Kevin Love Rumors
May 14 at 6:35pm CST By Spencer Lund
According to ESPN1500 columnist Judd Zulgad, the new president of basketball operations for the Timberwolves, Flip Saunders, spoke with the Wolves' franchise power forward, Kevin Love, on Tuesday. When asked whether the Wolves needed to do any repair work between the team and Love, Saunders replied, "I don't think so."
Love's 2012/13 season was difficult as he missed all but 18 games due to two separate fractures of his hand and averaged 18 PPG after averaging 26 PPG the year before. His previous career low in games played were the 60 he played in his sophomore 2009/10 season. But Love's antagonism with the Wolves extends beyond his injury-plagued 2012/13 season.
When former head of basketball operations, David Kahn, was in charge of the franchise, and Love's rookie contract was due for an extension in January of 2012, the Timberwolves only offered Love a four-year $62MM extension, with an option for the fifth year, instead of the maximum allowable, which would have paid Love $80MM over five years like fellow 2008 rookie, Russell Westbrook. Westbrook signed a $78.65MM extension for five years earlier the same week that Love signed his.
Not only that, but in an interview with Y! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski in December last year, Love was critical of the Timberwolves' front office, particularly Kahn, with Love wondering at the time, "Is there really a plan here? Is there really any kind of a … plan?"
But Saunders says the rift between the team and Love was largely exaggerated, and from what he's seen, Kevin is on board with what the Wolves are trying to do.
"You hear a lot in the media, and having been in the media, I take everything with a grain of salt. Having been there, too, (when it comes to what's reported) and what's actual. A lot of times when players are actually going through interviews sometimes they are in a situation where the context of the interview, things can be taken a little bit out of context.
"I just know in my conversations with him since I've been here, he's just said that he's on board, he's looking forward to the journey that we're all going to take down the road and he's working hard to get in shape.
"I think in another week-and-a-half he'll be pretty much unlimited in what he can do physically. I don't see anything that's happened in the past that's going to really push him back and he's going to hold anything against the organization."
We'll know for sure in the summer of 2015, when Love can opt out of
the last year of his deal and become an unrestricted free agent.
April 25 at 9:01pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports tweets
that the U.S. Attorney's office has indicted Prim Capital for falsifying a document to defraud the NBPA
of $3MM. Wojnarowski provided a link to the full press release
earlier as well. Prim Capital, in which the son of former NBPA executive director Billy Hunter was vice president, previously had a consulting contract with the player's union that was later deemed fraudulent by the U.S. Attorney's office. Here are more of tonight's odds and ends:
- Knicks guard Jason Kidd credits Kenyon Martin for "saving our season," writes Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York. It is difficult to imagine where New York would have been without Martin's contributions, especially as the team has dealt with plenty of injuries in their frontcourt.
- Eric Koreen of the National Post outlines the top ten legacies that are on the line during the NBA playoffs.
- Jon Humbert of KOMO tweets that the Longshore Union filed an appeal over the land use challenge for the Seattle arena. Last month, a report from The Seattle Times (via the Associated press) said that the Longshoremen have been in staunch opposition of an arena being built near the Seattle waterfront, due to the congestion of the area that would be caused by athletic events.
- Mike James proved to be a viable pickup for the Mavericks this season, averaging 8.1 PPG and 4.2 APG while helping the team finish 15-8 over their final 23 games. Although James said recently that he'd like to play two more seasons with the Mavs, Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas discusses why the Amityville product doesn't figure to be in the team's long-term plans.
- Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace is expected to travel to Rome next week to scout Gigi Datome, according to Sportando.net (hat tip to Il Corriere dello Sport).
- Following up on a hypothetical trade proposed by Grantland's Bill
Simmons, Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com examines the possibility of
the Bulls trying to trade for Kevin Love, exploring whether a package of
Carlos Boozer, Jimmy Butler, the rights to Nikola Mirotic, and
Charlotte's first-round pick would be more than Chicago would be willing
to give up.
- Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld looks at the evolution of Paul George into an All-Star and a leader in the Pacers locker room.
April 25 at 10:48am CST By Luke Adams
Cavs fans worried about what the hiring of Mike Brown might mean for the team's potential pursuit of LeBron James in 2014 shouldn't put too much stock in the move one way or the other, says Chris Broussard in his latest ESPN.com piece (Insider-only link). Brown's return to Cleveland doesn't mean LeBron is coming back too, but it also shouldn't be a deterring factor, according to Broussard, who notes that there will be plenty of other factors in play over the next 14 months. The ESPN.com scribe explores that topic and a number of others in his article, so let's round up the highlights....
- The Cavs are hoping to upgrade the roster before next summer in an attempt to lure James (or another impact free agent, presumably). As we heard from Adrian Wojnarwoski of Yahoo! Sports yesterday, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, and draft picks could be dangled as trade chips. Broussard mentions LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love as potential targets.
- The Bucks would like to keep all three of their free agent guards this summer, but recognize that they'll probably only be able to retain two, with Brandon Jennings the player most likely to stay put.
- Several sources around the league believed Lance Blanks, who the Suns fired earlier this week, was a scapegoat for the team's poor season. According to Broussard, the widely panned signing of Michael Beasley was Lon Babby's call, and Blanks had "little to do with" Alvin Gentry's firing as well.
- Bucks assistant GM Jeff Weltman is viewed as the frontrunner for the Suns' GM opening, says Broussard.
- Former Suns assistant Elston Turner may join Rick Adelman's staff in Minnesota, with an understanding that if Adelman steps down, Turner would take over as the Timberwolves' coach. We've heard in the past that Adelman "badly wanted" Turner on his staff when he first took the Wolves' job.
- While Kevin McHale isn't expected to step down as Rockets head coach anytime soon, Broussard hears from sources that the team would have "strong interest" in Stan Van Gundy if McHale left.
April 14 at 12:24am CST By Ryan Raroque
Kevin Love seemed optimistic about being able to bounce back from a difficult season with the best offseason of his life, writes Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune. He also spoke about his desire for Rick Adelman to continue coaching the team, saying: "We need to have him back...I know his family comes first, but hopefully we can sit down and talk to him. This year has given us a lot of perspective, and hopefully he can see we have the making of a very good team here. We can make a push and have a special year next year...I think he’ll come back.”
You can find more of tonight's miscellaneous links below:
- According to Ray Richardson of the Pioneer Press, Rick Adelman has deemed finding a quality shooting guard among the top of Minnesota's priorities this offseason.
- Garrett Temple hopes to have found a home with the Wizards, telling J. Michael of CSN Washington that he'd "love" to be back with them next year.
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel thinks that the Magic should look to move Arron Afflalo, Jameer Nelson, and/or Glen Davis (at least one of them) in order to continue creating cap space for the future.
- Jan Hubbard of Sheridan Hoops wonders if a 35-year-old Dirk Nowitzki will have to endure another season like this one, especially if the Mavericks are unable to hit a home run in free agency for the second straight year after breaking up their championship roster.
- Though Mark Cuban isn't happy that Dallas is going to miss the postseason, he vouched for coach Rick Carlisle: "Rick’s a great coach...We obviously didn’t have what we thought we would have, but we obviously should have had more. I don’t know if we could have, but we should have, so it’s all on me. If that means I let Rick down, I let Rick down" (Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram reports).
- Jeff McDonald of Spurs Nation writes that Manu Ginobili has been "progressing" in rehab according to coach Gregg Popovich, and that the Spurs veteran shooting guard could be cleared for full contact soon. On a more unfortunate note, Boris Diaw is expected to miss three-to-f0ur weeks (including the start of the playoffs) after the forward underwent a procedure to remove a synovial cyst that had been bothering his spine.
April 13 at 10:23pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune believes that several topics of discussion surrounding the Timberwolves are tied to whether or not Rick Adelman decides to return as head coach next season, namely Andrei Kirilenko's $10MM player option as well as the impending free agencies of Nikola Pekovic and Chase Budinger. Another question mark is tied to future of GM David Kahn, as majority team owner Glen Taylor maintains that he is undecided on Kahn's future and has no timetable on a decision. Zgoda has more things to discuss about the team, and you can find the highlights below:
- Kahn seems confident that he'll return for the draft and next season: "Glen and I talk all the time...My sense is that we’ll be working on this for a while.”
- The team hasn't made it a secret that they'd like to keep Pekovic for the long-term, but it remains to be seen if that stance will change should the 6'11 center garner a max contract offer from another team.
- Although a $10MM salary in 2013-14 appears lucrative, Kirilenko - at age 32 - may find it wiser to opt out and seek a three-or-four year contract, which would likely be the last of his NBA career.
- Taylor speaks regularly with Flip Saunders, mostly because the former Timberwolves head coach has been involved with an investment group looking to buy the team. With that being said, their relationship has fueled speculation that Saunders could be among the next in line to be considered for the general manager position if Kahn isn't retained.
- Brandon Roy most likely doesn't have a future in Minnesota, but his salary could still be used to make a trade work around draft time.
- Taylor, who looked to sell the team before the start of this season (preferably to a buyer with Minnesota ties that would keep the team where it is), looks to continue owning the team for the foreseeable future.
- There has been some tension brewing after some comments that Kevin Love made about being unhappy with his contract situation earlier this year, causing some to speculate the 6'10 forward's desire to remain in Minnesota. With that being said, Love denies wanting out, and teammate Derrick Williams is among those who believe him: "I can vouch for my teammates, the people we’re around every single day, and I think he wants to be here...And we want him here. He’s one of the best players in the game. Who wouldn’t want one of the best power forwards in the game and in the world to be on their team?”
April 8 at 9:10pm CST By Alex Lee
Kevin Love, who has been out for three months with a hand injury, will now undergo a "minor arthroscopic procedure" on his left knee, according to the Timberwolves Twitter feed. The procedure is intended to remove the buildup of scar tissue in the knee, according to the team, and has a typical recovery time of 4-6 weeks.
Love was expected back in March but was unable to get doctor clearance for contact. Whispers that he would be shut down until next season began to proliferate a few weeks ago and this announcement from the Wolves confirms it. The 2012-13 campaign will go down as one to forget for the 24-year-old. In only 18 games, Love averaged 18.3 points and shot a miserable 35.2 percent from the field.
In a series of tweets from the team's Twitter feed, general manager David Kahn said the following about the Love situation:
"Disappointing news, but the only course of action we could take. Kevin tried very hard to get back. It was causing him enough pain and concern that the decision was made to do it now. We waited to the last possible moment. You feel so bad for Kevin. He feels very badly about it, too. As time went on, and as he began ramping up his workout with the intent of playing, the knee started to hurt more. The knee was starting to impact the way he runs and we decided that it was time to do this now," Kahn said, adding that there is no long-term concern over the injury and that Love should be cleared for contact in June. (Full series of Twitter links here)
March 5 at 1:03pm CST By Luke Adams
Grantland's Zach Lowe has a pair of new pieces up today, publishing a Q&A with Kevin Love to go along with his usual Tuesday column. Both pieces are heavy on Timberwolves items, so let's round up the highlights....
- Love agrees with Lowe that the current T-Wolves roster "definitely looks good on paper," and suggests that getting as many players back and healthy for the last few weeks of the season would be advantageous. "We just have to see if this is the foundation for the future, and
hopefully we can keep all of this team together," Love said. "This is another big
summer, even though we’ve been hearing that same tone every year from
the front office about every summer. But we have to see what we have
- Love believes that Nikola Pekovic is "familiar with something, he kind of sticks with it," so he's optimistic about the Wolves' chances of re-signing the big man this summer.
- Andrei Kirilenko has a player option for next season, but Lowe thinks Kirilenko is likely to opt out in search of a longer-term deal. Something in the neighborhood of three years and $27MM could work for both Kirilenko and the Wolves, according to Lowe.
- If the Wolves re-sign Kirilenko to a multiyear deal and bring back Pekovic at an eight-figure annual salary, the team will be capped out until Love's contract expires, writes Lowe. That means the club will essentially have to decide this summer whether or not the current core is the long-term answer.
February 15 at 12:02am CST By Ryan Raroque
Back in December, there were some rumblings of frustration brewing with Kevin Love about the direction of the Timberwolves franchise (though he would insist that he desired to stay in Minnesota soon after making those comments). Today, team owner Glen Taylor said that after meeting with Love this week, both of them are - and have been - on the same page. Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press writes that Taylor and Love have met periodically to discuss the future of the team, and that their latest encounter has given the impression that all is currently well in Minnesota. Here's the rest of tonight's miscellaneous links out of the Western Conference:
- Kevin McHale thinks that having James Harden will make the Rockets an attractive destination for free agents (Jonathan Feigen of Ultimate Rockets reports). In another article, Sam Amick of USA Today talks about Harden's emergence into superstardom in Houston.
- Jamal Crawford tells HoopsHype that he doesn't want the Clippers to make any trades right now: "We are family and it would be like trading a family member...We don’t think there is one thing we need that is missing. We have everything."
- Dave of the Blazers Edge answered a few questions about the Trail Blazers in his mailbag, saying that it's a "pretty safe bet" that Portland won't retain many of its bench players next season and that a backup point guard will surely be a target. He mentions Luke Ridnour and Jarrett Jack as hypothetical targets, but adds that the team will have to be wary of the cap in order to try adding a starting center or quality bench players as well.
- Tim Cowlishaw of SportsDayDFW took part in a chat with fans earlier today about the Mavericks. Among his more notable thoughts are that Dallas will miss out on the big names this summer and that he doesn't believe Dirk Nowitzki will ask to be traded. In the event that Dirk wants out, Cowlishaw thinks that Mark Cuban would try to convince him to stay first. In another article, Eddie Sefko (also of SportsDayDFW) makes an argument about why Darren Collison could be a keeper moving forward.
- The Warriors have taken pride in the progress they've made this season, and with four representatives participating in the All-Star weekend festivities, higher ratings for games, and sitting 30-22 in the Western Conference, there is a sense that Golden State is headed in the right direction (Marcus Thompson II of San Jose Mercury News).
February 6 at 9:35pm CST By Sean Highkin
Ray Richardson of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press has several updates on Wednesday concerning the Minnesota Timberwolves:
February 1 at 4:09pm CST By Luke Adams
On Wednesday, when the Raptors and Grizzlies were on their way to finalizing the Rudy Gay deal, the Pistons, Celtics, and Mavericks were all mentioned as the potential third team involved, with Detroit eventually helping to facilitate the trade. According to Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com, the Timberwolves were never in the mix as the potential third team in the trade, but the Hawks were in play. Here's more from Wolfson on the T-Wolves:
- While club president David Kahn recently called Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love "untouchable" in trade talks, he didn't say the same about Nikola Pekovic, though he said he hopes the big man is "part of us for many years to come."
- According to Wolfson, there's still a difference of opinion in the front office about whether Pekovic is worth a big, long-term deal. Still, he's likely not going anywhere this month -- Wolfson says that if a trade comes, it's more likely to be a sign-and-trade deal over the summer.
- Minnesota doesn't have interest in trying to trade for Josh Smith, and also hasn't inquired on Greg Oden yet.
- Wolfson hears from multiple sources that Andrea Bargnani is an unlikely fit for the T-Wolves. While one source "scoffed" at the idea, another didn't rule it out entirely, says Wolfson.
- The Knicks and Sixers are believed to have some interest in Louis Amundson, who is expected to be the odd man out once the Wolves lose their ability to carry 16 players. This is my speculation, but I'd imagine both teams would be more inclined to wait for the Wolves to waive him, rather than giving up any real assets in a trade.