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.
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.