Numerous NBA league sources tell Yahoo Sports that Kevin Love wants out of Minnesota even sooner than expected. Love’s representatives at Excel Sports have reportedly asked Timberwolves President Flip Saunders to deal Love by this year’s NBA draft on June 26.
Earlier reports said Love asked to be out of Minnesota by the end of the 2014-2015 season, but not necessarily before it started. If the highly coveted big man does become available, who would be interested? Okay, everyone would be. But who realistically would make a push to land him?
Common wisdom says only playoff contenders will be seriously interested in Love. After all, that’s the whole reason he wants out of Minnesota. If you’re the general manager of a team that doesn’t have serious title hopes in the next year or two, why would you trade a king’s ransom to bring in a guy who so desperately wants to leave his non-contending team right now? Love can’t veto any deal at this point in his career, but it wouldn’t make sense to bring him into a situation where he’d be looking to leave again soon.
Reasons like this are exactly why two reported early contenders for Love’s services – the Knicks and the Celtics – are a bit perplexing. I see the possible appeal of New York. If Love went to the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony would likely be very tempted to stay as well. All of a sudden you’d have Love and Anthony playing together under a Phil Jackson-guided team, which sounds pretty good (on paper at least).
The Celtics seem like an odd name in this ring, though. Who do they have to convince Love they’ll be contenders in the near future? Rajon Rando? Boston was a way worse team than even the Timberwolves this year.
A few of the other names being tossed around make a bit more sense. The Rockets, Warriors, and Lakers all have been mentioned as teams that would push for love. The Rockets are a particularly interesting team given Love’s history with head coach Kevin McHale. McHale brought Love to Minnesota years ago and the two still have a strong relationship. Going to the Rockets would put Love on a team with tons of star power and serious title hopes. Having James Harden, Dwight Howard, and Kevin Love on a court at once seems pretty dangerous.
It’s still very early in this process, though, and more than a few unforeseen teams will be throwing their names into the ring. With highlights like this, who wouldn’t want Love on their team?