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Timberwolves president Flip Saunders: ‘I expect Kevin Love to be playing for us next year’

Jun 1, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT

Flip Saunders AP

Kevin Love visited Boston this weekend, and given the fact that he’s reportedly planning on leaving Minnesota after next season when he can become an unrestricted free agent, the NBA rumor mill began spinning, since the Celtics are a team that has assets to trade for Love should the Timberwolves decide to head in that direction.

The idea is that Minnesota should trade Love before letting him walk without getting anything in return, but their partners may be limited because no team is going to give up anything of great value for Love unless he agrees to sign a max contract in his new city when the time comes.

For that reason, the trip to Boston felt like one of personal scouting rather than a coincidental vacation spot — and pictures like this one, where Rajon Rondo met up with him to say hello at a Red Sox game, just adds more fuel to that fire.

Timberwolves president Flip Saunders, however, isn’t jumping to conclusions.

“The last I knew Kevin was under contract with us, and I expect him to be playing for us next year,” Saunders said Sunday after a workout of draft prospects, via the Associated Press. “I don’t really dictate where guys go on vacation or what they do. They can go wherever they want to go.”

“I know there’s a feeding frenzy out there from a lot of teams,” Saunders said. “Unfortunately, they have no say. I plan on Kevin being here.”

It’s primarily Saunders’ decision whether Love stays or goes before he can opt out of his contract and leave on his own next summer, so his words carry plenty of weight — although ownership will certainly have a say in trading the face of the franchise, as well.

A summer weekend trip to Boston doesn’t mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. But if Love should decide to visit, say, Chicago and San Francisco in the immediate future, it might be time for Wolves’ fans to start selling those number 42 jerseys.

  1. 00maltliquor - Jun 1, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    I also expect to still be in the workforce, for everyone that I know and love to be alive still, and for the Lakers to get back to business as usuall…….

  2. remyje - Jun 1, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    Kevin Love is the greatest player to never play in the playoffs…

    • jcmeyer10 - Jun 1, 2014 at 7:09 PM

      What does that say about his potential?

    • duhwighthoward - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:46 PM

      Only because Javale McGee has played in the playoffs?

  3. melissashusband - Jun 1, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    Flip only said that for two reasons 1 public relations 2 negotiating leverage

  4. lphboston - Jun 1, 2014 at 7:49 PM

    Love and Rondo are in the same position — the Wolves and Celts need to trade them now, sign them long-term or lose them to free agency a year from now.

    • naterich21 - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:46 PM

      Rondo has no intention of leaving Boston. Love has every intention to leave Minnesota. I’m not sure how that’s the same position.

  5. jazz11001 - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    Its a ploy. A trick. A fugazzi. Love is actually recruiting Rondo. The Celtic owe us a solid for the Garnett trade.

    • jazz11001 - Jun 4, 2014 at 7:42 PM

      Flip could have said “look buddy, you want to be traded then you do exactly what KG did. We agree to trade you to some place good and you agree to not talk bad and work to up your trade value.” Flip sends him to Boston because that sets the perceived opening bid for Love. Bostons draft picks and veterans with huge upside. Flip -“Your move rest of the NBA, Your move. But don’t mess around, come for real and bid to win.”

  6. hauts81 - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    Duh. What do you expect him to say? We’re trying to trade him but haven’t gotten any good offers yet?

    • j0esixpack - Jun 1, 2014 at 10:28 PM

      ‘I expect Kevin Love to be playing for us next year’ – is exactly what one would say about any player on the trading block

  7. urodaddy07 - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    Don’t know why Love would go from Minnesota to Boston if he wants to win now. Of the two, Minnesota is a better team. Boston has the advantage of playing in the Eastern Conference but I I don’t see either team contending soon.

  8. sonnysuave - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:32 PM

    “I plan on Kevin being here” = I’m the dumbest president ever if I let him walk w/o anything in return!

  9. duhwighthoward - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    scroll back up and look at the photo of flip saunders, then look at the one of donald sterling on the right.

    Don’t tell me they don’t look alike!

  10. sageandjudahsdad - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:18 AM

    The second coming of the great white hope !
    Celtics here he comes !!!

  11. mjhutmkr - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    Insanity and delusion rules in Minnesota!!

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