Northwest Rumors: Love, Abrines, Nuggets

Kevin Love‘s comments Wednesday painted a gloomy picture for the Timberwolves, but he did have some encouraging remarks about Flip Saunders, as Andy Nesbitt of Fox Sports details. Love spoke in response to Saunders’ assertion that the star power forward doesn’t have a right to feel frustrated about Minnesota’s lack of success.

“What some people don’t know is that Flip and I have a great relationship, and we’ve been constantly speaking about my situation,” Love said. “Flip is going to be a tremendous coach again for the Timberwolves; he did a great job last year with our team, even throughout all the injuries and different things that we had. But that’s the way of Flip of getting people motivated, whether it’s me or people you don’t even know about. Am I happy he said those things? I think he’s supposed to come out and say that because it’s a team game, not about one singular player.”

There’s more on Love amid the latest Northwest Division news:

  • An executive from a team other than the Timberwolves suggested to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities that there’s been some “chatter” involving Love and the Heat (Twitter link). Wolfson doesn’t give much weight to the notion that Miami is pursuing Love, but he believes there is a team in the mix that has yet to be reported.
  • The Jazz are reportedly interested in Thunder “draft-and-stash” prospect Alex Abrines, the 32nd pick in last year’s draft, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman, who nonetheless categorizes the prospect of the Thunder sending him to Utah as a longshot. Mayberry, whose piece examines possibilities for the Thunder’s $6.5MM trade exception, speculates that a deal involving Iman Shumpert is the most likely scenario.
  • The Nuggets would like to sign 2013 second-round pick Joffrey Lauvergne this summer, Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia reports. Agent Misko Raznatovic confirmed the interest from Denver to Djordje Matic of Novosti (translation via Carchia). Last year’s 55th overall pick is under contract with KK Partizan in Serbia for next season, and the European club’s financial trouble could make it tough for Denver to strike a buyout agreement, Carchia adds.
  • It seems unlikely that the Thunder will end up re-signing Caron Butler, Mayberry writes in a separate article, pointing to Butler’s postseason shooting slump and the way his minutes cut into the playing time of Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones III.

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