It seems so obvious. How do the Warriors not do whatever it takes to get Kevin Love? Along with Stephen Curry, they'd have two of the 15 best players in the NBA, and both in their mid-20s.
And how is Klay Thompson the chief sticking point? Sure, he's a good player for the Warriors. But he's as frustrating as he is productive and hasn't shown he's No. 2-star material.
This seems like a no-brainer. Many fans believe the Warriors should have pulled the trigger months ago, and especially after The LeBron James Cavaliers got into the mix.
That's a reasonable assessment on the surface. But NBA trades aren't made on surface terms. Layers of context are involved. And that's where it's clear the Warriors have several good reasons not to give up Thompson in a deal for Love.
I know. I know. Love is a beast. He averaged 26 points, 12.5 rebounds and ranked third in the NBA in player efficiency rating. But he's the greatest coup for the Warriors if you put him alongside Curry and Thompson.
The deal is much less a no-brainer if it requires giving up a key piece such as Thompson. Doing so would be cutting off the ears for hopes of better vision.
Love undoubtedly upgrades the Warriors frontcourt. But it creates a sizable hole at shooting guard.
So, yes, shooting guard is one of the easier spots to fill. But not for the Warriors, because Thompson doesn't provide the typical shooting guard duties.
As it is now, the Warriors have one who is young, who averages 18 points, shoots the 3, defends point guards to spare the franchise star, posts up, plays every game and meshes well with the locker room.
Where are shooting guards like that growing on trees?
Love can offset some of the points the Warriors would lose with Thompson. But they'd still have just two shooters in the lineup and be down a vital perimeter defender.
Yes, Mark Jackson is gone, but his standard of defense still exists. Love doesn't bolster the Warriors defense, and losing Thompson would be a big blow.
You think new coach Steve Kerr -- who we've reported prefers to keep Thompson -- wants to be the reason for reverting back to the old Warriors who gave up 110 a night?
And then there is this: Curry doesn't want Thompson to go.
Can the Warriors really afford to spurn the wishes of their best player again?
If his influence keeps getting diminished by management, why would he want to stay when his contract comes up?
The Warriors have a star playing on the most favorable contract in the league. He's still a bit skeptical from the ouster of the coach who finally introduced him to winning. It's risky business to now take away his backcourt mate after he asks management not to.
Can the Warriors do it? Sure. Curry is on the books for three more years, and winning can smooth over hurt feelings.
But what if they don't win? That could mean losing Thompson and eventually Curry for the difference between Love and David Lee.
Still a no-brainer?
And Love isn't even a sure bet. A good one but not a guaranteed one.
First off, he's developed a reputation for nagging injuries. Since the 2009-10 season, Curry -- who causes the Bay Area to gasp with very fall -- has played 53 games more than Love. When you factor in Andrew Bogut's propensity for injury, the Warriors have to be concerned about giving up the farm for another guy with an injury history.
Secondly, when he's on the court, Love has gotten big numbers for a mediocre team. You get no argument here that he is an elite talent and supremely skilled. But we've never seen Love produce with any real stakes on the line. There is some risk there.
Perhaps that's why Cleveland hasn't dumped the farm to get Love either.
On top of it all, Minnesota wants the Warriors to take back the terrible contract of Kevin Martin. And maybe give up Harrison Barnes, too.
The Timberwolves still have not gotten a better offer than Lee and Barnes. So the Warriors would just be bidding against themselves by adding Thompson.
And here is what a few NBA insiders believe: The Timberwolves will end up keeping Love until the trade deadline. By then, the price could go down, since everybody knows it's the last chance to trade Love before losing him for nothing.