Minnesota Timberwolves Desperately Trying to Keep Kevin Love Happy
Kevin Love is the face of the Minnesota Timberwolves franchise, and new co-owner/general manager (and former Wolves’ coach) Flip Saunders wants to keep it that way. With all of the injuries that the Wolves have suffered through over the past couple of seasons, the team is clearly in transition. Bringing Saunders on board as an acquaintance of Love’s is the first step toward keeping Love in Minneapolis. Almost instantaneously, Minnesota was approached with deals looking to acquire Love. The Cleveland Cavaliers dangled the #1 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, F Tristan Thompson and G/F Dion Waters to the Wolves for Love. The Wolves quickly rebuffed the offer. These are the types of scenarios that the Wolves will be facing from teams such as Cleveland, the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, and even the Portland Trail Blazers, leading up to the draft – particularly if Saunders is unable to assuage Love’s concerns regarding the direction of the team.
The Wolves need to decide what type of team they are going to be, particularly with their string of losing seasons. Love is a unique “stretch four” talent, as he possesses the ability to bang in the paint while also taking big men out to the 3 point line with regularity. Minnesota knows that it can potentially have something special if Love and PG Ricky Rubio are able to stay healthy and mesh – something that they have been unable to do thus far in Rubio’s two seasons in the NBA. The rare instances in which both have been on the court at the same time, the Wolves have been a feisty, rugged opponent. In addition to those two star players, Andrei Kirilenko’s contract situation could really play a huge part in the Wolves’ plans with a $10.2 million player option for 2013-2014.
The sad saga of Brandon Roy and his knees has apparently come to an end. Roy attempted to come back in 2012-2013, but his knees simply gave out on him, and it appears that his once-promising NBA career is now a lost cause before his 30th birthday. Will the Wolves give up players like Derrick Williams and Alexey Shved? They may have to do so in order to acquire the bona fide shooting guard that they will need to begin to build around Love and Rubio if they are going to become the playoff team that the Minnesota brass is selling as a bill of goods to Love. The good news for Minnesota is that it has the 9th and 26th picks in the 2013 NBA Draft. Given that the draft is relatively weak, the Wolves may prove to be big dealers on draft night, and in free agency this summer. There are too many holes to plug for the team to attempt to address via one draft class or one free agency crop. Either way, it is the first step toward ensuring that Love remains a Wolves player for his entire career.
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