9:24pm: A Warriors source disputes the idea that Thompson has been made available in trade talks for Love, tweets Kawakami.
7:49pm: Denver’s latest offer includes Faried, Chandler, and the 11th pick in exchange for Love and Martin, sources tell ESPN’s Chris Broussard (via Twitter).
6:23pm: Unless Minnesota’s best deal hinges on next week’s draft, Saunders can afford to let the situation play itself out, opines Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group (Twitter link).
5:30pm: There are still several teams in pursuit of Love who don’t believe that Saunders is in deal-making mode just yet, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
5:17pm: Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune is willing to bet that in addition to Lee and Thompson, Saunders would want a third piece – possibly Harrison Barnes or Draymond Green – as compensation for taking on the remaining two years of Lee’s contract.
5:08pm: The Warriors aren’t very eager include a future first-round pick in a deal for Love, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today.
3:44pm: The latest proposal from Minnesota to Golden State involves Lee, Thompson and a future first-rounder in return for Love and Martin, according to Sam Amick of USA Today, but no deal is close, Wojnarowski tweets. A source tells Holmes that Thompson was always available in a deal for Love (Twitter link)
2:44pm: Saunders made it clear today that he won’t trade the No. 13 pick, tweets Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group hears that the presence of Klay Thompson in talks came via a counterproposal from the Wolves, with the Warriors having yet to respond to that offer.
2:15pm: The Wolves wouldn’t take back just Lee and Thompson in the proposal that Broussard mentioned, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities, who suspects that the Warriors leaked the proposal.
2:09pm: The Wolves and Warriors are talking about a deal that would send Love, Kevin Martin, J.J. Barea and the 13th pick to Golden State for Thompson and David Lee, reports Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
THURSDAY, 1:30pm: The Warriors have seemingly had a change of heart and are making Thompson available to the Wolves in a potential Love trade, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. The Celtics are meanwhile recalibrating their offer to meet Minnesota’s demands as the Wolves seek draft picks as well as a “player of substance” in return for the star power forward, Bulpett reports.
WEDNESDAY, 9:55pm: The Nuggets are offering a package for Love that includes Faried, Wilson Chandler and another player that they would acquire — possibly Orlando’s Arron Afflalo — according to Bulpett’s latest update (via Twitter).
12:24pm: The Warriors, Bulls and Nuggets are the top three contenders for Love, tweets Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe. Presumably, they’re in order from most likely to least likely.
12:19pm: A source in Minnesota told Chad Ford of ESPN.com on Monday that the Celtics were the favorites for Love, as Ford writes in his chat with readers, advancing his report from earlier this week that Boston’s offer was likely to be the strongest that Minnesota would receive. That runs directly counter to Bulpett’s story and the earlier dispatch from Jackie MacMullan of ESPNBoston.com that say that the Wolves are uninterested in what Boston has to offer. Ford also seconds last month’s report that the Warriors are not willing to include Klay Thompson in their offer.
11:55am: The Nuggets and Warriors have made better offers for Kevin Love than the Celtics have, a source tells Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, casting Denver as the latest team to enter the race for the Wolves power forward. It’s unclear just what sort of package that Denver is talking about, but the Nuggets have the No. 11 pick in this year’s draft and several mid-price veterans, as well as the up-and-coming Kenneth Faried, who’s eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer. The Wolves are meanwhile optimistic that they can strike a “more than acceptable deal” with the Warriors, regardless of whether Klay Thompson is involved.
Boston is willing to discuss several scenarios involving players and draft picks, but Minnesota isn’t enamored with any of the team’s offers, Bulpett hears, echoing an earlier report that the Wolves find the C’s an unappealing trade partner. The Celtics are reportedly dangling their picks at Nos. 6 and 17 in this year’s draft, future first-rounders, and young players already under contract. The Wolves, who pick 13th, would be unmoved by the opportunity to pick sixth, feeling like they can get a player of equal value later in the first round, according to Bulpett, who suggests the involvement of a third team is Boston’s best hope of landing Love. The idea would be to find veterans to send to Minnesota, Bulpett writes, seeming to confirm speculation that Wolves coach/executive Flip Saunders would prefer experienced players in a deal for his star.
Love is under team control for one more season, but he can opt out an hit free agency next summer, and several reports have made it clear he doesn’t envision re-signing with Minnesota. The Bulls, Suns, Lakers, Rockets, Kings, Knicks, Lakers, Wizards and Cavs are other clubs that have been linked to Love in recent weeks, and surely just about every team in the league would want him if he became available to them. One report cast Sacramento as the favorite, though that’s in dispute. Bulpett seems to give the Nuggets a more realistic shot of trading for Love than others, but it there are surely doubts that Denver, never a destination spot for free agents, will be able to retain him in free agency. Perhaps the Nuggets are willing to acquire him without an assurance he’d stay, just as the Kings reportedly are, though that’s just my speculation.