Saunders: Wolves 'plan on' Kevin Love with team next season


All-star Timberwolves forward Kevin Love has set some tongues wagging after he spent the weekend visiting Boston, leading to some talk that he might join the Celtics after his contract with Minnesota runs out. Love is being wooed by at least one other Boston superstar athlete -- David Ortiz who plays for the Red Sox.

Love can opt out of his contract with Minnesota after next season, and there have been reports that he plans to do just that, in hopes of landing with a playoff-contending team in a larger market.

There's speculation that the Wolves will try to trade Love this season, perhaps around the upcoming NBA draft, to avoid losing him without compensation.

But Flip Saunders, the Timberwolves president of basketball operations, made it clear again Sunday that he doesn't feel any pressure to make a trade this summer.

"Last I knew, Kevin was under contract with us. And I expect him to be playing for us next year," Saunders said, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "I don't really dictate where guys go on vacation. They can go wherever they want to go."

Saunders acknowledged there are a lot of teams interested in making a trade for Love, but according to the Associated Press, the best trade offers probably won't come in until a few days before the draft, which is on June 26.

Then there's the matter of finding a new head coach to replace Rick Adelman, who retired after last season.

Last weekend the Wolves brought in Dave Joerger, the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, to talk about the open spot, but Joerger instead signed a new contract with Memphis.

Saunders said Sunday he will meet with Wolves owner Glen Taylor this week to discuss the search for a new coach, which has been complicated by the questions surrounding Love's future with the team, the Associated Press reports. Saunders said the team will probably have a new coach in place before the June 26 draft, according to the AP.

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