One week before draft, Kevin Love trade rumors once again heating up
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With one week to go before the NBA Draft, Kevin Love is one of the hottest commodities in the league. Love can opt out of his contract after the upcoming season, and so many believe the Wolves will trade the touchy superstar before they lose him for nothing.
Since the outside perception shifted off the idea that the Wolves could sign Love to an extension, much of the talk has centered around leverage in trade discussion. Does it hurt the Wolves that so few believe they could keep Love if they're not wowed with a trade offer? Sure, it could.
But in an NBA offseason that could see the landscape dramatically altered by star player movement, Love is one of the premier young talents who could be moved. For the opportunity to land a franchise-changing player, it would seem likely teams would line up at the door to offer a bounty. It's worth noting that any team offering the kind of haul the Wolves likely will seek for Love must believe they could convince him to sign an extension.
With all that in mind, here's a roundup of the Love trade reports from around the country. We'll update the list as more reports inevitably surface.
UPDATE (3:15 p.m.): The Warriors have added Klay Thompson to a possible package, according to Marc Stein and Chris Broussard.
Broussard tweeted that a deal for Love, Kevin Martin, J.J. Barrea and the 13th pick for Klay Thompson and David Lee is being discussed.
That doesn't seem like a deal Minnesota should be interested in, unless the Wolves are desperate to unload Barrea and Martin. That in itself would be fine, but taking back Lee's contract and losing the first-round draft pick seems to make that fairly lopsided in favor of Golden State.
The Boston Herald reported Wednesday that the Celtics' offer, centered around draft picks, might not be enough.
From Steve Bulpett of the Herald:
Sources close to the situation have told the Herald that Boston's offer of draft picks and players isn't nearly the best the Timberwolves have received - or expect to receive - for their All-Star forward.
The Celtics are willing to discuss a number of options, but none of them includes the quality of player with NBA experience that Minnesota is seeking or believes it can get elsewhere.
The report continued with a source indicating Denver and Golden State both have made "more intriguing offers." The Celtics own the Nos. 6, 17 and 48 selections in this year's draft, and could also include future picks. The Herald reports says, however, that a centerpiece of Jared Sullinger or Kelly Olynyk would not be enough.
Boson could look to include a third team, Bulpett suggests.
Just one day earlier, ESPN's Chad Ford reported that the Celtics deal might get it done.
I continue to get strong signals that the Celtics are trying hard to use pick No. 6 and 17 along with future No. 1s and young players such as Jared Sullinger or Kelly Olynyk to persuade the Minnesota Timberwolves to trade them Kevin Love. One source close to the Wolves said that while Flip Saunders does not want to trade Love, he realizes the team likely will lose him this summer and the package the Celtics are offering is probably the best he's going to get.
Seems like a weird thing to say from inside the Wolves camp.
Then Bulpett, of the Herald, added a report that the Denver Nuggets had entered the fold.
Sources: in addition to Wilson Chandler and Kenneth Faried, Denver offering Minnesota a player they would acquire (Arron Afflalo) for Love.— Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) June 19, 2014
Note: Denver's pick (No. 11) NOT included in what I've heard Minnesota can get. Tweets attributing that to me are incorrect.— Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) June 19, 2014
Some speculate Denver may try to move its No. 11 overall pick to Orlando to land Afflalo.
Darren Wolfson thinks the 11th pick could come back to Minnesota in a deal with Denver.
Noted Celtics fan with NBA sources, Bill Simmons, tweeted Boston could be the heavy favorite.
If TWolves trade Love, Celts are heavy favs to get him now. GS won't discuss Klay T. + Bulls are focused on Melo. Boston trumps anyone else.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) June 18, 2014
Thursday morning news broke that Joel Embiid, who some consider the top pick in this year's draft, had injured his foot. That could change things for the Celtics, Simmons tweeted.
Also - major ramifications for Boston's potential Kevin Love deal. Can't see them giving up the farm for Love if Embiid might fall to 6.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) June 19, 2014
Then of course there is my personal favorite rumored destination: Golden State.
In part because I would enjoy watching Love and Steph Curry stretch defenses with the Warrios, but also because of the potential return for Minnesota.
It has been reported that Golden State is not willing to include Klay Thompson in trade packages. It would seem, though, that any deal not involving Thompson is a non-starter from Minnesota's perspective.
A totally speculative package on my part, but would it make sense to send Love and Kevin Martin to Golden State in exchange for Thompson, Harrison Barnes and David Lee? That's an enticing package to me, assuming it's doable for both sides.
The Warriors do not have a first-round pick this year.
Let's not forget, though, the best part about trade rumor season:
This is only going to get weirder, friends... Several sources saying more teams will bid for Love and offers will be altered.— Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) June 19, 2014
Buckle up, Wolves fans. this could be a fun week.