HoopsHype Kevin Love rumors

July 29, 2014 Updates

James, who can play any position at any time, may be an option in that role for the Cavaliers. But that style explains why Cleveland is eyeing the NBA's stretchiest four: Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love. Few players of Love's height in NBA history have relied on three-pointers as much as he did last season, when Love took 36% of his shots from behind the three-point line, up from 21% in 2011. It was a greater percentage than even that of James and Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving. "If I know David Blatt," said Maccabi center Shawn James, "he probably wants Kevin Love very bad." Wall Street Journal

Blatt abides by the Princeton offense's principles, he has said, though tweaked for the modern game. That means his system depends on proper floor spacing. To achieve that, his offenses lean on the "stretch four," or a power forward who plays on the perimeter, the position that has overtaken the NBA in recent years. Stretch fours are useful not only because they're added shooting threats. Their absence down low also opens up the lane and makes it easier for drivers, like James, to finish around the rim. "This is the different and unique style in Europe," said former Blatt assistant coach Guy Goodes, his Maccabi Tel Aviv successor. Wall Street Journal

July 28, 2014 Updates

The Minnesota Timberwolves have expressed interest in Philadelphia 76ers power forward Thaddeus Young as a potential replacement for Kevin Love, according to sources close to the situation. Sources told ESPN.com that the Wolves, while continuing to discuss trade proposals that would send Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers, have been exploring their options for acquiring Young from the Sixers, either through a separate transaction or as part of an expanded Love trade. ESPN.com

Sources say that the Wolves, at present, are still higher on a Cleveland trade package centered on Wiggins than any other offer on the table for Love. Sources say that the Cavaliers, meanwhile, are increasingly confident about their chances of landing Love and firmly believe they are progressing toward a trade framework that the Timberwolves will accept in exchange for the All-Star power forward, which would enable Cleveland to pair him with Olympic teammate James. ESPN.com

ESPN.com reported earlier this month that James' short-term contract with the Cavs, which includes a player option to return to free agency next summer and spans only two seasons, would not dissuade Love from giving Cleveland such a commitment. James' arrival, sources said, immediately put the Cavaliers at the same level as Chicago and Golden State on Love's wish list. ESPN.com

Whether the winning asset is Andrew Wiggins, who will earn $5.5 million next season, or Doug McDermott, whose first-year salary will fall somewhere in the $2 million range, the 30-day moratorium on both contracts must first be honored. And the rest of the league, at this stage, has been suitably puzzled. “Perhaps the dollar amounts have something to do with it — that’s all I can think,” said one league official. “It sounds like Cleveland has the edge here, but I don’t think anyone really even knows right now.” Boston Herald

What is your reaction to Kevin Love and Blake Griffin deciding not to play just days before training camp? Krzyzewski: "We've done this for nine years now. These things, I've got accustomed to them happening. That's why there is a pool of players. That's why with [USA Basketball executive director] Jerry's [Colangelo] leadership we developed a program where you just don't pick 12 players, you develop a program. We're disappointed, obviously. …You're getting into the last week. It's the last weekend. And both of those guys figured prominently into what we were planning then. But now we have to plan something new. In 2010, we had nobody from the [2008] Olympic team go to the world championship. It gave an opportunity to some younger guys and some older guys. Lamar Odom was brilliant during that time. We just have to figure out how other people will step up." Yahoo! Sports

July 27, 2014 Updates

By the time the Kevin Love deal is finalized — and by now Minnesota has no option but to get assets back — it will be on the doorstep of autumn. Whether the winning asset is Andrew Wiggins, who will earn $5.5 million next season, or Doug McDermott, whose first-year salary will fall somewhere in the $2 million range, the 30-day moratorium on both contracts must first be honored. And the rest of the league, at this stage, has been suitably puzzled. “Perhaps the dollar amounts have something to do with it — that’s all I can think,” said one league official. “It sounds like Cleveland has the edge here, but I don’t think anyone really even knows right now.” Boston Herald

If the Timberwolves are still hoping they can persuade Kevin Love not to opt out of his contract after next season, they can give up hope. The all-star forward is adamant about leaving, either by forcing a trade or on his own. For a variety of reasons, there is no chance he will change his mind. Had the Wolves, however, given Love a maximum five-year contract instead of four years in 2012, he would not have wanted out of Minnesota. Love's preference, by the way, is to play with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavs. Meanwhile, Love, who turns 26 in September, has been working out incessantly in Los Angeles. St. Paul Pioneer Press

July 26, 2014 Updates

For now, Minnesota will not trade Love to the Cavs unless Wiggins is part of the package. I keep hearing that over and over from several places. I also hear that the Cavs love Wiggins, but also know the best chance for a title is in the next few years. Love is a far better bet to win now. Cleveland Plain Dealer

Love is guaranteed $15.7 million this season, with a player option for $16.7 million in 2015-16. I wrote a column insisting the Cavs should demand Love pick up his option before making a deal. Talking to some NBA executives, that could be a problem. One executive explained how the best move for Love may be to come to the Cavs on the current deal -- no changes. He becomes a free agent in 2015, then signs a five-year deal for the maximum (could be more than $100 million) to stay here. Cleveland Plain Dealer

If Love picks up his option for 2015-16 this summer, the most that a team can immediately add is a two-year extension. I know, this gets complicated. The point is there are a variety of reasons for Love to keep his current deal, and then hit the open market in 2015. I'm hearing Love will not pick up his option -- that he would prefer to go to the Cavs on his current deal, then presumably enjoy being successful playing with LeBron James. Remember, he also has done a commercial with Kyrie Irving. He sees marketing possibilities in Cleveland -- along with a chance to win big. Cleveland Plain Dealer

I've been told the team hasn't had any real talks with Minnesota Love for at least a week. Minnesota certainly enjoys all the rumors. Team president/coach Flip Saunders knows he has to make the right deal. The former Cuyahoga Heights star is taking over a 40-42 team that wants the playoffs this season. That's why the Wolves pursued a deal with Golden State starting with Klay Thompson and David Lee -- two established scorers. Cleveland Plain Dealer

Regarding Love, who initially committed to play in Spain last summer in a joint announcement in July 2013 with Kevin Durant, Colangelo said: "He really wanted to play. He was truly remorseful about it. But the circumstances just don't allow it." ESPN.com

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