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Report: Sixers, Nuggets or Celtics could become third team in Kevin Love trade to Cavaliers

Jul 23, 2014, 11:37 AM EDT

US forward Kevin Love dunks the ball aga US forward Kevin Love dunks the ball aga

The Cavaliers remain the most likely destination for Kevin Love, given the package they have to offer along with Love’s apparent willingness to commit to re-upping in Cleveland now that LeBron James is firmly in place.

But if the Timberwolves are going to give up their All-Star big man who is the face of their franchise, rebuilding pieces aren’t going to be enough in exchange for cutting him loose.

[MORE: Cavs gain pieces for a Kevin Love deal]

Minnesota is going to also want to put itself in a better position to add talent moving forward, and that means getting out from under some less-than-desirable contracts. Cleveland, in pursuit of immediate championship contention, doesn’t want them, which means a third team would need to be involved to make everybody happy.

And there are a few that are willing to help facilitate this deal.

From Sean Deveney of Sporting News:

Multiple sources told Sporting News this week that teams are flocking to potential deals that would send Love to Chicago, Cleveland, Golden State or elsewhere, hoping to facilitate a trade by adding players, cap space or draft picks. …

Sources told Sporting News that Philadelphia and Denver, again, are interested in participating in whatever deal happens for Love. Denver has interest in acquiring Love themselves, while the Sixers would like to facilitate a trade by including forward Thaddeus Young.

Boston, another source said, would like to acquire Love, but would be willing to include some part of its trove of draft picks if they would help bring in a player who can contribute immediately.

The Sixers have the cap space to absorb just about anyone that Minnesota would like to get rid of, with J.J. Barea and Kevin Martin likely to be at the top of that list. Martin’s skill set would be a nice fit in Denver, though he’s owed more than $21 million over the next three years. Boston, meanwhile, needs guys who can play as the team continues its own rebuilding, so exchanging a draft pick or two for somebody might make some sense.

[MORE: Coach K would trade Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love with ‘not one second of hesitancy‘]

What’s clear is that this trade seems to be moving forward, and that Love will eventually land with the Cavaliers.

The Bulls have made their push, but Cleveland’s offer of young promising talent and other teams’ willingness to take on Minnesota’s past mistakes should ultimately be too good for the Timberwolves to pass up.

  1. casualcommenter - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    For all the fans who keep asking, “I don’t understand why Minnesota is acting like they have leverage,” this is why.

    If you have something you need to sell and can only sell it to one person, you have no leverage. You need to sell it, and only 1 person can buy it, so you desperately need to convince that other person to buy it.

    However, if you have something you need to sell and you have up to 5 people wanting to buy it, you have leverage. Those individuals have to convince you to pick them, so they have to compete against each other.

    Love has reportedly told the Wolves he’d be willing to be traded to the Cavs, Celtics, Bulls, and Warriors. In addition, this report above indicates the Nuggets are also interested in getting Love. That’s 5 bidders. When you have 5 bidders, you as a seller can be very picky and increase your demands.

    • cnyle01 - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      True but 3-4 of the teams above don’t have enough to land him. I would wait it out and see what happens.

      • dakotaandotter - Jul 23, 2014 at 2:31 PM

        Minnesota is not going to give anyone a chance to wait it out. they would be absolute fools to let that happen. they need to do their best deal before the season begins.

    • drewzducks - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      I have to disagree with the premise that if Cleveland was the only team interested in Love that Minny would not have leverage. As it appears that Love is the Cav’s Plan A, B and C, unless they want to revert to becoming a team similar to the one he left four years ago, they HAVE to get Love. Certainly logic states that more bidders would increase Minny’s options, however Minny is in no position to HAVE to move him. I believe they could even let the season play out and do a sign and trade prior to next year’s FA period. I guess I would argue that Cleveland needs to trade FOR Love more than Minny needs to move him. The chips will fall where they may and I would expect him to end up with Lebron sooner or later(if Cleveland signs Wiggins they have to wait a month before he can be traded).

      • campcouch - Jul 23, 2014 at 8:06 PM

        I think Minny NEEDs to trade Love more than Cleveland needs to sign him. If Love isn’t moved and then walks at the end of the season, the Wolves at best may get a sign and trade for a D-League bench player. The Cavs will still have James, Irving, Waiters and potential talent in Wiggins and Bennett. That leaves Minnesota with Rubio, Martin, LaVine and Pekovic…and maybe Muhammad will show up. Kevin Love has the leverage, not Saunders or any other team. He decides who he will sign long-term with. He may want to play with LeBron period, he may rent his services out for a year with an agreeable team or he may want to go to any team that can contend, either way he ultimately determines his fate.

    • presidentialpeter - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      Nuggets and Celtics don’t have a chance. Bulls have an outside chance at best. So really it’s between the Warriors and Cavs, unless there is a Godfather offer that comes out of nowhere.

      Now, Minnesota does have leverage, but not a lot of it. It’s common knowledge that Love wants out, which is going to work against Minnesota. Love has more leverage than Minnesota and if he’s smart about it he’ll use it to make sure the Cavs/Warriors don’t gut their teams (i.e. trade Klay, trade Wiggins) to add him. If the Warriors stick to their guns and continue to refuse to add in Klay (which they should and I believe they will), then the Cavs should do the same with Wiggins and stick with an offer like Waiters, Bennett, and two or three firsts.

      • lbeezyse - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:52 PM

        The thing is that the Wolves would rather keep Love and let him walk than take on a bunch of long costly contracts back. Cap space is king. If Love walks it is very unlikely that the Cavs nor GSW can afford him due to having no cap space. The Cavs could do it, but they would gut their team even further then than they would have to now. So yes Flip does have a lot of leverage to Cleve if Bron does indeed want Love that bad. Flip is using GSW as a pawn to get Wiggs and as much as he can out of Cleveland. Same with Chi.

        Adding a 3rd team is where it gets interesting. I can see Flip unloading JJ and Martin as well. That’d be a hell of a coup for Flip.

        A young Twolves roster of Wiggins, Bennett, Young, Rubio, Shabazz, Deing, Levine etc is a good place to start.

      • presidentialpeter - Jul 25, 2014 at 11:42 AM

        What long, costly contracts do you speak of? If the base of the Cavs’ offer is Bennett, Waiters, and two (or three) first round picks, then they would need at least $3.8412504M more of outgoing salary for that trade scenario to work. Bennett and Waiters’ contracts are not long/costly – team options come into play here if these players don’t pan out, but they do have potential to pan out – and the remainder amount could be filled with shorter, filler contracts. Varejao or Thompson would work in this deal salary wise, but I don’t think that they are looking to trade either of them. In the end though, if the Wolves are given a choice between Bennett, Waiters, fillers (short term or expiring contracts), and two (or three) firsts or Love walking away with nothing, I can’t see them going with the second option.

    • conradtwin1 - Jul 23, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      The T-Wolves really only have good leverage until the season starts then they start to lose that leverage as teams know they have to trade him before the deadline or lose him for nothing!! They need to put a deadline on this thing stop playing around tell teams come up with your very best offer before Sept 15th and they will work out a trade before October 1st. The Wolves are going to get alot for him just move this along already!!

      • december77 - Jul 23, 2014 at 4:02 PM

        Minnesota does not have to trade Love. People don’t realize that Minnesota has leverage because losing him for nothing if he walks in free agency gives them 15 million in cap space to sign other free agents next summer. Trading an all-star for average players with contracts that will tie up their cap space next offseason puts them in a worse position to sign free agents. So the trade package has to be worth it.

        Secondly, the only way for teams like Cleveland and Golden State who really want him need to trade for him. They won’t be able to sign Love as a free agent next season because they have no cap space. Plus he’ll probably want to sign with the Lakers who will have a ton of cap space.

        Cleveland fans want to have Love AND Wiggins on their team. If they had both it could be a dynasty, but it’s not going to happen. Love’s game complements Lebron perfectly, and Lebron wants to contend now, not later.

      • campcouch - Jul 23, 2014 at 8:34 PM


        If you let Love walk and free up 15 mil in cap space, who exactly will you sign in 2015 that offers improvement. Why not trade for the back to back #1 draft choices and a first rounder, all on rookie contracts?

        As for cap space, there are lots of trades and releases during the free agency period that teams conduct in order to make space, ultimately Love decides where to go anyways.

        I haven’t seen a poll by all fans as to who they’d like to see on the team. Asking 500 out of 2.4 million people doesn’t mean everyone. Complementary players improve each others play by working to strengths and propping up weaknesses. Seeing that James played with Bosh and Wade for 4 years, I don’t see his numbers going up due to Love, maybe an efficiency increase by playing with Irving and a drop in Love’s scoring numbers since he’ll be playing with a PG,SF and SG that can score.

    • ghelton03 - Jul 23, 2014 at 8:54 PM

      Love always has the power to say, “I changed my mind”. I only want to play with LeBron. How would that change MN’s leverage?

    • ghelton03 - Jul 23, 2014 at 8:54 PM

      Love always has the power to say, “I changed my mind”. I only want to play with LeBron. How would that change MN’s leverage?

  2. jazz11001 - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    Let’s not forget that you need to establish what the market value is for him. Once the other teams are aware you might get yet another player. I still think that before its over that Washington jumps in at the last second. The east is too weak to let one team become so strong. Someone will want to upset that balance.

    • pondersucks07 - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:20 PM

      This scenario isn’t going to happen, Celtics are not going to help the Cavs acquire Love and make them unbeatable and that’s goes for Philadelphia as well, Now if you had west coast conf. teams in the mix maybe. This trade isn’t in the best interest of the Celtics or Sixers Rumors are just what they are rumors, Slow basket ball news day, So make up rumors to fill in your sports column. Please people used the common sense gene, which is rapidly fading away.

      • rosloe62 - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:29 PM

        I agree. Why would other teams in this league want to help LeBron win more championships. The best thing the Celtics and Sixers can do to help their team, is to keep Cleveland from being dominant.

      • cnyle01 - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:30 PM

        LOL the Celtics already helped he Cavs get LBJ fool

      • philswfc08 - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        It seems somewhat logical the Sixers would get involved to me. They aren’t thinking about winning now, obviously, more like 2-3 years from now. It sounds like they like Waiters, so if they can get him to add to their growing core of lotto picks…possibly just for allowing Minny to dump some bad contracts, then why not? As long as the contracts are expiring after this year. MCW, Waiters, Saric, Noel and Embiid can grow together over the next few years (probably add another lotto pick or two), then as they are getting into their primes, LeBron & the Cavs will be on the decline. What do they care if the Cavs/LeBron win a title or two? If we were talking about aiding the Celtics or Knicks, then I’d say ‘yeah, no way’.

  3. vapor54 - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    I”d love the Nugs to get KL, but the Cavs are a near lock

  4. cameltoehoe - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    Need alert!

  5. lbeezyse - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    A deal that sends out Love, Barrea, and martin? Which also brings back Wigs, bennett, young, and possible picks? I love it…. Make it happen Flip.

  6. phillysports1 - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Bulls offered McDermott & Gibson for Love.

    • rosloe62 - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      Wouldn’t do it.

  7. pondersucks07 - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    This scenario isn’t going to happen, Celtics are not going to help the Cavs acquire Love and make them unbeatable and that’s goes for Philadelphia as well, Now if you had west coast conf. teams in the mix maybe. This trade isn’t in the best interest of the Celtics or Sixers Rumors are just what they are rumors, Slow basket ball news day, So make up rumors to fill in your sports column. Please people used the common sense gene, which is rapidly fading away.

    • purple4life2 - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      Well common sense says that both Phi and Bo’s are about 3-5 years away minimum. LBJ would be 34 years old at that time and nobody has any sense what Love would do after he presumably opts in and plays 2 years in CLE. If love goes to CLE, wins a title, then bolts to the west coast at 27, would that be shocking?

      My point is, phi and Bos are years away from competing. Second, nobody knows what can change in 2 years time. Third, the west Spurs just pummeled the big 3 of Miami (who won 2/4 titles) – meaning even if they were an older big 3, the league knows nobody is unbeatable.

      When phi helps facilitate this trade, which is pretty likely given that they’ve not hit the mandatory salary cap floor yet, I’ll enjoy hearing from you about “common sense.”

  8. lbeezyse - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    These #’s work:
    Wolves get Young, Bennett, Wiggins, Lucas 3, Thomas, & Murphy.

    Cavs get Love

    Sixers get Barrea & Martin.

    Obviously picks & cash will be swapped as well

    • rosloe62 - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      Why would the Celtics and Sixers help the Cavs? It makes it that much harder for them to win.

    • pondersucks07 - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      Why would the Sixers help a team in their own conference get a Super Star player and take on the crappy contracts that the Cavs wont do, Please where is all the common sense people gone too.

      • geejon - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:52 PM

        You’re ignoring the fact that there are multiple teams willing to facilitate Love going to Cleveland so it’s not the case where Philly or Boston can say “we won’t help” and bammm that means it doesn’t get done. If one or the other won’t help there’s another half dozen teams that WOULD help so it’s getting done whether you or they like it or not. So stop saying no one in the East will help because when it’s all but a foregone conclusion it’s happening, Philly and Boston and the others are only thinking “how can I also get something out of this”. Is that more clear?

      • lbeezyse - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:33 PM

        You’re also ignoring the fact stated above that both Bos and Philly are 3-5 years away from truly competing. It’s known that Philly want’s Waiters and will jump into the foray to get him even if it means helping out Cleve. Bos also needs players who can play now, so they can convince Rondo to stay.

        It’s not so much as helping LeBron get Love as it is helping themselves in the future.

        Common Sense?

    • philswfc08 - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      Uhhhh…I think the Sixers would want to get SOMETHING in return for giving up Young (i.e. Dion Waiters). Then it’s hard to see the Cavs trading Wiggins, Bennett AND Waiters. I think the ‘Wolves would have to be willing to accept a deal w/out Wiggins. Young, Bennett, Cavs 1st & the 3 unguaranteed contact guys you mentioned. They could do worse, but I’m not sure that it’s better than what the Bulls are offering.

    • philswfc08 - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:43 PM

      So basically the Wolves get a kings ransom PLUS getting rid of bad contracts, the Cavs have to include Wiggins whom they don’t want to and Sixers get to give away Young and take a couple bad contracts. Don’t see that working for anyone other than the Wolves. I think this is a little more balanced:

      Wolves get T.Young, Bennett, Lucas, Thomas, Murphy and Cavs 2015 1st.

      Cavs get Love, 2nd rounders from both Wolves & Sixers.

      Sixers get Barrea, Martin, Waiters and Cavs 2016 1st.

    • gmfw7 - Jul 23, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      is this serious or are you trying to make people laugh? the sixers aren’t taking on the contracts of barrea and martin just to move thad. unless they’re getting dion to come home, there’s no way they make that move.

    • zemongoose - Jul 24, 2014 at 12:21 AM

      You left out the Sixers getting Waiters

  9. pondersucks07 - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    If you believe that, The I have a breaking trade for you, or should we call it what it really is, Rumor. If the Love deal goes through, Stern say he will come back as commish and veto the trade and award the Cavs the next 5 no.1 picks in the draft and Exile Minnesota to play all it home games in Green Bay, For the next five years or 1 year if the Tindercubs can have a winning season and not piss off their only chance of winning with a Superstar, by going out their getting a GM and HC that can find the right pieces for KL to win with.

  10. seasickcecil - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Bulls have offered Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott to #Twolves for K.Love, per NBA source.

    • lbeezyse - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:35 PM

      I like the 3-team trade with Philly and Cleveland way better.

  11. kingperk123 - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    What i hope the Celtics don’t get involved unless they are getting Kevin love there self

  12. kingperk123 - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    Well I hope they get Thaddeus young

  13. Bob Loblaw - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    I wonder why LeBron doesn’t get more heat for the way he handled the “decision” this time around.


    Opt out on June 24.

    Draft is June 26. Cavs select Andrew Wiggins.

    Lebron should have told Cleveland he was going to sign with them before the draft so they could have traded the #1 pick for Love. I don’t think there is any question pre-Draft the Wolves would have taken the #1 overall pick, along with a couple minor pieces and a future #1 for Love.

    Unless you believe that he truly didn’t know what he was going to do until he released “the essay”, which I seriously doubt.

  14. seasickcecil - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    Taking the Cavs offer puts Flip in full rebuild. Taking the Bulls offer mentioned above puts Flip in the hunt for a 7 or 8 seed aka NBA purgatory. Whats it gonna be Flip?.

    • conradtwin1 - Jul 23, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      I agree with Sea if the Bulls would give them Mirotic, Butler, Dunleavy and McDermott and a pick that is much better then the Cavs offer!! I really don’t see the Bulls getting Love they don’t want to gut their team they just built just for Love..

  15. spursareold - Jul 23, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    So, Flip is already having to cover his own tracks? He’s the one that signed Martin to that deal that was WAY too much money for a one dimensional player.

    I weep for Wolves fans.

    • bkbell3 - Jul 24, 2014 at 12:19 AM

      spurs, 7mil for a starting 2 guard that is an efficient scorer who shoots the 3 and can get to the foul line isn’t alot of money. Granted he isn’t a good defender.

  16. antistratfordian - Jul 23, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    Whatever. Let me know when something happens.

  17. jammer73 - Jul 23, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    “If he walks in free agency gives them 15 million in cap space to sign other free agents next summer. ”
    LOL! Except what good players will want to come to MN? NONE! If the Wolves fail on the Cleveland Steamer trade then they are F’d.

  18. jammer73 - Jul 23, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    The Wolves signing Martin to an overpriced deal was about as good a signing as Marko Jaric, T-Hud, Candyman, Mike James, Ricky Avis, Darko, etc. …LOL!

  19. favrewillplay4ever - Jul 23, 2014 at 9:28 PM


    Love declaring he only wants to play for Cleveland wouldn’t change Flip’s leverage at all.

    If MN doesn’t trade him to Cleveland, he will not get to go to Cleveland, period.

    TEAMS CANNOT SIGN OTHER TEAMS UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS AND GO OVER THE CAP. With Irving and Lebron’s max contracts, Cleveland would be over the cap.

    Unless you somehow expect Love to take an “I only want to play with Lebron discount”.

    • bkbell3 - Jul 24, 2014 at 12:27 AM

      fav, lbj can opt out next year and bennet and thompson have team options and verageo is off the books next year and other guys are on ending contracts. So in theory if lbj opts out and they don’t pick up options and renounce people they would only have irving’s 15.5 mil contract and wiggins 5.5 mil contract on the books. I might have missed one or 2 small guys but they could create space in theory. I think they would rather do a trade this year though. I forgot mike miller has a 3mil player option also and he could opt out also and then be resigned later.

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