Minnesota is going to take its time.
With the NBA draft a month away, the Timberwolves are not rushing to find their new coach for next season.
More importantly, while Kevin Love’s people have pushed for the team to trade him before July 1 according to reports, the team has not fielded any offers for him and are in no rush to do so.
The team is letting the search for a replacement for the retired Rick Adelman play out and has yet to see any potential trade talks involving Love, who can opt out after next season, or any of its other players heat up, general manager Milt Newton said on Thursday.
“We’ll do what’s best for the organization,” Newton said. “He’s a hell of a player, a hell of a talent. Our first inclination is to keep him on board. If that’s not the case, you best believe we’ll be a better team based on what happens….
“We’re not rushed for time to select a coach, the process will take care of itself,” Newton said, before smiling to deliver a quick jab. “I guarantee we will have one before the season starts next year.”
Love has the ability to opt out of his contract in the summer of 2015 and his people have reportedly told the Timberwolves he will do just that, which puts pressure on the franchise to trade him and get something back in return. Love has some control over where he lands in that he can refuse to either opt into the last year of his current contract or sign a new deal with a team he does not wish to play for. That has not stopped teams, for example Sacramento has said it wants in on the talks whether he agrees to stay or not.
In the ongoing coaching search, reports have surfaced that Vinny Del Negro has become a serious candidate. Former Raptors coach Sam Mitchell had been considered the frontrunner.
Maybe there’s no rush there, but most teams prefer to have a coach on board before the draft (set for June 26).
With Love, they really have no reason to rush. If they are going to trade him — and they may not be set on that course of action yet, starting with owner GlenTaylor — the trade deadline is next February. The Timberwolves can listen to offers at the draft, they can listen to offers this summer once free agency starts (July 1), and if they don’t like what they see they can bring Love back and wait until the season gets going and see what offers come in as the deadline approaches. They have the luxury of time.
Newton’s comment that the team will be better no matter what they choose is a dream, they are not going to get equal value for Love, one of the best power forwards in the game. But they can get a package to help them rebuild quickly (see Denver in the Carmelo Anthony deal with the Knicks). They don’t have to take the first offer they see, they can let teams bid against each other until Minnesota gets something it can live with.
It sounds like that’s where they are at. No rush on their part. They are going to go at a relaxed summer pace.