Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor Sunday afternoon responded to rumors that he is considering trading All-Star forward Kevin Love, saying the team does not intend to do so, the Star Tribune reports.
ESPN cited sources close to the team who said Love has told management he intends to become an unrestricted free agent after next season and is not interested in a contract extension to stay in Minnesota.
And the Associated Press cited two sources who said the team is now open to trading Love if the right deal comes along, particularly as Tuesday's NBA draft lottery and the June 26 draft draw nearer.
Taylor was asked about that scenario before Sunday's Lynx game at Target Center.
“Not by the draft,” Taylor said, according to the Star Tribune.
Love, who is considered one of the best power forwards in the NBA, is reportedly growing impatient with the Timberwolves, who finished 40-42 last season and who have not made the playoffs in the last 10 years -- including Love's six years with them. He wants to play for a more competitive team, according to reports.
Love has not demanded a trade at this point, and Taylor, along with Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders, have said they are not interested in trading him. Instead, they were hoping to convince him to sign an extension.
Saunders was a guest on WCCO Radio on Sunday morning, and said he hasn't had any discussions with Love or his agent since the season ended last month. (Audio link; Saunders interview begins at approx. 9:40. Comments about Kevin Love are at approx 14:40)
“We’re proceeding the same way, that Kevin is part of our team,” Saunders told WCCO. “You’re always trying to get your team better. There have been reports we’re actively trying to trade him, which isn’t true. What we’re actively trying to do is get our team better."
Love is in the middle of a four-year contract, which includes an option for him to "opt-out" of the last year of the deal after next season is over.
The Timberwolves currently have the 13th pick in the first round of the draft, but it's possible they could obtain a top-three pick as a result of Tuesday's draft lottery.
Sources told ESPN.com that Love is interested in the Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls; the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks have also been mentioned as possibilities.
CBS Sports outlines various draft and trade scenarios involving Love that could unfold.
Love was named to three All-Star teams and played on the gold-medal winning Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics.