Report: Minnesota, Golden State still talking Kevin Love trade, still getting nowhere

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And now from our “non-update update” file….

The Minnesota Timberwolves are still talking to teams about trading Kevin Love. The Golden State Warriors are still interested in having Kevin Love on their team.

And yet the two sides remain at an impasse named Klay Thompson.

Marc Stein of ESPN has the latest “update” at ESPN.

The Timberwolves and Warriors have continued to discuss a Kevin Love trade, but the teams remain unable to agree on the framework of a deal with Golden State still unwilling to include Klay Thompson, according to sources close to the process.

Sources told ESPN.com that Wolves owner Glen Taylor and Warriors counterpart Joe Lacob have maintained a level of dialogue on a potential trade of Love to Golden State, which sources insist would have been clinched by now if Golden State — at the behest of new coach Steve Kerr — relented on their refusal to part with Thompson.

Minnesota is reported to be in the same situation with the Cleveland Cavaliers — the Timberwolves wants No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins in any deal, Cleveland will not put him in the deal. And so they are stalled.

Love can opt out next summer and be an unrestricted free agent, and his people have made it clear to Minnesota that he will bolt so they should trade him. Love has some leverage in this process because if he gets traded somewhere he doesn’t want to be he can still opt-out and become a free agent, so only teams where they have a chance to re-sign him would be willing to fork over the assets to get him.

Minnesota president Flip Saunders learned his lesson from Masai Ujiri and the Nuggets trade of Carmelo Anthony — he’s willing to wait until some team caves and gives him the deal he wants. He doesn’t have to make that trade in July.

But if Love has to come to Timberwolves training camp in the fall, it’s going to be awkward.

John Wall scores 37 as Wizards down LeBron James, Cavs 127-115

Associated Press
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CLEVELAND (AP) John Wall scored 37 points, Bradley Beal added 27 and the Washington Wizards began a challenging road trip by beating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 127-115 on Saturday night.

Wall scored 18 in the first quarter, when the Wizards shot 82 percent, and Washington held on down the stretch to avenge an overtime loss to the NBA champions last month.

James, who briefly wore goggles to protect an eye injury sustained Friday night, scored 24 and added 11 rebounds and eight assists. Kyrie Irving added 23 points and Kevin Love 17 for Cleveland, playing at home for the only time in a seven-game stretch.

Washington’s victory cut Cleveland’s lead in the Eastern Conference to a half-game over idle Boston.

Rudy Gobert calls out Jazz teammates after loss: “We’ve just got to compete. We’re too nice.”

Associated Press
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Utah and the L.A. Clippers are almost locked into a first round, four vs. five battle in the Western Conference. The only question is which team will have home court, and the Clippers took a big step towards that beating the Jazz at home Saturday. While the Jazz still has a half-game lead, the Clippers have a much softer schedule the rest of the way.

After that loss, Jazz center Rudy Gobert was ticked off and called out his teammates. Via Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

“We’ve got guys that compete, but some of us don’t compete. Some of us just think about scoring. That’s what it is. … Coach keeps repeating it: We’ve just got to compete. We’re too nice. Those guys, we know they’re going to get calls. We’ve just got to come out aggressive and ready to fight.”

Interesting comments for a team that is third in the NBA in defensive rating and 13th in offense.

Gobert is frustrated as Utah has dropped four of its last five, and the slump has been on both ends of the court. The defense has struggled, but if guys are looking to score too much they aren’t doing it efficiently because the offense has been worse.

This slide likely costs Utah home court in the first round, which could matter in what will be a tight matchup with Los Angeles. Utah needs to find its grinding rhythm again heading into the playoffs, at their best they can knock off the Clippers in the first round. Just not like they are playing now.

One thing to watch, Utah’s Gordon Hayward asked out of the game in the fourth quarter due to what is being called a bruised muscle in his leg. If he misses any time or if this lingers, it could be trouble for the Jazz in the postseason.

 

LeBron James starts game with protective goggles. That lasts about a minute.

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LeBron James suffered a scratched cornea Friday night when he went up for a layup late in the third quarter and Jeremy Lamb tried to contest and caught him clean across the face. LeBron got the and-1, but had trouble keeping his eye open in postgame interviews Friday.

Saturday he did play — wearing protective goggles. As you can see above.

That lasted about a minute.

LeBron was likely frustrated as the Cavaliers defensive woes had the Wizards up double digits much of the first half.

Kobe Bryant says he’s “only a phone call away” if organization needs his advice

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For the first time since he walked off the court in his final game, Kobe Bryant was back at Staples Center Friday night.

The reason was Shaquille O’Neal was getting a statue out in front of Staples Center (a building that may not have gotten built without the two of them). The two famed feuders sat next to each other and joked around through the ceremony. Time heals all wounds.

With the new management of the Lakers — specifically Kobe’s former agent Rob Pelinka as GM — there has been speculation Kobe could take on a role. He’s not looking for something formal, according to reports, but he didn’t say no, either, when asked.

I picture Kobe as a guy who someday buys a team, not a guy who wants to haggle with agents over the details of a contract. He’s not going to take on a day-to-day role, he likes the retired life and what he is building with the Kobe brand.

That said, the Lakers front office can use all the smart voices it can get as they try speed up a rebuild. They should give him a call every once in a while.