Kevin Love and LeBron James are intertwined as players who could wind up in new homes this offseason, but a fresh wrinkle has thrown the NBA into a frenzy—the two could team up in a destination to be determined.
The league's infatuation with super teams rarely comes to a head, but it makes for one heck of an entertaining offseason that may begin to rival the NFL escapades each year.
As great as the 2014 draft was from top to bottom in terms of talent, it was but a minor speed bump in the grand scheme of things, with names like Love and the Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo floating around with their futures in question.
Here's a taste of the latest alleged happenings around the league.
Jeremy Lin on the Move?
But first, an appetizer.
In 2010-11 as a rookie, Jeremy Lin was a little-known reserve who averaged 2.6 points, 1.4 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 9.8 minutes per game as a benchwarmer with the Golden State Warriors.
Marcus Thompson of the San Jose Mercury News notes that he could be back on his way to his humble beginnings:
The Warriors, per a league source, have informed the Houston they would consider acquiring Lin from the Rockets via trade. Houston is reportedly shopping Lin in case they need to create cap space for Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James.
The Warriors have a $9.8 million trade exception leftover from the trade that sent Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson’s expiring contract to Utah. Though Lin is scheduled to make $14.9 million, only $8.37 will count against the salary cap. That means the Warriors can absorb Lin’s contract without giving up any players.
Now, Thompson notes that the Warriors would prefer Chandler Parsons in a potential deal, but that seems to be a long shot in terms of the assets the team can give up in exchange.
Besides, Lin is a better fit as a backup behind Steph Curry. His ability to get to the rim makes him a valuable second-unit captain, something the fans of the formerly wild "Linsanity" likely won't appreciate. Of course, it all hinges on Carmelo Anthony or James going to Houston.
Kevin Love and the Cleveland Cavaliers
That's not a mistake—Love would trade in the franchise in Minnesota for the one in Cleveland. Well, with one caveat, of course.
A big one at that. ESPN's Chris Broussard has the scoop:
Source who spoke with KLove says he would definitely "100 pct" stay in Cleveland longterm if LeBron is there— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 27, 2014
Now, remember, Cleveland allegedly almost had Love before the draft, but his unwillingness to stick around killed any deal, per Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski:
Cleveland pushed on deal centered on No. 1 pick for Kevin Love, but his refusal to re-sign w/ Cavs has killed talks, sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 25, 2014
The odds of James taking his talents back to Cleveland seem slim, but if the brass there was not already gunning hard for his services, the added bonus of somehow reeling in Love as well has to send shockwaves throughout the front office.
Although, it is a bit strange to consider Love in a smaller market like Cleveland. Conventional wisdom says the UCLA product wants to be a superstar in a major city like Los Angeles, so the possibility of playing second fiddle to James in his prime years is something many had not considered a possibility.
We know what Love can do. He averaged 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game a season ago and can carry a team on his own. The thought of him teaming with James is a scary one (don't forget Andrew Wiggins, either), but it seems unlikely given the team's lack of resources to move.
Rajon Rondo Situation Continues to Confuse
Just how close was Rondo to getting moved before the NBA draft?
One source tells Sean Deveney of Sporting News that the rumors surrounding the star point guard have little merit to them, albeit in a bit more colorful fashion:
But, according to a source close to the situation, Rondo has not been informed of any change of plans when it comes to the Celtics' future, and he remains committed to helping Boston in its rebuilding efforts.
"I think it is the usual BS," the source told Sporting News.
Fine, but then there is this nugget from Mark Heisler of Forbes:
Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart was the pick at No. 6 overall, and that was followed by forward James Young out of Kentucky at No. 17. General manager Danny Ainge is adamant that Rondo and Smart can play together, per Rachel G. Bowers of The Boston Globe:
Nothing. Nothing. I think Marcus and Rondo easily can be backcourt mates. I think Marcus is a guy that we felt could play with Rondo or Avery [Bradley] or Phil Pressey and play on the court at the same time. … Marcis is long enough to guard a small forward.
Still, Rondo is the odd fit in all of this. At 28 years old with one year left on his current contract and a strange outlier in what is a pretty sizable rebuild, it is hard to ignore the rumblings that came up around Rondo.
Better yet, they're sure to continue. Any star with an expiring contract garners a lot of attention, and eventually, one has to think a contender will come knocking with a deal that is too good to pass up. Ainge's belief in his star player will then be truly tested.