A new wave of Kevin Love-Wolves trade rumors begins to swirl
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The speculation surrounding Kevin Love and his questionable long-term status in Minnesota has been part of the norm for much of the last year.
But a new batch of reports and rumors have popped up recently, as the NBA draft approaches and Love moves closer to the last season before he can opt out of his contract.
Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reported Saturday "Love's people" have told the Wolves they should trade the All-Star forward or he will leave as a free agent after next season.
Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders has said numerous times before he has no intentions to trade Love, holding on to the notion that he can convince him to stay with Minnesota.
However, that was never going to prevent other teams from offering up trade proposals, and it appears the Wolves may now be slightly more inclined to listen.
Beyond the coaching search, the Wolves are under pressure to start considering trade scenarios for Love, who's anxious to exercise his Early Termination Option (ETO) in the summer of 2015 and leave as a free agent, league sources said.
"For the first time, [Saunders] sounds like looking at deals for [Love] is an option," one rival executive told Yahoo Sports.
ESPN.com followed up with a report reiterating that Love has the told the Wolves he intends to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, but has not gone as far as to demand a trade.
ESPN's Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne noted, according to sources, the Chicago Bulls and the Golden State Warriors have both come up as possible trade destinations for Love.
The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks also continue to be floated as prime contenders to land Love.
1500ESPN.com contributor Darren Wolfson, who has several sources close to the Wolves, reiterated that teams are preparing trade offers. Wolfson also added the San Antonio Spurs to the list of potential suitors in a trade for Love.
Re: all the Love tweets -- same as yesterday: talk last week is teams are preparing offers. No sense yet Love camp has demanded a trade.— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) May 18, 2014
More on Love: @ESPNSteinLine has the Bulls & Warriors as intriguing to him. Can add other winners like SAS. He's not stuck on big city.— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) May 18, 2014
The new wave of Love rumors shouldn't come as a surprise. They are likely to only increase throughout the offseason, especially in the lead-up to the draft on June 26th.