Minnesota is not going to rush this. There is no reason to.
The Timberwolves have the asset everybody wants in Kevin Love, and while it has become clear to them they need to make a trade because otherwise he will walk they have multiple suitors who want to make a deal so the T-Wolves have leverage. They can play the trade partners off each other and get the best deal possible. That doesn’t happen in a rushed move.
Owner Glen Taylor said a deal is not happening before the draft, reports the Star Tribune.
“Not by the draft,” Taylor said before Sunday’s Lynx home opener at Target Center about such a possibility.
Taylor said he hasn’t discussed that option recently with Flip Saunders, the team’s president of basketball operations, and said Love has not asked for or told the team to trade him. Taylor has remained hopeful the team, searching for a coach to replace Rick Adelman, will show enough improvement next season to convince Love his future is with a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in a decade.
First off, saying “Love has not told the team to trade him” is not how this works. It’s done through back channels, if Love publicly demanded a trade he would face a massive fine from the league. There is no doubt that Love’s people have made it clear to Minnesota where things stand.
Minnesota needs to see where the draft lottery falls, first. There are suitors such as the Celtics (fifth best lottery odds) and Lakers (sixth) that if they jump up have a far more interesting asset to offer.
Next, come July 1 a number of teams have more cap space to take on salary in a trade, giving the Timberwolves better options.
Minnesota has options. In addition to the Lakers and Celtics, the Knicks certainly would be interested, and Love is said to be interested in Chicago and Golden State. Minnesota can play these teams off each other for a little while to get a deal done.
However, if they wait until the trade deadline next February they could lose some of that leverage as other teams feel the Wolves would then have to make a deal. Expect a trade this summer, it makes more sense.
Move Love and the Timberwolves enter a rebuilding phase, one where they will want young players and picks. They can and should milk this trade for all the assets they can get. It can speed the rebuilding.