If traded before World Cup starts could Kevin Love still play for USA? Colangelo said it’s possible.

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The soonest the Summer of Love could come to an end and Kevin Love would be traded is likely Aug. 23. (That assumes he is going to Cleveland in a deal for Andrew Wiggins, which is the prevailing belief among those around the league.) Wiggins signed his rookie contract and there is a 30-day moratorium on trading him once that happens.

The USA opens the FIBA World Cup Aug. 30 taking on Finland.

That’s a one-week gap. It’s not a likely scenario, Minnesota has been in no rush to make a deal, but if they do USA Basketball Jerry Colangelo said the door is open to a return. This year. Colangelo spoke with Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.

“Technically it is possible,” Colangelo said to CSNNW.com following Day 4 of Team USA training camp. “But I have to weigh all of the considerations if I were to look at that. Is it fair to the guys who are here putting in the time and effort? How do the teams think about that after the fact? I don’t know. We’ll see how it plays out.

“I know it’s an option. I know it’s possible that he could play, but we’ll see.”

Love really wanted to play — he and Kevin Durant committed to this a year ago, but he had no idea he’s still be in trade limbo come the end of August. Love can’t risk an injury that would blow up his trade value.

But he was in tears when he had to call and ask out, Colangelo told Sam Amick of the USA Today.

“Team or teams, trade or no trade, he’s in a position where he had to say no and I respect that,” Colangelo told USA TODAY Sports. “I mean the guy almost cried on the phone when he told me he couldn’t play. He was really down. So can I be upset with him? No, of course not.”

The USA could certainly use Love in the front line rotation, playing some four and even some center.

That said, I have a better chance of taking over the “Thor” franchise from Chris Hemsworth than this does of becoming reality.

That is even if Love does get traded before the tournament starts — like Colangelo said, you’ve asked other guys to all go through this process, then to bump one for Love would be unfair.

Mike Krzyzewski has said all week he’s going to go with the guys that showed up and not worry about Love or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or the other guys not there. The group he’s got can win gold.

Love will be back in time for the Rio Olympics in a couple summers.

Remembering Notre Dame, Laker legend Tommy “the hawk” Hawkins

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Tommy Hawkins passed away recently at the age of 80.

The former NBA player was the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame (he still holds the school’s total rebounds record), was drafted in the first round, and went on to have a 10-year NBA career playing for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Cincinnati Royals. Los Angeles fans may also remember him as the long time director of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers after his playing days ended.

The NBA put together this well done video look back at Hawkins’ career.

Celtics’ Brad Stevens said early September tests will show if Thomas ready for camp

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Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.

Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.

Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”

The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.

Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.

Allen Iverson predicts LeBron James will win MVP

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LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.

Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?

Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.

LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.

It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.