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Kings Take Lead In Race For Kevin Love?

4:09pm: The Kings have indeed made calls about Love, tweets Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee.

3:56pm: The Wolves have yet to speak with the Kings about Love, two sources tell Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link).

3:41pm: The Kings appear to be the front-runners to acquire Kevin Love, as Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio hears (Twitter link). That runs counter to Monday’s report from Sean Deveney of The Sporting News indicating that Sacramento wouldn’t be Minnesota’s preference. Still, the Kings are apparently willing to trade for Love even without an assurance that he’d remain in Sacramento beyond next summer, when he can opt out of his contract and hit free agency. The Kings would give up anyone other than DeMarcus Cousins to acquire the All-NBA second-teamer, according to Amico.

Sacramento is reportedly willing to surrender the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft, but the Wolves apparently would be unlikely to have interest unless they’re confident that either Julius Randle or Noah Vonleh will still be on the board at No. 8. Minnesota appears to be holding off on a trade until it names a coach, likely with the hope that a splashy hire will convince Love to change his mind about leaving.

Plenty of other teams are in the mix for Love, including the Warriors, Rockets, Bulls, Celtics, Lakers and Wizards, so the Kings will have plenty of competition. Given that Minnesota seems to be in a holding pattern, I wouldn’t be surprised if other clubs pull ahead of the Kings, nor would it be a shock to see the position of favorite in the Love sweepstakes go back and forth several times. Still, the Kings have proven one of the most aggressive franchises on the trade market over the past year under owner Vivek Ranadive and GM Pete D’Alessandro.

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