NBA Trade Machine: Kevin Love Sweepstakes Not Over

By Erik Lambert

Apr 14, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots the ball against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 130-120. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The rumors have died down of late but the NBA trade rumors regarding Minnesota All-Star Kevin Love are not going away.  Here are some updates.

Cleveland Cavaliers:  Andrew Wiggins not on the table just yet

Over the past few days as free agency wore on, the Cleveland Cavaliers became the hot team in pursuit of Love.  After all, the idea of pairing him with Kyrie Irving and LeBron James to form a new Big Three is too enticing to pass up.  Unfortunately the Minnesota Timberwolves aren’t about to let such an event happen without proper compensation.  The name of that compensation is Andrew Wiggins.  The Cavs’ 1st overall draft pick is viewed as the key piece to any package they can put together, and all signs out of team headquarters is that the Kansas star is not on the bargaining table.  Until that changes, Cleveland isn’t getting to first base.

Chicago Bulls:  Pau Gasol and Tony Snell strengthen package

Meanwhile the team that could offer the best long-term trade package of any in the NBA may have actually seen it get better.  The Chicago Bulls no longer have their two first round picks from this year but any chance to get Love will easily interest them in part with two future 1st rounders.  At the same time the arrival of Pau Gasol in town has given the team an overabundance of talented bodies at power forward together with Taj Gibson and incoming European star Nikola Mirotic.

Then there is Tony Snell.  The second-year wing was considered part of the package and he did the Bulls a huge favor by showcasing his shooting touch during his Summer League opener, raining 27 points on the Clippers.  If the Timberwolves were looking for a mix of picks, help with shooting and a good stopgap at power forward, they won’t do better than what Chicago can offer.

Golden State Warriors:  Klay Thompson route still an option

Still, if there was one package the T-Wolves had eyes for it was the one put together by the Golden State Warriors.  It involved a number of nice assets but centered on sharpshooter Klay Thompson.  The 24-year old averaged 18 points this past season and was a huge offensive presence, especially from long range.  Golden State seems very torn on the idea of sending their promising young talent away so soon, even for somebody as good as Kevin Love.  Clearly their hope was they could forge a good enough package to form a star-studded trio of Thompson, Love and Stephen Curry.  That doesn’t appear possible, but the Warriors should feel that their avenue is open if they have change of heart.

Kevin Love likely isn’t going anywhere for now.  However, look for his name to become very relevant come February at the NBA trade deadline.