Expected to play: Trading Kevin Love is not part of plan
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said Monday that he has no intention of trading Kevin Love and that he expects the all-star power forward to play for the Wolves again next season.
Love, 25, can opt out of his Wolves contract after next season. On Sunday, the Associated Press reported that the Wolves are willing to trade Love for the right offer.
Love’s representatives, according to Sunday’s New York Daily News, reiterated to the Wolves this past week that the all-star forward will not re-sign with Minnesota and will definitely leave in 2015.
Asked Monday if he would say he’s not going to trade Love, Taylor said, “I should never say never because who knows what might come up? But that’s not our plan.
“I’m not in a position where you would say absolutely I wouldn’t do it, because what if something that I can’t even speculate (on) happens? You’d say, ‘You’re nuts, Glen.’ Maybe some team puts a value on him that’s different than we suspect.”
In January, the Wolves can begin reworking Love’s contract. Under NBA rules, they can offer a five-year deal with about $26 million more than other teams, which can offer only four-year deals. So if Love walks, he’ll be leaving that cash on the table.
The worst-case scenario for the Wolves would be watching Love walk away as a free agent while receiving nothing in return. So if they’re convinced Love has no interest in staying, trading him before or on the day of the June 26 NBA Draft makes sense. This year’s crop of prospects is considered deep, and they’d likely also demand a veteran ready to start.
Love is a three-time all-star and averaged a career-high 26.1 points plus 12.5 rebounds last season.
“At this point, we’re not talking to any teams,” Taylor said. “I haven’t heard from Kevin or his agents or anything like that. We’re assuming that Kevin will be here next season, and we’re working with that scenario. This isn’t the time for us to do anything but to prepare for next year.”
Taylor said Wolves president of basketball operations is in the same boat.
“As far as Flip and I, there’s nothing that has happened,” he said. “Flip is getting ready for the draft and interviewing for a coach, and that’s where our priority has got to be.”