The 2014 trade deadline is upon us, and it’s shaping up to be one of the most exciting deadlines in the last couple years. There are so many teams looking to drop down for a chance in the 2014 Draft, and other teams that feel like they’re only one or two moves away from title contention, we’re looking at a lot of moves before 3 p.m. ET tomorrow, when the trade deadline expires. The Lakers and Mavs are looking to trade for Kevin Love, who can opt-out of his contract in the summer of 2015, reports Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.
Love is on a ‘Wolves team that’s currently sitting at the No. 10 spot in a loaded Western Conference with the streaking Grizzlies and the dependable Mavs above them in the standings by five and six games, respectively. So it might make sense for the Timberwolves to move Love now, even though they’ve given no indication they’re looking to do so. Still, that hasn’t prevented the Mavs and the Lakers from trying to put an enticing package together for Love’s services.
The Lakers and Mavericks are trying to assemble trade offers for prospective free agent Kevin Love, but thus far the Timberwolves have given no indication they’ll consider moving the All-Star forward by Thursday’s deadline, league sources told CBSSports.com.
Love will be a free agent in 2015, and it is widely known around the league that he and his agent, New York-based Jeff Schwartz, are determined to get him to a major market. The Lakers, Love’s first choice, “have the best shot” of landing the Southern California native, one person familiar with the player’s thinking said. There is no incentive in the CBA for Love to sign an extension with Minnesota before he has a chance to decline his player option and hit the open market in July 2015.
Since Love is looking for a big market, Los Angeles has the best chance to re-sign him in the summer of 2015, which makes a deal to Los Angeles more viable than many would expect.
Still, Berger notes, “According to a person familiar with [GM Flip] Saunders‘ strategy, he has indicated there is ‘no way’ he will trade Love by Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline.”
So we’re left to ponder why the ‘Wolves would keep Love if he’s dead-set on testing free agency waters in the summer of 2015. He’s never made the playoffs in his five seasons in Minnesota, and his agent wants him to go to a bigger market, where he’s a lot more likely to nab larger endorsement contracts.
The ‘Wolves are long-shots to grab a spot in this year’s playoffs, and even if they miraculously leap-frog Dallas and Memphis to grab an eight seed, they aren’t likely to make much noise against Oklahoma City or San Antonio in the first round.
It might make sense to move Love now, rather than wait, but they’d probably be looking for an unconditional first round pick for a loaded 2014 Draft. The Lakers already owe a conditional 2015 first round pick to the Suns, so they’d need to get a first round pick in a deal before putting their 2014 pick on the table. Teams can’t trade a first round pick away in consecutive seasons, and combined with Pau Gasol‘s $19.3 million expiring deal, the Lakers might have enough to nab Love if they can position themselves correctly.
Will the Timberwolves trade Kevin Love before the deadline?
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