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Report: Suns interested in Kevin Love, Bledsoe seeking max

Jun 8, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

Phoenix Suns v Minnesota Timberwolves Getty Images

Kevin Love wants to get out of the small market of Minnesota (and his people have told the team he will opt out next summer), a team that didn’t make the playoffs last year, to get to….

Phoenix?

That’s not exactly on his list of “places I will sign a new deal” but the Suns want in the game, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.

A few thoughts here.

First, if I’m in a smaller market where Love likely would not stay but I want to make my fans happy, I make a call Flip Saunders in Minnesota to judge interest in a deal, then I leak that I made the call. Nothing likely comes of it, but you can say to your fan base “hey, we’re really trying.”

Next, a max deal for Eric Bledsoe?

I like him and his potential more than most, but a max? That’s a steep price. Bledsoe averaged 17.7 points per game last season when healthy, he added 5.5 assists per game and had a true shooting percentage of .578. He had a PER of 19.6. He played well paired with Goran Dragic, enough that it almost lifted the Suns to the playoffs (they were the surprise team the first half of last season).

Bledsoe is a restricted free agent this summer and someone is going to offer him a big new contract (which the Suns can match, or they can let him walk). But a max deal? If his agent Rich Paul can pull that off, a number of clients should jump to him.

Would Bledsoe or Goran Dragic be among the assets the Suns might offer? Ideally you’d like to pair that backcourt with Love, but the Wolves will be asking a steep price.

That said, if I’m Minnesota I would have to consider the offer. The goal for them is to get picks and quality young players, if the Suns can offer that the Timberwolves would not care if Love re-signs there or not.

For Phoenix, it is potentially a lot to give up if you can’t get Love to stay. Really sets your building program back. And you’re almost certainly not going to get Love to stay.

  1. adoombray - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    100 grand for a castle, 6 hours from LA, pro gun and beautiful weather if you can pay for the AC. Phoenix is also a top 5 city in America to see basketball in, they love their Suns. He could do a lot worse.

    • norcalkingsfan - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      I am not hating on phoenix, it can be a cool place to live…. but I can’t read your post without chuckling.

      1) You can get cheap housing a lot of places in this country: midwest, the south, pacific northwest, etc.

      2) Where I am from, being “close” to LA is nothing to brag about.

      3) Beautiful weather? It’s a desert.

      4) Who can’t pay for AC?

      5) Where do you get this ranking of top cities to watch basketball?

      I do agree that the fans love their suns, and he could do a lot worse.

      … it would be cool to see Bledsoe free to run wild with his own team.

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 8, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      why would you want to be 6 hours from LA when you could live in LA?

      • jimb25 - Jun 8, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        Definitely what I was thinking. Lakers, where you at?

      • spursareold - Jun 8, 2014 at 3:23 PM

        Love can’t make money, AND play for the Lakers. They don’t have the pieces and picks to trade for him.

      • asimonetti88 - Jun 8, 2014 at 4:14 PM

        I wasn’t referring to Love, just speaking in general terms.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 8, 2014 at 4:49 PM

        “why would you want to be 6 hours from LA when you could live in LA?”

        Air pollution. Some people don’t want an increased risk of death due to the air they breathe.

      • eugenesaxe1 - Jun 8, 2014 at 5:58 PM

        Some would ask “Why would you want to live in LA when you can live 6 hours away?”

    • ss3walkman - Jun 8, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      I don’t know if the Wolves would walk away from Lee, Barnes and a future pick. I can only see Chicago possibly topping that but Wolves won’t want Boozer’s contract and him being a shell of his former self.

      • psubeerman21 - Jun 8, 2014 at 6:07 PM

        The Lakers will have the money when he hits free agency after he opts out after next year. So they have to wait a year. Why give up picks and players when you can get him for “free” in a year?

  2. kingperk123 - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    Please there gunna need more than that to compete with the Celtics and bulls when trying to get love

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 8, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      There is more to it than just that.

      Yes, you are correct that the Suns would have to do more.

      But, Love wants to win and being on the Suns without those two won’t lead to winning.

      The Suns were a good young team this past season but to give up BOTH young guards would set them back.

      Love would be trading in his spot of not making the playoffs in Minny to not making it in Phoenix…

      Love won’t resign with certain teams, even if he is traded there for this season.

      That would not be a Suns team that Love would resign with so they’d be really stupid to give up that talent for one year and that one year wouldn’t be anything special either.

      • bkbell3 - Jun 8, 2014 at 7:55 PM

        They would need a third team here but Minn.does love to collect point guards.Minn after that trade would be great in a under 6’4″ league.lol

  3. trevormcnamara - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    It’s not really a desert inside the city just has the heat but I’m sure Love would be able to afford pool in his backyard and outside you still have places to ski like Flagstaff along with sports teams in every Big 4 sport. Also the 6th largest city in terms of population. So not exactly a “small” market.

    • anythingbutyanks - Jun 8, 2014 at 6:17 PM

      Phoenix is the sixth largest city, but only the 14th largest metro area. Market size is related to metro size, not city population. As metros go, it is just ahead of…Minneapolis-St. Paul. Roughly 15 teams play in larger markets in the NBA.

  4. jkfargo - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    The Wolves have to get Markeiff Morris if they deal with Phoenix. Actually, both Morris twins need to be included since their powers are diminished when they are apart. If the Suns give up Bledsoe with the twins, they could probably keep most if not all of their picks.

  5. mnsadsportsfan - Jun 8, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Isn’t Dragic kind of the future in PHX?

    • gtatickets - Jun 8, 2014 at 2:48 PM

      I think if you polled the fans you would get mixed opinions. I think Dragic is the heart and soul of the team and you really can’t trade him. Plus, he made the 3rd team all NBA and probably should’ve won Most Improved Player. But Bledsoe seems like he still has more upside and natural ability to become a superstar in the league. Playing in the backcourt together, Dragic and Bledsoe were awesome last season and it would be a shame to break it up IMO. But they also need an All Star front court player to take it to the next level. Fans won’t be happy next year with almost making the playoffs.

    • jkfargo - Jun 8, 2014 at 3:40 PM

      Dragic and Love could be the future. I could see the Suns being hesitant to sign Bledsoe to a max deal. It’s a lot of money for a guy who hasn’t proven he’s worth that much. He might be or he might not. He’s had some injury issues. They have sign him, they can’t let him walk. He is too good. Why not deal him for a proven max player? They will already have Dragic so losing Bledsoe at the expense of getting Love makes sense. The Wolves will want the Morris twins and they will probably want the Suns to take K-Mart or JJ.

  6. bittertwolvesfan47 - Jun 8, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    Coming from a die hard T Wolves fan.. we need to trade Love ASAP and get the BEST DEAL POSSIBLE! He’s obviously committed to opting out next summer and the longer we wait to trade him, the less talent/draft picks we will get in return. Taylor and Flip are high if they think they have any chance of convincing him to stay.

  7. gtatickets - Jun 8, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    1. The Suns won’t trade both Dragic AND Bledsoe. It’s one or the other.
    2. It’s most likely Bledsoe since he is a restricted free agent now and some team may offer him a max deal the Suns really don’t want to match.
    3. The Suns can offer a better selection of draft picks than most teams — #14, #18 and #27 in this year’s draft, plus next two potential top picks next year (their first rounder plus the Lakers’ first rounder still due from the Steve Nash trade.
    4. Being 6 hours from LA does have importance since Love is a west coast guy and has stated he wanted to come out west. I think he’d prefer the Lakers or Golden State, but if the Suns can convince him they can compete for a championship in a couple years with him, then Phoenix might be a good enough location.
    5. The weather is beautiful in Phoenix October through May when he would actually live there. Sure, it’s hot as hell in the summer, but that’s the off-season when he can live elsewhere like all the other snowbirds.

  8. paoconno - Jun 8, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Pro-Gun is a plus for your city? They’re trying to trade for Kevin Love, not Gilbert Arenas

  9. JHathwell - Jun 8, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    The deal that makes more sense is One or both of the Morris twins, Alex Len, a couple vets and a handful of the Suns picks. Suns have 14, 18 and 27 in this years draft and potentially three good first rounders next year: Theirs, Minnesota’s (top 12 protected) and the Lakers (top 5 protected). In my opinion, offering a Morris or two, a former lottery guy in len and 3 or 4 first rounders is a pretty substantial haul for a team that is looking to rebuild. Why take Bledsoe at a max deal or dragic making 10-12m when you can get all those picks?

    To me, Orlando laid out the blueprint for what you get for a superstar when they traded Dwight. Thanks to that deal, they have a ton of young (and cheap) assets and are on their way back.

  10. pharohislife - Jun 8, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    He’ll be with Boston or Chicago before this year’s draft.

  11. benjaminmoney - Jun 8, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    Love is going to the Warriors and everyone knows it! Haha! Remember Flip and the Wolves have no leverage. Love has to agree to any trade. The Bay is waiting on you Kev, see you soon! Celts??(laugher, no real chance to win anytime soon).Bulls(history has proved they don’t make power moves like this)

  12. bornahawker - Jun 8, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    This is a no brainer, UCLA Alum playing for the new richest owner in the NBA, LA Clippers! Lakers are a non factor. Held on to Kobe way too long, see MJ as a Wizard. Jerry is dead and so are the Fakers. Clippers will get Love and own LA for 20 years.

    • bkbell3 - Jun 8, 2014 at 8:06 PM

      Born,who do you think the clippers can trade to get love? Minn. already has a center locked up so that’s out. You would have to trade griffin or Paul and that’s not happening so who? Also I don’t think LA has any good draft picks so again who? Plus if Griffin is there what position does Love play?

  13. luz56 - Jun 8, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Can’t see Love coming to PHX.. I’m sure Dragic gets traded for a part and Bledsoe gets a max deal…Keep building thru the draft and with all this young talent maturing they will be great… Giving up talent for the opportunity to possibly sign Love????

    • jkfargo - Jun 8, 2014 at 3:44 PM

      Love would be the best player on the team. Trading Dragic would be dumb. None of the young talent has proven they will ever be close to being an all-star besides Bledsoe. I’m not counting Dragic because he is 28. The Suns would never deal unless Love said he would resign there. If a trade goes through, it will because Love would resign or opt in.

  14. tcclark - Jun 8, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    the suns have so many picks over the next couple of years that they can trade for love, let him walk, and still not lose the farm. If im phoenix I go for it. They almost made the playoffs without love so the chances of making it with him are significantly higher. If they are a sixth seed or higher I think he resigns. he’s kind of a perfect fit for them. it would be tough to leave. especially when contenders next year wont have the cap space to sign him anyway.

  15. provguard - Jun 8, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    Giving up both very good starting guards by a rebuilding team for a disgruntled player is playing Russian Roulette… After the Suns have Love; who doesn’t want any part of a rebuilding team, who do they plan on getting him the ball?????

    Suns, keep Bledsoe and Dragic! You won’t be sorry…

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