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Don’t be so sure Minnesota trades Kevin Love before draft, it could hold on to trade deadline

Jun 20, 2014, 6:40 PM EDT

Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

If Kevin Love has to come back to the Minnesota Timberwolves training camp, it’s going to be very uncomfortable for him and complete and total circus around the team.

Flip Saunders doesn’t care.

His hand has been forced into making a deal, he’s not doing anyone any favors now. What Minnesota’s coach and team president cares about is getting as much value back in trade as he can — you never get equal value back in a superstar deal, but you can make the next steps in rebuilding easier. If that happens in the next week with the Golden State Warriors, great. But if that means the Timberwolves hold on to Love until July, or training camps open, or the trade deadline next February, why wouldn’t they?

For Minnesota these talks are in a negotiation phase and they are in no rush to move on to the next steps.

Kevin Love’s agent Jeff Schwartz is serious and pushing to get his star moved sooner rather than later and to a destination Love wants to be long term. That’s where the pressure comes from. But it’s not just me saying Saunders doesn’t feel rushed.

Part of that is spin — the guy with the strongest positioning at any bargaining table is the guy willing to just walk away. Saunders wants everyone to think he will get up from the table. For now.

The only thing that has become clear is that Minnesota would prefer established players to picks and prospects — they don’t want to just rebuild, they want players who can help now.

Saunders is milking this as best as he can. In what are fluid talks with Golden State the Warriors had been hesitant to include Klay Thompson in a deal (although they should because it could be crippling against the cap for them to pay him what he’ll make on the open market). There is no deadline yet no reason to agree to anything right now. If the Warriors are offering David Lee and Thompson, ask for Draymond Green too. Or Harrison Barnes.

Saunders should do the same things with Denver and Boston and Chicago and anyone else interested in getting Kevin Love in a trade.

And if Saunders doesn’t get everything he wants on draft night, he can wait.

He might not. He might push and push and push then on draft night think that’s good enough and pull the trigger.

But he doesn’t have to. And he might not. Don’t be shocked if he waits.

  1. dablakdrphil - Jun 20, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    One thing for sure is K. Love is out of Minny via trade or leaving free agency so he holds all the cards, if I was Minny though, I would try to trade him before training camp.

  2. lphboston - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    Max value is right now, before teams maneuver on draft day.

    Until the draft Minnesota can get 90 cents on the dollar.
    A few months from now 70 cents on the buck.
    Next February, 50 cents.

    And don’t forget, Love still needs to agree to a long-term deal with the team that trades for him, so he can basically determine his destination.

    • kinggw - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:52 PM

      That’s not necessarily true. It would be ideal, but there are a few teams that are willing to trade for Love without an extension in place.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:55 PM

        and that’s why the Cavs are the Cavs…

    • bdachan12 - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:33 PM

      Would it even be 50 cents in Feb for a 3-4 month rental? Not getting this resolved before training camp at the latest means Flip is just incompetent.

    • 1historian - Jun 21, 2014 at 8:29 AM

      Good points and let’/s also consider that no one knows how far Embiid will fall.

  3. loubearkane - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    Would completely undermine his trade value , he get’s hurt and Minnesota gets nothing.

    • kingperk123 - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:22 PM

      you are. So right but I hope that doesn’t. Happen

  4. kingperk123 - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:20 PM


    • 1historian - Jun 21, 2014 at 8:30 AM

      No deal until we see how far Embiid falls. If he falls to 6 Ainge grabs him.

  5. muathjam21 - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    Sorry, but Kevin Love isn’t worth David Lee, Klay Thompson, AND Draymond Green or Harrison Barnes. At least not from the Warriors standpoint.

    With this trade the Warriors do get an upgrade at PF, but they get a downgrade at SG AND they lose depth, which was already an issue for them last year.

    If I’m Bob Myers, I can’t see myself giving up more than Lee/Thompson. The ‘wolves can take it or leave it, at that point.

    • cueghost - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:04 PM

      I don’t even think they should give up both Lee and Thompson… MN should be asking where to sign.

  6. samsonight1010 - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    This is a cavs article?

  7. illegalblues - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    Flip Saunders is on lean

  8. metalhead65 - Jun 20, 2014 at 9:12 PM

    if they don’t trade him before the season I hope love just stops doing everything for them and let’s his teammates pick up the slack. can’t wait for fans to whine about him not doing enough to help them win. when he is open for a 3 just stop and set up the offense and get everyone involved and watch them not score and hear about how he should have taken the shot after the game. have him stop fighting for rebounds and let the other guys try and get them and then hear about how he is not helping the team. in other words do what you fans want and then hear you complain that he does not do enough. I have never heard of a team or fans hate a player who does what Love does for the wolves. it’s like you really believe he is the reason they never make the playoffs. if he was not on the team they would be lucky to win 10 games a season.

  9. kingperk123 - Jun 20, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    The NBA draft should just. Start already

  10. p31squared - Jun 20, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    Pacers resign Lance and trade he and Roy for Love and Rubio. July 2.

    • jollyjoker2 - Jun 20, 2014 at 10:24 PM

      they are still in love with Rubio so won’t work. I like the thought though.

      • muathjam21 - Jun 20, 2014 at 10:38 PM

        Yeah, THAT’S why the Wolves won’t trade Love/Rubio for Hibbert/Lance, because they love Rubio.


    • patfic5 - Jun 21, 2014 at 8:19 AM

      What a horrible thought.

  11. j0esixpack - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    You take everything with a grain of salt these days

    I find it interesting that Saunders has increased the rhetoric just as Ainge is contemplating holding on to #6 (not to mention #17 in a deep draft) to use on a falling Embiid

    Heck, if anything given that prospect Saunders may be clawing to restore any leverage he had in the first place

    Don’t forget, Love himself can kill any trade by refusing to sign an extension

    • 1historian - Jun 21, 2014 at 8:32 AM

      “Saunders has increased the rhetoric.” Good point. Ainge seems to be quiet these days – he’s waiting to see how far Embiid falls.

  12. adoombray - Jun 21, 2014 at 12:57 AM


    Headline might as well read “Flip Saunders seeks a better deal by pretending he’s not smart enough to trade Love now”

  13. 00maltliquor - Jun 21, 2014 at 2:22 AM

    Im actually positive they’ll keep him until the last couple weeks of the deadline. I don’t see this getting done during the draft. MIN is gonna milk this long and hard to get what they want.

    • 1historian - Jun 21, 2014 at 8:33 AM

      “The hardest part of playing chicken is knowing when to flinch.”

  14. jazz11001 - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:16 AM

    Smart move. See how the draft shakes out

  15. 1historian - Jun 21, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    I don’t see a draft before the draft – wait to see who drafts who, wait to see who grabs Embiid, etc.

  16. paoconno - Jun 21, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    The deals being offered for Love are crap, so why take any of them?
    Minny is doing GSW a favor by taking Lee’s 2 yrs/30 Mil, so Klay and Harrison are a MINIMUM of what it should take to even get a return call from Flip. If that is too much for GS, then walk away and enjoy being a 6/7 seed until Klay opts out and you can’t afford to resign him next summer.

    The truth is, a trade deadline deal probably won’t be worse than the crap deals that are being floated now. Especially since any deadline trade would likely be to a contender, which fits Love’s destination criteria for resigning. Utah made out okay trading Deron Williams mid-season, and I think Love is the better player.

    Plus, by waiting, you will have half a season to see which of the incoming draft picks show promise, instead of just trading for a pick and hoping he pans out.

  17. plymouth11 - Jun 21, 2014 at 11:51 PM

    These trade offers seem very underwhelming, and honestly come across like media speculation. I don’t doubt the Wolves are considering everything and talking to teams but there has to be so much more than this being discussed. Pretty sure Flip is spending as much if not more energy trying to add pieces to the Wolves roster as it exists, looking for the piece that will actually transform them from 40 wins to 55 and make Love actually consider staying. These offers being tossed about aren’t any better than what Wolves would likely get at the trade deadline – unless that changes why trade him now?

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