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Reports: Timberwolves finally considering Kevin Love trades

May 19, 2014, 9:22 AM EDT

Kevin Love Kevin Love

For a while, when offered a Kevin Love trade, the Minnesota Timberwolves put their fingers in their ears and said, “la la la la la la la la la la.”

With Love threatening to leave in free agency, they must change that stance. They don’t have to trade Love – depending on offers, daring Love to pass on the money Minnesota can pay him might be their best option – but they’d be foolish to continue not even listening to trade proposals.

Flip Saunders isn’t that foolish.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

“For the first time, [Saunders] sounds like looking at deals for [Love] is an option,” one rival executive told Yahoo Sports.

Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press:

With the NBA draft lottery coming up this week and an increasing concern that Love will leave for another team after next year, that stance has softened, two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

The Timberwolves are now open to the idea of trading Love if the right deal comes along.

The people requested anonymity because the team has not made any final decisions on Love’s future in Minnesota. A likely asking price would include a high first-round pick in this year’s draft and a solid veteran or two who would come in and contribute right away to a team that is lacking in veteran leadership.

On one hand, if the Timberwolves had been open to Love trades sooner, they probably could have gotten better offers. On the other hand, that would have meant losing Love when it wasn’t a forgone conclusion they’d lose him anyway. There was – and is – no easy answer here.

If Minnesota trades Love, I’m not sure why veterans would be so appealing. The Timberwolves didn’t make the playoffs with Love. They’re probably not going to make them without Love. It would just be a waste of time to load up on veterans now.

Get drafts picks, young players, etc. Veteran leadership can come from cheap players, not the caliber of player central to a trade for a top-10 player.

The Timberwolves will have opportunities to mull different types of packes. A whole bunch of trade offers should be rolling in.

  1. aboogy123456 - May 19, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    By “open to the idea”, I think you mean that the Timberwolves have come to admit that there’s no way he’s staying, so are finally desperate to trade him as the league expected would happen.

    • casualcommenter - May 19, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      Agreed. Love has said his main goal is to win, so if the Timberwolves had done better this past year, he might have stayed.

      However, they were just the 10th best team in the West. Even if Pekovic stays healthy next year, and Rubio develops a more reliable jumper, how many seeds would they move up? Maybe the 7th or 8th seed?

      Combine that with ownership that won’t willingly pay huge luxury tax bills and the difficulty of getting top tier free agents to go to Minnesota, and Love’s best chance of a competitive roster lies elsewhere.

  2. cantonbound13 - May 19, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    If available, I’d rather trade for Aldridge.

    • rodyaugu - May 19, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      I guess it would be better to have a guy that have playoffs experience.

    • malek773 - May 19, 2014 at 10:53 AM

      I agree but he’s probably staying put. He actually has a team that can contend already.

  3. andyreidisfat - May 19, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    how bout Thad and 800 number 2′s for love ?

  4. thenew013 - May 19, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    Another player crying his way out of town. Hopefully Kyrie isn’t next.

    • asimonetti88 - May 19, 2014 at 10:48 AM

      If you worked for a terrible company with a history of bad revenue numbers and poor management, would you stick there out of “loyalty”, or would you seek to join a better run, more successful company?

      • thenew013 - May 19, 2014 at 1:48 PM

        depends…how much am I getting paid and will the company go bankrupt during my career?

  5. tomasekradek - May 19, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    Trade him as soon as possible, Nearing the deadline Wolves won’t get any good offers.
    And then there is also that risk, teams realize they won’t get far with Love on the roster as he is proven loser. Little bit harsch but he is. I know he’s great stats and sure he is pretty good player, but no playoffs in 6 years with a team i think Russ, Harden, Howard, CP or any other star (not to mention KD and LBJ) would take to playoffs at least once, AT LEAST ONCE. That’s not very much but Love isn’t capable of doing so.

    • rodyaugu - May 19, 2014 at 10:23 AM

      They’re trading him to the magic for Vujavic, and a 1st round pick.

      • casualcommenter - May 19, 2014 at 1:58 PM

        Except the Timberwolves already have a center getting paid a lot of money each year, and Love wouldn’t want to sign an extension with the Magic since their roster is even less competitive than the Timberwolves’.

  6. nicofthenorthstar - May 19, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    Don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya. Bum.

  7. rodyaugu - May 19, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    I thought it was, let the door knob hit cha.

  8. jamesk2465 - May 19, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    Wolves messed up by dragging this out. They should of pulled the move The Jazz did and trade their superstar expectedly which ended them with getting a lot of it. It’s gonna be tough for a small market team to go with the trade esp since Love wants to play in a big one.

    • casualcommenter - May 19, 2014 at 2:03 PM

      I don’t blame the Timberwolves that much. They weren’t going to get equal value in any trade involving Love, and they believed that if the Timberwolves did well this year, that might make Love more open to staying.

      At the start of the season, I thought that if everything went right for Minnesota, meaning key players stay healthy and Rubio develops a decent jumper, they had a shot at the 6th seed in the West, which might have been enough to convince Love that they were trending up. What happened is that Pekovic, Martin, and Budinger missed a lot of games with injury, and Rubio continued to be unable to score, so the Wolves ended up out of the playoffs.

      Trading him now though is the smart move.

  9. 00maltliquor - May 19, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    He goone

  10. malek773 - May 19, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    I wonder if the Bulls could get him if they send both of their first round picks this year, Boozer, Snell, and the rights to Mirotic. Boozer on a one year deal to clear cap room for Love. Snell a young player. Mirotic is considered the best overseas prospect. And the two first round picks for this year to help draft younger players. I think that might be as good a deal as they can get from anyone else Love would want to resign with. We have to remember they may be able to get better offers, but if Love doesn’t resign with the team no one is going to trade for him.

    • claymatthewshairplugs - May 19, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      @malek773

      That is a pathetic offer. Boozer sucks and the Bulls don’t have good 1st round picks.

      • malek773 - May 19, 2014 at 11:14 AM

        Boozer is on a one year deal and would only be used to make the money work. Even if the 1s are n’t high the wolves would have 3 in this years draft and could use them to move up or just reload with a bunch of young guys. Mirotic is a very nice sweetner and Snell is a young guy that has potential. I don’t think its as bad as you think. Its probably better than any other contender would offer.

    • Nadeem - May 19, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      I would rather keep the cap space and stick it to Love who will be forced to sign a contract with $30 million less on the table.

      • malek773 - May 19, 2014 at 11:16 AM

        They’d just be sticking it to themselves when he leaves for nothing. No way they do that. He’s definetly getting traded.

    • redbaronx - May 19, 2014 at 1:34 PM

      @malek773 – Contrary to most people giving you a thumbs down on your post, I think that is actually a decent offer.

      1) The Bulls want to unload Boozer, but no one wants to trade for him. Minnesota could keep him for a year and let him go at the end of his contract and have his cap space to sign someone else.
      2) I think in this years draft you got lots of quality down low. The Bulls may be willing to trade their picks just to get rid of Boozer, and Minn can use the picks straight up to reload their roster.
      3) Mirotic – I’m not sure that the Bulls would let him go, but it’s a good idea. To get Kevin Love, the Bulls might do it.

      Don’t worry about the negative posts. Most guys don’t know how to do a trade on PBT. Your idea is actually a good one.

  11. bbtaz97 - May 19, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    I am not sure if cap wise this would work , but Gibson, Boozer, and the 2 1st round picks for Love. Then you sign Mirotic and bring him over.

    Your starting 5 would then be Rose, Butler, Mirotic, Love, and Noah. That could do some damage against Miami.

    • JHathwell - May 19, 2014 at 3:05 PM

      Mirtoic is a 6’10, 235 lb power forward.

  12. cruzan80 - May 19, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    I’m sorry but I think this guy is a tad bit overrated & the Timberwolves should trade him for whatever is the absolute best offer for THEM. He’s under contract, trade him immediately for a ton of picks & a young player or two. (i.e. what Utah did with Deron Williams…another injury prone stat stuffer)

    This team is not void of talent…

    Nikola Pekovic
    17.4 PPG, 8.7 REBS, 20.72 PER
    Kevin Martin
    19.1 PPG, 16.37 PER
    Ricky Rubio
    9.5 PPG, 8.6 AST, 15.35 PER

    Do we really believe that the Dallas, Memphis & Portland teams were that more talented than the Wolves??? I don’t. They had more than enough talent to make the playoffs this year. For all his eye popping stats he’s still failed to carry his team into the playoffs EVER. All his stats tell me is that he’s a typical looter in the riot.

    • rodyaugu - May 19, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      A deal can be made with the magic, they can trade Vucavic and their 1st round pick for Love.

      • rodyaugu - May 19, 2014 at 12:15 PM

        *Vucevic

      • cruzan80 - May 19, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        Nikola Vucevic is a 23 year old, legit 7 footer who averaged 14.2 ppg & 11 rebs for the Magic last season. If the Magic are able to draft Parker or Embiid next month…they’re better sticking with that.

    • casualcommenter - May 19, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      “Do we really believe that the Dallas, Memphis & Portland teams were that more talented than the Wolves???”

      Yes. For one, Pekovic missed 28 games (1/3 of the season), so Love’s most productive teammate you listed didn’t play for 1/3 of the season in the ultracompetitive Western Conference.

      Second, Kevin Martin is an above average player on offense who is below average on defense, and in case you didn’t know, a league average PER is 15. Therefore, Martin’s PER of 16 means he was only SLIGHTLY above average.

      Third, Rubio’s PER is only average, in part because he simply can’t score. He’s a below average 3point shooter, midrange shooter, and finisher in the paint. He’s an elite passer and good defender, but his inability to score limits his productivity.

      So all those players you listed were either only around average or injured a lot last year.

      • cruzan80 - May 22, 2014 at 10:05 AM

        “Kevin Martin is an above average player on offense who is below average on defense, and in case you didn’t know, a league average PER is 15. Therefore, Martin’s PER of 16 means he was only SLIGHTLY above average”

        Thank you pointing that out because in case YOU didn’t know….

        Nicholas Batum
        15.86 PER

        Wesley Matthews
        15.70 PER

        Jose Calderon
        15.25 PER

        Monta Ellis
        16.83 PER

        Tony Allen
        PER 15.64

        Courtney Lee
        13.80 PER

        Monta Ellis is the only player on that list that has a higher PER than Kevin Martin’s…SLIGHTLY. Also, let’s not ignore the fact that Kevin Love’s PER is MUCH higher than Aldridge, Dirk & Randolph’s.

        The injury excuse doesn’t hold water either. The Blazers lost Aldridge for 13 games & the Grizzlies lost Gasol for 23 games….didn’t stop them from make post season.

  13. fnc111 - May 19, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    What’s the point of a team like the a Wolves being in thexnba? No one wants to play there and they’ll never win.

  14. riders008 - May 19, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    Trigger Lakers fan…we will trade Nash and r first round pick for love….

    • JHathwell - May 19, 2014 at 3:08 PM

      Um, don’t be surprised if he ends up in LA. They’ve got a high lottery pick to offer.

  15. campcouch - May 19, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    Is Love’s production the result of no help in Minny or is he that good but can’t elevate his team to at least an 8th seed? So he wants to play for a contender/large market,but teams like that don’t have much outside of vets to offer. Would the Wolves take middling players like David Lee and Harrison Barnes or Taj Gibson and a steak sandwich? Doesn’t sound practical. Teams aren’t going to hand over a star for a star unless it looks beneficial to both parties. The Suns have picks,but will he do a sign and trade? Just up and up trading for a guy who may walk after one season isn’t smart if you give up something of real value. I know the OKC fans will hate this idea,but they played well without Westbrook this year. KD obviously can handle things solo,but a trade of Westbrook for Love could work. Ibaka covers the defensive lapses of OKC anyways so pairing him and Love wouldn’t change much there. Plus Durant gets the low-post/stretch threat he could really use. Love gets his contender. Minny would get a running mate for Rubio and of course their pick this year,Westbrook becomes the Man for a team and can hoist up all the shots he wants. I mean,if the Thunder don’t go to the Finals this year,then they become just another one of those “could’ve been teams”,so it’s not like he’d be missing out on scores of titles. Of course I don’t know Love personally,but the comments he’s made since arriving in Minneapolis seemed like he never wanted to play there. He re-upped and got paid,but the whole time he questioned everything and complained,and the fact that Rubio said they should trade him because they needed a real leader there is proof that he was playing for himself.

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