Kevin Love will be the most sought after player this off-season and he is not even a free agent. Love is still under contract next season, but he is looking to compete for an NBA championship and the Timberwolves are not close to being a contender. At this point it is not a matter of if, but when Love leaves Minnesota for greener pastures.
The former UCLA Bruin is considered one of the best players in the NBA, but since being drafted by Minnesota fifth overall in the 2008 NBA Draft, the Timberwolves have not had a winning season. According to Andy Greder of TwinCities.com, the T-Wolves understand they have to part with Love and must do so before he leaves as a free agent:
“An amicable divorce would be a trade either before the June 26 NBA draft or before the trade deadline in February. A messy divorce would be Love walking away in free agency — without any compensation for the Wolves.”
While most NBA teams would like to add Love sooner rather than later, the T-Wolves are not in any rush to get rid of him. They don’t have to necessarily trade him this off-season, which means they could ultimately wait until next season’s trading deadline. Jalen Rose understands the situation the Timberwolves are in, and they must play their cards right:
“If you’re Minnesota, you have the asset, and between now and the trade deadline, teams are going to get more desperate,” Rose said. “But (don’t) allow it to turn into a Dwight Howard situation where he leaves and you don’t get anything.”
Do not expect Love to be wearing a new jersey anytime soon. Love is arguably a top five player in the NBA and the T-Wolves hold all the cards. As Rose mentioned, they must be careful and not allow this to turn into a Dwight Howard situation. The NBA Draft is coming soon and a trade before that is unlikely. The Warriors have some attractive assets they could offer the T-Wolves, so it will be interesting to see how hard they pursue Love this off-season.