Adrian Wojnarowski: ‘Cavs In The Driver’s Seat For Love’
Yahoo! Sports NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski is one of the best basketball analysts in the business, so surely he can shed some light on the Kevin Love saga, right?
With that in mind, John Feinstein opened with a very simple, direct question: Where will Love play basketball next season?
Wojnarowski’s response? “I don’t know.”
Well, you have to appreciate the man’s honesty.
“It’s not out of the realm of possibilities that he stays in Minnesota to start the season,” Wojnarowski said. “I think they’ve certainly made some progress with Cleveland. The fact that Cleveland is willing to discuss Andrew Wiggins gives Minnesota an option that they really can’t get anywhere else. A potential star player on a rookie salary is very appealing.”
A potential trade, however, isn’t just about Love or Wiggins. It’s about the Timberwolves getting certain contracts off the books.
“They’re going younger now,” Wojnarowski said. “They’re going in a different direction. If they (get) Wiggins, they don’t want Kevin Martin and J.J. Barea. They want to move those guys. Teams like Cleveland either have to be able to absorb those contracts (and) find a way to do that, or find a third or fourth team to move them on to. That’s what makes this (difficult). That’s why this may not be resolved any time soon.”
Still, Cleveland is willing to offer Wiggins, 2013 No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett and a future first-round pick – a package that puts the Cavaliers in the lead for the Kevin Love Sweepstakes.
And yet, Chicago is not going quietly into the night. The full extent of the Bulls’ offer is unknown, but Minnesota would likely seek a package involving Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler and assets.
“Talking to the other executives in the league who are dealing with Minnesota and trying to get Kevin Love, they all feel pretty strongly that Cleveland is in the driver’s seat right now,” Wojnarowski said. “But everybody else is still trying. The one thing I’ve learned with these kind of deals, they’re never done until they’re done. You never know. There’s always another owner somewhere who says, ‘Well, let’s put this guy in the deal.’ That can change the equation really quick. So this thing could end tomorrow. We could see Kevin Love in training camp.”
“The one thing I do know about Minnesota,” Wojnarowski continued, “is they feel they have leverage in the sense that they’re not afraid to start the season with him. Flip Saunders is the coach. He’s the president and GM, but now he’s the coach. He doesn’t want to lose, and bringing Kevin Love back gives them a chance to get into the playoffs this year.”
Yes, yes it does. But the longer Love stays, the less leverage Minnesota has.
“Love has been pretty adamant – he’s been very adamant – that he wants out,” Wojnarowski said. “If they don’t trade him and they roll the dice and keep him through next season, he will opt out of his deal and he’ll leave as a free agent and you’ll get nothing for (him). That’s the threat on his end.”