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Timberwolves owner says no Kevin Love trade before draft

May 19, 2014, 11:49 AM EDT

Kevin Love Kevin Love

Minnesota is not going to rush this. There is no reason to.

The Timberwolves have the asset everybody wants in Kevin Love, and while it has become clear to them they need to make a trade because otherwise he will walk they have multiple suitors who want to make a deal so the T-Wolves have leverage. They can play the trade partners off each other and get the best deal possible. That doesn’t happen in a rushed move.

Owner Glen Taylor said a deal is not happening before the draft, reports the Star Tribune.

“Not by the draft,” Taylor said before Sunday’s Lynx home opener at Target Center about such a possibility.

Taylor said he hasn’t discussed that option recently with Flip Saunders, the team’s president of basketball operations, and said Love has not asked for or told the team to trade him. Taylor has remained hopeful the team, searching for a coach to replace Rick Adelman, will show enough improvement next season to convince Love his future is with a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in a decade.

First off, saying “Love has not told the team to trade him” is not how this works. It’s done through back channels, if Love publicly demanded a trade he would face a massive fine from the league. There is no doubt that Love’s people have made it clear to Minnesota where things stand.

Minnesota needs to see where the draft lottery falls, first. There are suitors such as the Celtics (fifth best lottery odds) and Lakers (sixth) that if they jump up have a far more interesting asset to offer.

Next, come July 1 a number of teams have more cap space to take on salary in a trade, giving the Timberwolves better options.

Minnesota has options. In addition to the Lakers and Celtics, the Knicks certainly would be interested, and Love is said to be interested in Chicago and Golden State. Minnesota can play these teams off each other for a little while to get a deal done.

However, if they wait until the trade deadline next February they could lose some of that leverage as other teams feel the Wolves would then have to make a deal. Expect a trade this summer, it makes more sense.

Move Love and the Timberwolves enter a rebuilding phase, one where they will want young players and picks. They can and should milk this trade for all the assets they can get. It can speed the rebuilding.

  1. malek773 - May 19, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    Love for 2 first round picks this year, a future first round pick, Mirotic, Snell, and Boozer(cap purposes), Golden State, Houston, or any other contender can not match this deal. If Love is firm on going to a contender or he wont sign an extention, he should be a Bull by the end of the summer.

    • Kevin Ehsani - May 19, 2014 at 7:23 PM

      Are you serious? Mirotic and Snell are as useful as toilet paper, and Boozer’s production has dipped drastically, particular this past season, averaging about 14 points and 8 rebounds. Comparing that to the Warriors, offering David Lee, who’s averaging 18 points and 9 rebounds, and Harrison Barnes, one of the brightest up and coming young stars in the league, is better than anything the Bulls have to offer. If Warriors can also add a draft pick and cash considerations, there’s no way they can’t get that deal done for Love. Plus, Love would have much less of a desire to play in Chicago, a barely relevant playoff team in the east, than in the Bay Area where he would be closer to home in LA, and be able to travel to LA at least 4 times facing the Clippers and Lakers a total of 8 times in a season.

      • malek773 - May 20, 2014 at 10:17 AM

        Mirotic is the top rated prospect in Europe so I think he’s worth more in toliet paper. Experts projected him as a top 5 pick in this years draft if he was in it. To say Harrison Barnes is one of the brightest stars in the league is insane. He’s at best a role player for a team. Never will be a star. And Boozers numbers are down because his minutes are down. He essentially plays just the 1st and 3rd quarters of games. If he played 35 plus minutes a night his numbers would be similar to Lee’s. The wolves would want Boozer over Lee because his contract is up after this year. Not sure what Lee’s contact is at now, but if they trade Love they are looking to rebuild so having cap space sooner and more draft picks is what they would want. They aren’t going to build a team around David Lee.

  2. Nadeem - May 19, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    That is a terrible trade. They should rather stick it to him by making him sign a contract leaving $30 million on the table than take that s****y deal you mentioned. They will get way better deals from Boston, LA and GS.

  3. bucrightoff - May 19, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    Lakers and Knicks have nothing to offer and the Celtics only have draft picks. Bulls and Warriors can offer a much better overall package, and since that’s what matters to the Wolves (they don’t care what Love wants here), they are the big frontrunners here.

    • sportsfan18 - May 19, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      The Wolves don’t care what Love wants you say?

      IF Love comes out and says that he will NOT sign long term with a certain team if he were to be traded there, just watch what that team offers the Wolves dry up considerably.

      Teams won’t offer a lot if they do not know that Love will sign with them long term next summer.

      Sure, the Lakers took the chance on Dwight Howard but they were the Lakers and they had Kobe and they (and many others) really liked their chances going into the season when they first got Dwight and Nash to go along with Pau and Kobe.

      The Lakers had to feel pretty confident that things would work out in their favor with respect to Dwight signing with them after playing there that first season.

      But what happened to the Lakers will serve as a warning to the other teams that unless they get a guarantee that Love will sign long term with them, they won’t give up a lot for only one year or a partial year rental of Love next season.

      So, if the Wolves really like what a team is offering them for Love but Love does NOT like the team, or like what would remain of that team after trading those players and/or picks for him, he could simply come out and say that he will NOT resign with that team and the team will reduce their offer or pull it.

      • bucrightoff - May 19, 2014 at 2:00 PM

        But Kevin Love wants to win primarily. The whole big market thing doesn’t apply when the choices not LA or New York are Chicago and San Francisco. He’s going to a big market with any of those teams or Boston. But Chicago and Golden State are much closer to winning, and Chicago has to be desirable because being in the weak East will make Kevin Love look even better.

      • sportsfan18 - May 19, 2014 at 8:33 PM

        The Bulls are close now, but since we don’t know what a trade might be for Love, we do NOT know what they would have to give up to get him…

        They may not (I say “may”) be close to winning AFTER the trade depending on the trade when Love arrives. Although I don’t think the Bulls would “gut” themselves to simply get Love…

  4. watermelon1 - May 19, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    Wizards offer nene, Gooden, and whatever other picks and players are needed. (Wall, Gortat, Beal excluded)

    • bougin89 - May 19, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      The centerpiece of the trade for Love will be a soon to be, often injured, 32 year old? The Timberwolves would have a very immediate and direct response for that proposal. No way.

  5. vikingapologist - May 19, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    Hurry up and dump him!!! I can’t stand this guy!

    • jollyjoker2 - May 19, 2014 at 6:46 PM

      only because an old grandma can play defense with more intensity.

  6. isaiah007 - May 19, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    If you are another team out there you better be sure Love wants to stay. The Lakers only gave up Andrew Bynum for Howard. They had nothing to lose because Drew wasn’t going to play for them anyway. So they could risk it. But it’s the Lakers! 99 out of 100 guys still will stay and play for them. Some of these other teams, I’m not sure. No question GSW can put the best offer on the table. But of I’m Chicago I’m thinking big. Amnesty Boozer, sign Melo, then trade Taj Gibson, that oversees kid they keep talking about and a couple #1’s for Love and go to battle with Melo, Love, Rose and Noah. Of course I’m a Laker fan and that how the Lakers think but they go for it!

  7. mnwildfan15 - May 19, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    Love for Blake Griffen straight up it’s a win win

  8. 1historian - May 20, 2014 at 5:46 AM

    Sign and trade deal.

    Minny is going to mess this up. Players and picks. This draft is going to be one of the best in years according to everyone and Minny is in the driver’s seat – for now. That can change instantly.

    Chicago or Boston

  9. joeyashwi - May 20, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    Did I really read that the Wolves will be “entering a rebuilding phase” if Love is traded? This team had been in a “rebuilding phase since its inception. Unbelievable.

  10. 1historian - May 20, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    Minnesota has never been a serious contender. Now and then they get a really good player and keep him as long as possible and then that player just DEMANDS they trade him because he is tired of playing for a loser – E.G. Kevin Garnett.

    Love has not come out and said ‘Trade me” but how else are we to interpret his saying over and over that there is no way he will stay with them past next season?

    Prediction: Celtics if they get in the top 3 tonight. They have tons of picks over the next 4 years starting in 2015, including Brooklyn’s 2016 & 2018 which is about the time they start to slide and get into the lottery.

    Personally I would rather see them get in the top 3 and take Parker (Sam Smith says he is the best by far) if he is still there and trade #17 and some players and maybe a #1 next year for Asiz from Houston.

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