Report: Minnesota Timberwolves Privately Preparing for Kevin Love Trade

Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 2014

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 14: Kevin Love #42 of the Minnesota Timberwolves during a game against the Golden State Warriors on April 14, 2014 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Kevin Love is privately hoping that the Minnesota Timberwolves are privately preparing to retract their not-so-private words.

Make sense?

The disgruntled superstar basically wants out of Minnesota, and, according to the Sporting News' Sean Deveney, the Timberwolves may be gearing up to grant his wish soon. Like, really soon. One source told him that the team is "paving the way to make something happen sooner rather than later.”

Sooner, per Deveney, would be draft night.

If true, the Timberwolves' closed-door intentions completely conflict with their public agenda. It's been made clear on multiple occasions that they plan on Love remaining in Minnesota for now.

Most recently, team president Flip Saunders pumped the brakes on the idea that Love was going anywhere, via The Associated Press' Jon Krawczynski:

Saunders was pretty adamant about reminding everyone that the Timberwolves remain in control of this situation too, per the Star Tribune's Jerry Zgoda: 

Despite Saunders' outright denial, it appears that not only are the Timberwolves open to a trade, but they're actively seeking one, throwing us all for an unsurprising whirl in the process. 

Here's more from Deveney:

The Timberwolves have put out feelers on what possible offers might be on the table for Love on draft night. Despite their public protestations, around the league, front office executives say that the market for Love is open, but the initial asking price is high. While the Timberwolves would expect lottery draft choices in return for Love—including a high pick in this draft—they also want a young player with star potential, according to a source.

Minny's price tag is both high and understandable. While the smart and safe play is to trade Love before he leaves the Timberwolves for nothing next summer, they cannot sell low. 

Free-agent superstars don't flock to Minnesota. If the Timberwolves are going to move Love, they most certainly must receive a combination of draft picks and burgeoning talent.

The Boston Celtics have a lottery pick. And other first-round picks. And young, talented, high-upside talent.

Oh, and Love visited Boston recently, too. He even had a 39-second bro-ing out powwow with All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo.

Though Love could have simply been in Beantown taking in the sights, watching the Boston Red Sox, sampling enormous portions of clam chowder and reciting lines from The Departed in a butchered Boston accent, don't you see what this actually means? 

Love is clearly going to the Celtics.

OK, fine, he's not. His little rendezvous with Rondo was (probably) innocent and devoid of any free-agency or trade gossip. 

Yet, as Bleacher Report's D.J. Foster acknowledges, just because Love's Boston excursion wasn't meant to portend the future, that doesn't mean it won't:

If you had to handicap the race at this point, the Celtics would certainly seem to be a favorite to land Love in 2015 free agency.

But what if Love is traded before next offseason? That seems like the most likely scenario at this point, and simply put, there are other teams that can leapfrog Boston easily and offer up a better combination of young talent, cap relief and draft picks.

This early in the game, it's impossible to pinpoint a favorite Love suitor. As the NBA draft nears, perhaps we'll get a better idea of what's going on behind the scenes.

For now, just know that the Timberwolves, in spite of what they say, are looking.

Know, too, that Rondo wasn't selling Love on anything.

“I didn’t pitch anything,” Rondo said, per The Boston Globe's Gary Washburn.

Kind of like how Minnesota isn't fielding Love offers, right?