Kevin Love reportedly open to Celtics trade

Kevin LoveThe list of potential suitors for Kevin Love continues to grow by the day, but rumors about one particular team have heated up over the past 24 hours. The Boston Celtics did not have the luck of the Irish with them at the NBA Draft lottery on Tuesday night, which has been the norm throughout team history. Will that inspire Danny Ainge to make a run at Love?

The Celtics came away with the No. 6 pick in the lottery. They also have the 17th overall pick thanks to their blockbuster trade with the Brooklyn Nets. The Minnesota Timberwolves could be interested in those picks and/or future Celtics draft picks if they decide to move Love. According to Comcast SportsNet basketball analyst Tim Welsh, Love would be open to going to Boston.

“(Love) wants to play for an organization that’s going to be a winning organization; not necessarily I have to go to a championship team now, but a team that’s going to be built to move in that direction,” Welsh said, via CSNNE.com’s A. Sherrod Blakely. “Maybe it’ll take a couple years. That’s OK. But he needs a change from Minnesota.

“He is not one of those guys that’s saying, ‘I want to go to Miami. I want to go to L.A.,’ the hype cities. Now would he prefer L.A.? His girlfriend lives there. She’s an actress. He went to college there (at UCLA). He was born there. But he’s a professional. He wants to go where there’s the best opportunity for him which would be in a winning organization and he respects the history of the Celtics.”

To make matters more interesting, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told “The Toucher and Rich Show” on Wednesday that he would be open to trading for a high-caliber player in the last year of his contract without an agreement to an extension. As you know, Love is in the final year of his deal and has informed the T-Wolves that he will not re-sign with them.

The Celtics don’t have much on their roster beyond Rajon Rondo. What they can offer Love is Ainge’s history of being aggressive to acquire the pieces his team needs. In 2007, Boston was disappointed to receive the No. 5 pick in the draft lottery. They used it to draft Jeff Green, who they packaged for Ray Allen, and later acquired Kevin Garnett. A championship immediately followed.

How likely is Love to go to Boston? About as likely as he is to go to any other city, and it’s too early to tell. If anyone can make it happen, it’s Ainge.

Ricky Rubio questions Kevin Love as Timberwolves leader

Kevin LoveThe Kevin Love trade speculation has heated up over the past few days after a report surfaced claiming the three-time All-Star has informed the Minnesota Timberwolves that he will leave via free agency next year if they don’t trade him. Love has wanted out of Minnesota for a while, and Ricky Rubio wonders if Love’s desire to leave has compromised his ability to lead.

In a recent interview with BasketballAmericano.com, Rubio questioned if Love is the true leader of the Timberwolves. A translation was posted on Reddit:

“He is a special player, his numbers are unbelievable but maybe our leader must be other player,” Rubio said. “He is our leader in points and another things but he can’t be or he doesn’t want to be our ‘voice’ leader. … Perhaps he shouldn’t have been our leader, perhaps Kevin Martin could have been our leader because he had more experience, perhaps I could take a step ahead to be the definitive leader.”

Love has remained loyal to the Timberwolves since he was drafted, despite the fact that the front office has not assembled a playoff team. Love went public with concerns over his contract a while back, but others in his situation would have become much more of a problem by now.

Like the rest of us, Rubio knows Love is as good as gone. He probably wants it to happen sooner rather than later. If Love is intent on leaving, there’s no sense wasting an entire season with a frustrated superstar who has no interest in being with the team.

Kevin Love reportedly told T-Wolves trade me or lose me

Kevin LoveKevin Love wants out of Minnesota and that is nothing new. The team has failed to become a playoff contender during the Love’s time with the team, and his relationship with the front office seemed to sour thanks to the dumbassery of former GM David Kahn. Though he has been loyal to the T-Wolves since they acquired him on draft day, it appears as if he is eager to move on from the team sooner rather than later.

Plugged-in NBA reporter Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reported on Saturday that Love’s people have told the T-Wolves to trade him otherwise they will lose him when he becomes an unrestricted free agent after the 2014-2015 season. Here’s what Lawrence wrote:

Kevin Love’s people reiterated to the Timberwolves this past week that they had better trade him or else he’ll leave via free agency when his contract is up after next season. With Love looking to exit, there’s your No. 1 reason the T-wolves have not been able to find a head coach to take over for Rick Adelman. Love wants to play for the Lakers but he’s also open to coming to the Knicks.

It’s no surprise to hear that Love is interested in playing for the Lakers or Knicks considering we’ve heard reports to that effect for the past few years. If I’m Minnesota, I’m still holding onto Love to start the season to see how the team does. If they don’t perform the way they want, they can still always trade him in-season. Tell me there still wouldn’t be a high demand for him at that time.

Chest bump to Pro Basketball Talk

Tyson Chandler trash talks Kevin Love’s defense (Video)

Tyson ChandlerTyson Chandler sent a little trash talk Kevin Love’s way during a halftime interview Wednesday for the New York Knicks’ game at the Minnesota Timberwolves.

At first Chandler praised Love’s offensive game by saying the T-Wolves’ big man can stretch the floor, but when asked about how the Knicks could exploit Love’s defense, Chandler threw out the zinger.

“He can’t play D!” Chandler said of Love with a smile.

Though Chandler was sort of messing around, he’s not wrong. Though Love is a versatile offensive player, he struggles defensively and is among the worst defenders around the basket for a big man.

Then again, pretty much every team in the league could say the same thing about the Knicks — they have a few guys who can’t play defense either!

Credit to Chandler on this one — his Knicks prevailed in the game 118-106.

Chest bump to Eye on Basketball

NBA executive: Everyone knows Kevin Love wants to go to the Lakers

Kevin LoveKevin Love has a player option that will allow him to opt out of his contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves after next season. While he is fully expected to exercise that option, it remains unclear if Love will re-resign with the T-Wolves or bolt for another team. At least one NBA executive believes Minnesota has no chance of keeping him.

Ken Berger of CBS Sports spoke with an Eastern Conference executive who thinks the best move for the T-Wolves would be to trade love. Why? Because he’s going to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.

“They should trade him,” the exec reportedly said. “No one thinks he’s staying. Everyone knows he wants to go to the Lakers.”

As Berger noted, the Timberwolves are facing a dilemma. They can either do what the Cleveland Cavaliers did with LeBron James and hold onto Love, hoping he decides to stay and sign a max contract, or they can trade him now and get value in return. The Utah Jazz chose to trade Deron Williams and ended up with Derrick Favors, who just signed a four-year, $49 million extension, and draft picks that turned into Trey Burke and Enes Kanter.

Aside from Love being nowhere near as good a player as LeBron, there is one major difference with their two situations. Despite coming up just short of a championship several times, the Cavs were a playoff team while James was still in Cleveland. Love has never made the playoffs with Minnesota and he is clearly frustrated with the way things have gone this year.

LeBron never really gave any indication that he wanted to leave Cleveland until the last second. Love seems to want out, and that will become more obvious if the T-Wolves miss the playoffs again this season. Personally, I believe the team is better off trading him and acquiring picks.

Chest bump to Pro Basketball Talk

Kevin Love calls out teammates after loss

Kevin LoveThe Minnesota Timberwolves won their first three games of the season, and they have not been able to string together more than two-straight wins since. On Wednesday, the T-Wolves lost a tough game at home to the Phoenix Suns. They blew a lead with just a few minutes remaining, which is something Minnesota has done more than once this season.

Following the 104-103 loss, Kevin Love called out two of his teammates.

“We can’t have two guys sitting at the end of the bench, who play good minutes, just sitting there and not getting up at timeouts,” Love told reporters, via ESPN 1500 Twin Cities. “We all need to be in this together. That kind of pisses me off. We’re supposed to be a team.”

Love made it very clear that he was talking about two specific players, though he did not mention them by name. There was speculation that he was referring to JJ Barea, who expressed frustration when he was sent to the bench with roughly eight minutes remaining in the game, and Dante Cunningham, who played a season-low 11 minutes.

“It’s to a point that where those two guys, if and when I did that last year when maybe I didn’t sit out for the game for 48 minutes and so on and so forth, they would have killed me,” Love said. “They would have aired me out. It’s two guys we expect more from them, and I think they expect more from themselves.

“I’m not trying to single anybody out, and I don’t want to make it bigger than it is. That was a team we needed to beat tonight. Even guys that didn’t play any minutes, we need to have a team on the bench that’s really in it together.”

This is not the first time Love has taken his frustrations with the team public. However, teammate Ricky Rubio seemed to agree.

“Somebody is maybe frustrated because he didn’t have the minutes he wanted or he wasn’t in the game in the late situation,” Rubio said. “If something happened, no matter if it’s Coach’s decision or whatever, you have to be with the team. I didn’t see that, but if (Love) says that he saw something. We would have to talk, because that’s even worse than losing the game.”

The T-Wolves are 17-18 and have plenty of time to turn things around. The problem is this is a team that has not made the playoffs since 2004, so losing is something the players have grown accustomed to. That can sometimes lead to sulking.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Timberwolves announcer goes nuts after no-call on Kevin Love to end game (Audio)

Kevin-Love-Shawn-Marion-foulThe Minnesota Timberwolves lost to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night in controversial fashion. With the T-Wolves trailing by two and three seconds remaining, Kevin Love received the inbound pass and tried to get a shot off. It appeared that he was fouled by Shawn Marion, but the officials chose to let the play go and time expired.

It was hard to tell if Love’s foot was on the line, but he should have been given a chance to tie the game with two free throws at the very least. Timberwolves radio play-by-play announcer Alan Horton was outraged.

Horton seemed most angry with referee Ed Malloy. After the game, Horton took to Twitter to remind fans of a game between the Timberwolves and Miami Heat last season — one that Malloy worked — where several controversial calls were met with a chorus of boos at the Target Center.

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