didn't bother to look up) to both damn Nowitski as a bad defender and vindicate Love as a decent one.

Since you seem so troubled that I didn't pre-define a metric beforehand, I think it's only fair that you can use any metric you choose to provide evidence that Dirk is a disinterested defender.
all im interested in is if the wariors and cavs fail to get to the ecf and wcf cause of failing to bring in kevin love i'lll lauh at ben brung every year after the season ends.

dirk is committed to defense which is why he won the 2011 championship, no the defense were primarily taken care of chandler and marion dirk had little to do with the defensive side.

oh and if your going to respond to me then our wasting your time because after i read a piece from boxscore geeks and the comments below it once then i move to the next article meaning i wont see whaterver your reply maybe ;)
"e = mc^2 ... Prove that it doesn't"

-Albert Einstein in his introduction of relativity theory to the scientific community... Actually no, that's not how he did it.

You're essentially saying that a team can't win a championship w/ Love being a "superstar" on its roster. Given the current deals being discussed, can we agree that this means a top 2 player on the roster, for the sake of clarity?

There's a lot of evidence about what factors go into outcomes in the NBA, but you haven't touched upon any of it as far as I can tell. When you have an extraordinary theory about the world, it's your job to defend it well. If the formulation of your theory can be refuted by pure logic (that is, if your argument is logically incoherent*) then there's no need to bring evidence in to refute it. You don't have a strong case, so everyone should go back to their baseline of not believing in your theory until you can better defend it.

The first step is a testable hypothesis, which you haven't provided. Once you have that, you're not going to get very far, because the research to back up any test that you would propose just doesn't exist publicly (there just really isn't any public evidence that individual defense, beyond that captured in the boxscore stats has a measurable impact on outcomes; this may change, but evidence of an effect should precede claims hinging on it) . A player's tendency to put his hands up on defense has not been tied to outcomes in the NBA. And on top of that, you haven't even quantified this supposed effect, so even if there was a well established effect, you couldn't make a claim as to how it pertains to Kevin Love.

Kevin Love's productivity last season in areas rigorously shown to be tied to positive outcomes is well established. It stands to reason, given the available evidence, that Kevin Love would be tremendously valuable to a team at any level. Your claim to the contrary, which comes completely devoid of supporting evidence beyond your vague impressions, doesn't pass muster.

Also... it's weird that you keep asking me to prove you wrong. You haven't offered a testable hypothesis. To put too fine a point on it, "disinterested on defense" isn't testable. Testable means clearly defined. Since there are no measures of player "disinterest", your hypothesis doesn't meet this criterion. And to belabor the point even more, just so we're clear, without a testable hypothesis, there's nothing for me to bring evidence against. The Dirk thing wasn't an attempt at evidence, it was a demonstration that your hypothesis wasn't testable. It's pointless to quibble about steals or blocks or rebounds because his defensive reputation satisfies your criteria as well as any other measure. I was demonstrating that you're hypothesis wasn't testable, and you're quibbling with the finer points of the demonstration. Apparently this has to be spelled out very explicitly.

Oh, and the word is uninterested. Disinterested means something completely different from the way you're using it.

* in this case, because it's not strictly defined. When you're claim can be used to support logically contradictory statements, then it is logically incoherent. Note that I'm using a strict technical definition of logical incoherence here, not denigrating you.
Patrick,

Love's defense isn't Harden-esque, but it is pretty definitively bad. He'll occasionally do a pre-emptive box out before the shot goes up, he has problems staying in front of guards on switches, and, although it's not really a mistake he's making, he's a poor rim protector.

Now, I'd say that most of his issues are Dirk-like, the kind of price you're happy to pay for a really capable offensive player. He's not quick and he can't jump high, so he's not going to be Hakeem, but he also makes more mistakes than your average 6-year starter, and he does give the impression that he's not that interested. Maybe some of that gets remedied if he gets to a better team or a team with a better defensive system, but it's not nothing.
In my opinion, the Wolves can't be competitive enough BECAUSE Kevin Love is forcing his way out. He's being a complete a-hole.

The Wolves had plenty of tradable assets (mostly for sign & trade or salary dumping) and a really strong front court. Kevin Love took away any ability the Wolves may have otherwise had to improve the team for 2014-15 by being a giant doucher.
Jesot,

I'm curious (honestly, not rhetorically) about the assets you think the Wolves have. As far as I can tell, it's basically Pekovic, Dieng, and picks. It's a team that hasn't made real moves on the FA or trade markets in the past couple years, and I can't see them managing to turn anything they have into a serious upgrade.

And as for Love being douchey, I'd disagree. His interest seems to be in playing on a playoff team and in a different city, and it's not like he owes the Wolves much. Maybe they've tried hard to get the right support, but they haven't been able to do it, so is it really on him to give them more time?
Flip is not a fan of WP. But let's say he was. So Flip would know he doesn't want Klay or Wiggs. Why not make the list of players you do want? WP2.0 guys. Some are "partial names." Faried, Korver, etc. Others are mostly unknown to ave NBA fan. Brandan W. Adrien. Humphries. Faried. Draymond. Vareajo. Etc. Make your list.

Then allow the Cavs to go get those players for Wiggins, Bennett, and picks. Shouldn't be too hard for Cavs. Get 3 WP 2.0 guys for Love and maybe sneak into playoffs.
Shawn said,
"You're essentially saying that a team can't win a championship w/ Love being a "superstar" on its roster."

No. What I said was simply that there wasn't a precedent for a disinterested defender winning a championship and the last sentence of my first comment on the matter was, "Not saying it couldn't happen, but it would be a first. My bigger point was that there were better explanations for a lackluster trade market for Love than, "teams are overvaluing their own players" or "they think Flip is stupid," neither of which seem very plausible to me.

I also never said Kevin Love didn't potentially bring value to any team. It would have been silly for me to say such a thing and I was pretty explicit about this 3 comments ago so I won't waste space to cut & paste again here. Is it really that outlandish for me to suggest that it might be wise for a team to accurately consider the entirety of that value against the value of the pieces they would be asked to relinquish in a trade?

I'm not surprised that you want to back-pedal on the Dirk thing. When you said, ". . . I'm using traditional defensive stats for Dirk: Steals, Blocks, and Rebounds. He's below average for his position in all 3." It was unambiguously an attempt to quantify his poor defensive play and also unambiguously and demonstrably false. What you really want to say is that he has a reputation as a poor defender with you and you don't want to give that up regardless of what evidence might suggest. You should have just said that in the first place and I wouldn't have wasted my time.
@DooDoo_Jump

"He's not quick and he can't jump high"

So I just looked him up on DraftExpress and compared a few players who came immediately to mind as more physically talented players (Iguodala and Wade).

Max Vert:
Love: 35
Iggy: 34.5
Wade: 35

No Step Vert:
Love: 29.5
Iggy: 30.5
Wade: 31.5

So compared to two shooting guards/shooting forwards who are both known as explosive athletes Love basically is right there with them. I know he's a heavy white but please do not add to stupid stereotypes. You don't get to be a top rebounder in the league without being super/ludicrously/obscenely athletic. Take Dwight for that matter:

Max Vert: 34.5
No Step Vert: 30.5

When you have strong bigs with huge wingspans who can do verts similar to super-athletic wing-slashers you are talking about very elite athletes. Now just like Rodman before him Love does crash the offensive glass in a way that could be detrimental to a team defense, but offensive boards are the same thing as steals so if he gambles a bit that can still be a good thing. With everything being said, just don't forget that Love is one of the most elite and skilled athletes in the NBA (and I don't even mean best, I just mean very few can match his athleticism and size).

@benbrung +ShawnFuryan

Another example of a defender who hasn't matched my eye test for years would be Kobe. Once he and Shaq started feuding he ignored defense except for some games during the 2012 Olympics. They would always match him up on weak defenders (and that is with Fischer on the team) and he would be caught ball watching ALL the time. Luckily for him the 2008-10 Lakers had two skilled bigs to cover up for him but man he puts next to no effort into defense for someone with his physical skills.
Dodgson,
I think Kobe is a more interesting name to challenge my contention and his drop-off has roots in that time. However, I think his initial drop-off was accompanied by an equivalent offensive drop-off and may have had more to do with injury vs. disinterest. He also was still considered the best perimeter defender by the league's GM's at the conclusion of the 2010 season. I think that, although his downward slide may have already begun, he was not yet the disinterested defender who would negate my initial contention.
benbrung,
Once that Lakers team was all his prior to Pau coming to them he basically played defense like Harden does right now. He might have been considered a good defender still but he wasn't doing it on a night-to-night (or even month-to-month) basis. The fact that he still was viewed as a great defender most likely had to do with how little people were watching most of those games. That being said he has proven (early in his career and in brief spots since) that he can be really good on defense, I just think he's been really lazy on that end since 2005.
Dodgson,
I'm with you on much of that. However, I disagree with your assessment in two areas:

1) It was GM's rather than casual observers who dubbed him the best perimeter defender at the conclusion of that championship season, so it's unlikely that they were completely in the dark.

2) As you said, he was a proven defender and a fierce competitor. Furthermore, that was the year he famously reamed the Laker's defensive effort in the series against The Suns and was credited with revitalizing the team on that end despite having played that season with 3 injuries including constant knee swelling.

At most, I think you could argue he may have shown signs of regular season defensive disinterest. But, he was a proven defender who demonstrated his ability to turn it on when it counted in 2010. I'm with you 100% in the present and don't see the Lakers as a serious threat in the West before Kobe retires. For me looking at 2010, though, his proven defensive ability, accumulating injuries, competitive fire along with his ability to rally that team defensively on its way to a championship, make it impossible to simply dismiss him as a disinterested defender at that point. I also think it's possible that Love could demonstrate a similar ability to raise his defensive came during playoff time but he has not yet given any indication that he could.
benbrung,

I am not fully disputing what you are saying, so let me respond to your two points:

1) If you have faith in the GMs as a collective than I have a Bargs to sell you. If they only polled the GMs of teams that were actually in the playoffs for 4-5 years under that GMs watch I would definitely bow to their experience.

2) Kobe (like many athletes) sometimes reams other players even if he did a lackluster job. The final in the 2010 title should have been Pau in my opinion. As a matter of fact Kobe stunk on both ends in game 7 and was saved by one of the best close out games I've ever seen from Pau.

I think he's disinterested in the regular season (and has been since 2004) and has not been able to consistently turn it up for a whole post-season since Shaq left. He's been very good in some individual runs in 2008-2010 for some individual games, but nothing consistent. The fact that most of the time he had 2 seven footers lurking behind him is a HUGE deal in my opinion. That being said as late as 2012 he was providing excellent defense for the Olympics team (although he also did very little on offense so he probably had more energy).

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