May 18, 2014

Kevin Love: "I want to become a free agent"

According to sources, Timberwolves superstar power forward Kevin Love has indicated to Minnesota  that he wants to become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2015. Love has minimal interest in signing an extension, as he's fed up with the losing ways that have become synonymous with Timberwolves basketball according to sources with knowledge of Love's thinking.

Kevin Love is thought to be a top ten player in the league today, but has yet to showcase his talents in a playoff series, missing the postseason in each of his six seasons in a T-Wolves uniform.

Love has not formally demanded a trade, but his desire to test the free agent market could push the Timberwolves to ship him out, as it would be a devastating blow to lose a primer player without receiving anything in return.

Sources also indicated that Love is interested in the Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls as possible suitors, but the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks also grasp his attention as well. Chicago and Golden State are more desirable destinations, as the Knicks and the Lakers lack the stability and talent level of the Bulls or Warriors.

The big market's of New York and Los Angeles are enticing to Love, but the uncertainty surrounding two of the league's marquee franchises is not.
Before any team engages in trade talks with the T-Wolves, they will need to be assured that Kevin Love will be locked in for the long term, ensuring that he's simply not just a rental.

One team that hopes Love has a high level of interest in signing with them is the Phoenix Suns. Phoenix is said to be interested in Kevin according to sources, and that interest would be heightened if Love will seriously consider resigning with the Suns.

Phoenix has a plethora of young assets and draft picks to throw at Minnesota, having the ability to  assemble a very attractive package that could aid them in their attempt to snag Kevin Love via a trade.

Kevin Love averaged 26.1 PPG (career high,) 12.5 RPG, 4.4 APG and shot 37% from three in the 2013-14 regular season. He was 4th in scoring lead wide, and 3rd in rebounds.

UPDATE: May 18th, 5:30 PM ET

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Boston Celtics have emerged as an "intriguing destination" for Kevin Love. The likelihood of a trade is dependent upon the draft position the Celtics are granted during Tuesday night's NBA Draft Lottery.

Due to their 25-57 regular season record, Boston would pick 5th in this year's draft, a pick they'd be willing to ship over to Minnesota for a player of Kevin Love's caliber. If the unpredictability of the draft lottery strikes again and the Celtics are presented with a top 3 pick, Danny Ainge would have to mull over his options and deeply consider the direction of the franchise going forward.

The Houston Rockets also play to aggressively pursue Kevin Love, as his close relationship with Rockets head coach Kevin McHale could be a major component in Love's probability of resigning with Houston. McHale traded for Love on draft night in 2008, and also coached the former UCLA Bruin.

You can read Wojnarowski's piece here.

UPDATE: May 20th, 10:30 PM ET

After being awarded the 6th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics will give their most valiant effort to try and turn their draft pick into Kevin Love.

Boston will try and ship their 6th overall pick to Minnesota, hoping to receive the superstar power forward from the Timberwolves.

Minnesota's stance is currently unknown, as it is unclear if they truly covet the 6th overall pick in this draft.

This past weekend, Love expressed his refusal to sign a contract extension with the T-Wolves, hoping to explore the world of free agency.

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor stated that the franchise does not intend to trade Kevin Love, but may be forced to if Love plans to leave Minny via free agency.

It has been reported that Love is open to playing for Boston and would be interested in signing an extension with the historic franchise.

Which team would be the best fit for Kevin Love? Hit me with thoughts and opinions on Twitter (@wcboyer24) and continue to support The Basketball Society. 

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