Time is running out for the Minnesota Timberwolves with Kevin Love letting it be known that he won't be signing a contract extension with the team. It has been rumored for quite sometime that Love wanted out of Minnesota and would potentially leave the team in free agency, but now it has become clear the perennial All-Star wants out and the Timberwolves must find a trade partner as a result. Love has been linked with numerous teams since his intentions were made known on May 18, according to EPSN's Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne.
The Los Angeles Lakers have been the team most linked to Love over the past two years. Love has said to have a fondness for the team and a desire to return to Los Angeles. Although the Lakers will definitely be in the running in the Love sweepstakes, a few other teams have emerged with more trade assets in comparison to according to Stein and Shelburne:
Sources told ESPN.com that the Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls are among the potential trade destinations that intrigue Love.
The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks have likewise been mentioned all season as big-market landing spots that would tempt Love, but going to the best situation for immediate contention is said to be the power forward's priority.
Although the Timberwolves are finally open to trade their superstar forward, Minnesota will not make a deal before the 2014 NBA draft on June 26. T'Wolves owner, Glen Taylor, said the following about a potential trade involving Love, according to Jerry Gzoda of StarTribune.com on May 19:
“Not by the draft,” Taylor said before Sunday’s Lynx home opener at Target Center about such a possibility.
With the NBA draft lottery set to take place on May 20, the T'Wolves might get a better sense of what teams in the lottery are ready to make a deal. It would be safe to assume that the Lakers would make a serious push to acquire Love if they receive a draft pick in the top three, but the odds are not in the team's favor heading into the lottery.
Another team that could use a high pick to try acquire Love is the Boston Celtics. The Lakers and Celtics are in similar positions needing another superstar to come in and help move along the rebuilding process much faster than anticipated.
Although the Celtics and Lakers will be in the running to acquire Love, the Warriors and Bulls may have the advantage with Love having a much better chance to contend for a title in Golden State and Chicago rather than Boston or Los Angeles.
As for the Knicks, Phil Jackson will likely try and make a pitch for Love, but New York, like Los Angeles, have few trade assets to intrigue Minnesota.