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Report: While Timberwolves publicly talk about keeping Kevin Love, privately prepping for trade

Jun 3, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Kevin Love Kevin Love

Everything that happens in the next couple weeks on the Kevin Love trade front is window dressing, posturing, and the occasional smoke screen. Everyone is positioning themselves right now (even Love on his travels), talks are incredibly preliminary. Things get serious the week of the draft. Just remember that as we catch you up on the latest posturing below.

Timberwolves’ president Flip Saunders came out recently and said he expects Kevin Love to be with the Timberwolves next season. Which echoes what their owner had said previously.

Of course they say that publicly, what else are they going to say? And of course they don’t want to trade their franchise player.

However, privately they are prepping for a trade that could come as soon as draft day, reports Sean Deveney at The Sporting News.

Publicly, the Timberwolves are saying they expect Love to be in training camp with the team next fall. But behind the scenes, as one source put it, the Timberwolves are, “paving the way to make something happen sooner rather than later.” Sooner, of course, would be draft night.

The Timberwolves have put out feelers on what possible offers might be on the table for Love on draft night. Despite their public protestations, around the league, front office executives say that the market for Love is open, but the initial asking price is high. While the Timberwolves would expect lottery draft choices in return for Love—including a high pick in this draft—they also want a young player with star potential, according to a source.

This is trading 101: Even if you’re going to move someone you can’t seem eager, you need to seem willing to walk away from the table to make sure you get the most out of the deal. Just like any negotiation the person most willing to walk away from the table does best. Minnesota needs to seem ambivalent while letting teams know they are willing to deal.

Minnesota needs to make a deal between now and the end of next February, it doesn’t need to seem eager to do it now. Make teams try to blow your doors off.

Love has some say in this process — he can opt out after next season from any team that trades for him. No team wants to rent him, they will want him to at least opt in, and that gives Love some leverage on who gets invited to dance (although Sacramento wants to crash the party anyway).

Love has his preferences, something Ric Bucher talked about at Bleacher Report.

“Sources close to the situation tell me that Love if it’s a choice between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets, would chose the Warriors.”

Love and Stephen Curry would instantly make the most dangerous pick-and-pop combo in the league.

But are the Warriors willing to go all in with some quality players?

  1. nickjackalson - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:23 AM

    It will take a whole lot of global warming for minny to become miami/LA

    • dluxxx - Jun 3, 2014 at 1:10 PM

      That’s alright. In another couple hundred years Florida will be underwater from melting ice caps. And Minnesota may have finally won an NBA championship.

      • dluxxx - Jun 3, 2014 at 1:13 PM

        I should say the “Timberwolves”. Minnesota has won 5 NBA championships and one NBL championship.

  2. tomasekradek - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    another article about…. wait what is this all about? we all know Love is gone and we all know the trade doesn’t happen til draft night so move on, nothing new here

  3. saint1997 - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    Warriors have to accept moving Klay. Great player but with Love at 4 and then Iggy and Barnes starting you still keep great 3PT shooting but employ a more versatile offence that can take advantage of mismatches and spread the floor for drives. Before Klay was keeping 2 guard defenders, not great rim protectors, on the perimeter. Love draws out, say an Ibaka or Griffin, thus making it easier for Curry and Barnes and Iggy to operate inside

  4. loubearkane - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    3-team trade

    Minnesota gets Russel Westbrook & draft picks

    OKC gets Kevin Love & Mike Conley

    Memphis gets Ricky Rubio & Serge Ibaka

    • spursareold - Jun 3, 2014 at 10:12 AM

      I gather you’re not a Memphis fan. That trade is HORRIBLE for them.

      • loubearkane - Jun 3, 2014 at 10:18 AM

        LOLZ yeah was looking at that but you get Rubio , Gasol sign Pau and get Ibaka , you got the Spanish National Team

    • duhwighthoward - Jun 3, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      I don’t know who thumbed this down. This is the best trade scenario I’ve seen here all season!

      • bougin89 - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:00 PM

        Which team does this really even make sense for?

    • eugenesaxe1 - Jun 3, 2014 at 10:07 PM

      Why would anyone want Rubio?

  5. lbeezyse - Jun 3, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Terrible 3 way trade. Maybe if Kahn was still GM. I see Love eventually ending up with the Warriors for Barnes, Klay, West, and a 1st with GSW taking back either Bud or Kmart.

    I fully expect things to really start heating up in the next two weeks. You can fully expect LaL, SanAnn, NYK, Chi, Sac, Hou, Bos, PHx, Was, Cle, and a couple darkhorse teams to jump into the fray. Every team will at least kick the tires on KLove driving up his price.

    The Wolves will keep Love & gamble before they give him away for a Garnett like pkg.

    • spursareold - Jun 3, 2014 at 10:15 AM

      Acknowledging his scoring and rebounding, Love is a mannequin on defense. I doubt SA wants to go back to their 2009 2010 model where they tried to outscore everyone, but couldn’t stop anyone.

  6. loubearkane - Jun 3, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    Love is really screwing Minnesota by making this so public , hanging out in Boston. Wolves losing all leverage.

  7. jadaruler - Jun 3, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    Nobody is offering enough for Love. Warriors offer is weak, so is the Celtics offer.

    • 1historian - Jun 3, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      If you’re referring to my offer, who/what else would you suggest?

      Remember this is all in fun, please.

  8. bhinrichs9 - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    Love for Ibaka, Jackson, and their 1st.

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