Is Kevin Seraphin the key for Kevin Love to land with LeBron James?

Is Kevin Seraphin the key for Kevin Love to land with LeBron James?
July 19, 2014, 10:30 am
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Maybe the Wizards can be part of a trade for Kevin Love after all.

Before diving into Love, LeBron James, Andrew Wiggins or Klay Thompson, let's talk Kevin Seraphin, who signed his $3.89 million qualifying offer from the Wizards on Friday evening. 

Like many reading this, I assumed the #KSlife experience was moving on. As of mid-week, it seemed that Washington had made other plans for its big man bench rotation after acquiring DeJuan Blair and Kris Humphries in addition to re-signing Drew Gooden. Even undrafted rookie power forward Khem Birch seemed a better bet for one of the two remaining roster spots.

For now, Seraphin's return means only one roster spot remains. If he stays, that is.

Yes, it's down the rabbit hole time because $3.89 million is quite a lot for a sixth big man to help backup Nene and Marcin Gortat. That's also a nice chunk of change and Seraphin may have realized he wouldn't find that kind of offer elsewhere.

Ultimately, if Seraphin stays, he's likely little more than a pricy bench warmer. The six big men are all power forward and center types. Injuries happen, but that's likely what it would take for consistent minutes.

That would be a tough way for Seraphin to enter unrestricted free agency next summer. Washington will still have Nene, Gortat, Humphries and Blair under contract.

Keeping Seraphin isn't out of the question. He's an asset offensively in spots and teams covet big man depth. Inconsistency on both ends led to the 6-foot-9, 270-pounder losing his role once Gooden joined the roster and Al Harrington returned from injury.

Now, a trade is possible, but there is a caveat. Per, if a team retains its restricted free agent, they cannot be traded for one year without his consent. Considering the limited playing time available, one would think Seraphin would give his blessing to a trade. 

Now, back to those potential NBA mega deals involving Love. Rumors of all kinds have popped up over the past 48 hours, including Cleveland's willingness to deal Wiggins, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft, for Minnesota's All-Star forward and Golden State the same with Klay Thompson. There are others reporting that neither scenario is in play.

There is simply too much buzz on the Cavs front to believe this is all imaginary (Also, this happened Friday night). James may have returned to his home state out of loyalty, but he's also on a mission for more championship rings. Wiggins might be the league's next superstar, but the rookie won't be over the next 2-3 seasons. Love's double-double presence combined with James and Kyrie Irving makes Cleveland the Eastern Conference favorite this season.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer explained in detail the potential roadblocks in a deal for Love. Here is one section regarding the salary cap. 

It takes more than Wiggins to make the trade work. Love is paid $15.7 million. Wiggins will be paid $4.6 million in his rookie contract. It's a bit complicated, but the Cavs can't make this trade without giving up at least $11.8 million worth of contracts. In other words, they can't trade Wiggins for Love straight up. ...So remember, it's multiple players involved. And Minnesota wants future first-round picks, too. 

Now we have this from a Minnesota reporter known for his insight on the Timberwolves suggesting a third team may need to be involved for a trade to work.

Finally, let's note that Seraphin's agent, Rich Paul, also represents LeBron James, who reportedly has been courting Love with the fervor of Kanye going after Kim (that last part might just be in my head). 

If James wants Love, bet the deal with Minnesota gets done. Cleveland might just need a little help with the finances.

Meanwhile, Seraphin needs a new home for minutes. The Wizards would likely prefer not to take on a player/contract in this scenario. Based on data via, neither Minnesota nor Cleveland has expiring contracts to send Washington. Draft picks are something else and the Cavs have lots. 

Trades are not so easy no matter what us armchair general managers think, though credit Washington for crafty maneuvering throughout this off-season  Conjuring up hypothetical deals, that's a piece of cake. Still, it's not hard to recognize that the version of Seraphin we last saw really doesn't fit with the Wizards' plans, though not everybody may agree.