With the playoffs likely out of reach for the Timberwolves this year, the focus for Wolves fans and those around the team will soon be shifting to the offseason and what it means for the franchise.
Trade rumors surrounding Kevin Love have been circulating around the team for months. Despite the rumors and the continual talk that is sure to mire much of the Wolves offseason, Pro Basketball Talk reports the Wolves front office has no interest in dealing its 25-year-old superstar.
According to the report, Minnesota is hoping to have a good enough team that Love won't leave $30 million guaranteed on the table. Still though, Pro Basketball Talk says there is hardly anyone around the NBA that thinks Love will stay.
ESPN's Marc Stein writes the Wolves front office is continuing to focus its energy on convincing Love to stay.
You continue to hear that Wolves owner Glen Taylor remains determined to try to convince Love to stick around and will keep resisting trade offers until, as one insider puts it, he "has no choice." The Wolves are quietly optimistic about the marketing profile that the Taco Bell-endorsing All-Star starter has established for himself in a supposed small market as well as the relationship new team president Flip Saunders has forged with Love, who would have to be willing to leave some $30 million on the table, Dwight Howard-style, if he wants to force his way out.
Grantland's Zach Lowe says Love will be the centerpiece in the NBA front-office jockeying over the next several months. According to Lowe, Love is a top-10 player. He's not yet 26 years old, he has just one guaranteed year left on his contract and it's an open secret around the league that he is frustrated with the state of the Timberwolves.
A player of Love’s caliber and age might become available — really, truly available — once every two or three seasons. This is an event. Every team piling up assets and talking about how they are “open” to acquiring a superstar should one become available is talking in code about Kevin Love.
Around the NBA's trade deadline there were several teams rumored to be interested in acquiring Love from the Wolves.
Stein reports the Lakers are expected to continue their pursuit of Love by using their forthcoming high lottery pick to assemble a trade package that could convince the Wolves to part with Love.