Timberwolves president Flip Saunders: ‘I expect Kevin Love to be playing for us next year’

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Kevin Love visited Boston this weekend, and given the fact that he’s reportedly planning on leaving Minnesota after next season when he can become an unrestricted free agent, the NBA rumor mill began spinning, since the Celtics are a team that has assets to trade for Love should the Timberwolves decide to head in that direction.

The idea is that Minnesota should trade Love before letting him walk without getting anything in return, but their partners may be limited because no team is going to give up anything of great value for Love unless he agrees to sign a max contract in his new city when the time comes.

For that reason, the trip to Boston felt like one of personal scouting rather than a coincidental vacation spot — and pictures like this one, where Rajon Rondo met up with him to say hello at a Red Sox game, just adds more fuel to that fire.

Timberwolves president Flip Saunders, however, isn’t jumping to conclusions.

“The last I knew Kevin was under contract with us, and I expect him to be playing for us next year,” Saunders said Sunday after a workout of draft prospects, via the Associated Press. “I don’t really dictate where guys go on vacation or what they do. They can go wherever they want to go.”

“I know there’s a feeding frenzy out there from a lot of teams,” Saunders said. “Unfortunately, they have no say. I plan on Kevin being here.”

It’s primarily Saunders’ decision whether Love stays or goes before he can opt out of his contract and leave on his own next summer, so his words carry plenty of weight — although ownership will certainly have a say in trading the face of the franchise, as well.

A summer weekend trip to Boston doesn’t mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. But if Love should decide to visit, say, Chicago and San Francisco in the immediate future, it might be time for Wolves’ fans to start selling those number 42 jerseys.

Grizzlies’ James Ennis fouls out then hits half-court shot (video)

AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Against the Pacers last night, James Ennis missed all three of his 3-point attempts… that counted. And he makes this one after fouling out?

Mike Conley more than picked up the slack to lead the Grizzlies to victory.

Pelicans’ Dante Cunningham jumps on scorer’s table, Anthony Davis jumps on him (video)

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The Pelicans are effectively out of the playoff race, but Dante Cunningham and Anthony Davis are still competing — even if it looks a little silly.

That tone and a big game from DeMarcus Cousins (29 points, 16 rebounds, six assists) led to a 121-118 win over the Mavericks.

Goran Dragic puts alley-oop pass through rim (video)

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Goran Dragic is very good at alley-oops.

Too good.

With a “shot” like that falling, the Heat trounced the Knicks, 105-88.

Hawks’ Tim Hardaway Jr. kneed in the groin while defending 76ers (video)

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Since trading for him, the Hawks have gotten Tim Hardaway Jr. to buy in defensively.

After this help defense on 76ers center Richaun Holmes cost him dearly, I wouldn’t blame Hardaway if he gave up on the endeavor entirely.