Kevin Love is not a free agent until the summer of 2015, so his name has been absent from the frenzy of activity that occurred in the early hours of free agency on Tuesday.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t be changing teams before next season begins.
Love has made it clear that he intends to leave Minnesota at the conclusion of next season, so the team has been listening to trade offers in order to get something of value in return for losing the face of its franchise. And the Timberwolves expect those offers to continue to get more palatable once teams begin to miss out on some of the more prominent free agent targets.
From Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press:
Wolves holding tight early in the free agency frenzy. they’ll wait for teams that miss on James/Melo to come calling about Love.
The Rockets, Suns, Bulls, Warriors all expected to make plays for Love if they miss out on James and/or Melo.
The Warriors and Timberwolves got close on a deal, only to have Golden State pull the plug because of a refusal to include Klay Thompson.
The Rockets could offer players like Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons (sign-and-trade) in a deal, two solid but underwhelming pieces from a star-power standpoint. The Suns have assets in the form of future draft picks, and rookies like Archie Goodwin and Alex Len who are loaded with potential. And the Bulls’ most interesting trade piece is Taj Gibson, though the team would likely prefer to add a star while keeping Gibson on the roster.
The Timberwolves are in a fine position to field offers. Remember, they’re not exactly in any hurry to trade Love, and teams that miss out on James, Anthony or second-tier stars in free agency may bring new trade proposals that are a little bit more interesting, mainly because they would potentially be coming from a place of desperation.
The Nets’ projected record this season came under greater scrutiny when the Celtics traded Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. After finishing third-to-last and last the previous two years, were the Nets poised to take a step forward, or would they convey a very high pick to the Cavs?
Jeremy Lin, who missed 46 games last season, getting healthy was a reason for optimism in Brooklyn and pessimism in Cleveland. But it appears the veteran guard could be out a while.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Billy Reinhardt of Nets Daily:
If the injury is as bad as feared, what a bummer for Lin. He came to Brooklyn expecting to play a leading role on a developing team, and he just can’t stay healthy.
The Nets were probably more focused on developing their younger players, but – especially without their own draft picks – there was no harm in shooting for the playoffs. This appears to a blow to that (already unlikely) dream.
It’s a boon to the Cavaliers, though. And whenever something significantly affects LeBron James‘ team, it has ramifications into the entire power dynamic of the Eastern Conference. For an injury to a player on a team most expect to be bad, the medical developments here will be tracked closely around the league.
Remember when Aaron Gordon was a promising fun player?
The Magic sidetracked him by playing him at small forward most of last season. But back at power forward, Gordon showed how he could push the pace as a four in Orlando’s season-opening win over the Heat.
There’s obviously flair in passing to yourself off the backboard, but it’s a sound way to improve position. Gordon did that to fantastic effect.
Gordon Hayward is going to have surgery on his ankle and leg, which should not be a surprise to anyone who saw the gruesome injury to his leg just 5:15 into his Celtics career. There is no timetable for his return yet, maybe he makes it back for the playoffs, but the Celtics are not going to rush him and he may well miss the entire season.
What next for Boston?
In this PBT Extra I cover the three things to watch for from Boston, which in the short term could mean the Kyrie Irving show. Longer term, not much changes.
Gordon Hayward broke his leg early in his Celtics debut – a devastating injury. He’s preparing for surgery tonight, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN:
First – after a perfect introduction from Marcus Smart – Hayward addressed the Boston crowd from his hospital bed before tonight’s game against the Bucks.
What’s up everybody? Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has sent me your thoughts and prayers. I’m going to be alright. It’s hurting me that I can’t be there for the home opener. I want nothing more just to be with my teammates and walk out onto that floor tonight. But I’ll be supporting you guys from here and wishing you the best of luck. Kill it tonight. Thanks, guys.
At least this nice moment (and an outpouring of support) came out of such a gruesome injury.
And if Smart keeps setting up his teammates so well, maybe the Celtics’ offense will keep humming.