Report: 76ers could still turn Kevin Love trade into three-way deal

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At the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in March, Deepak Malhotra – Professor in the Negotiations, Organizations and Markets Unit at the Harvard Business School – conducted a panel with Rockets general manager Daryl Morey and Warriors general Bob Myers (in which Morey said he tried to trade for Dirk Nowitzki)

One of Malhotra’s principles: Don’t stop negotiating just because you’ve reached a deal.

He says the optimal method is to set aside aside the agreement, with all sides pledging to turn back to it if necessary. Then, keep negotiating in search of a better solution.

I don’t know who was in the room, but members of the Cavaliers and Timberwolves were listed as attendees for the conference. Maybe they were listening.

Cleveland and Minnesota clearly have a trade in place – Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and the Heat’s top-10 protected first rounder – and Adrian Wojnarowski reported, “No third team is involved in the Cavaliers-Timberwolves trade agreement.”

But that doesn’t mean the Cavaliers and Timberwolves should or will stop negotiating.

Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press:

The NBA has recently cracked down rules on three-way trades. It might be easier to work this as two separate deals, though that also raises issues about when players can be traded.

But the trade can’t be completed until Aug. 23. There’s no reason to shut the door now on including Philadelphia.

Not only could the 76ers offer Thaddeus Young to Minnesota as a Love replacement, they could also take a bad contract from the Timberwolves. There’s a reason Philadelphia has been mentioned as a potential third team in this trade. The fit is there.

Now, it’s just a matter of using the next couple weeks to find the very best deal for all sides – unless the Cavaliers and/or Timberwolves stubbornly refuse to heed Malhotra’s advice.