No name has been mentioned more often in trade rumors this season than Kevin Love.
The 2015 free-agent-to-be is the biggest superstar on a non-contending team, and all indications are that Love is already eyeing his new team. The Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks have been named as likely landing spots for the All-Star power forward, and perhaps members of the Minnesota Timberwolves front office will be making those phone calls this summer.
According to Basketball Insiders, the Timberwolves are considering contemplating a coaching change this offseason, and the team’s best bet to retain Love is find a new head coach that will convince him that his brightest future is in the Twin Cities. But if that doesn’t work, the popular opinion among NBA front office personnel is that the Wolves will have to move Love this summer in order to get the most value out of him as they can.
Per the report:
The popular opinion is that the Wolves have to move Love this summer while they can control the market in some ways and extract the most value out of a trade involving Love. However, the word around the team is that not only will the Wolves not move their star this summer, there are still some in the organization that believe the right coaching hire and the ability to offer him the most guaranteed money for his services could sway Love into a new long–term deal.
The team is under the belief that it already possesses a playoff roster, so barring any injuries and with a new coach manning the sidelines, the team — with Love — is able to make a run in the West. Of course, the team will have to throw all of its available funds at Love in order to make Minnesota all the more attractive.
As Basketball Insiders pointed out, it’s the exact same mindset the Orlando Magic had with Dwight Howard and the Atlanta Hawks with Josh Smith. Howard eventually caused a media circus before getting traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for some draft picks and additional roster pieces. Smith, on the other hand, didn’t garner much interest on the trading block and resided to sign with the Detroit Pistons as a free agent.
Though this summer is a prime time for the Wolves to get the most in return for Love, Basketball Insiders predicts the team will remain stubborn and let things play out with him on the roster.
The Wolves seem like they are more open to letting things play out with Love than trying to conduct a fire sale for him this summer, even though that might be the best return they can get.
As with all trades, the right combination of assets could turn a “no” into a “yes” fairly quickly, but if you are expecting Minnesota to open the trade hotline once their season comes to an end, it does not appear like that is their plan, in fact it seems like the Wolves are ready to hold on to Love, knowing full well they won’t get anything close to what he is, in return and that putting him in a winning situation might sway him into staying.