Even the NBA isn’t immune from rumors about love.
Alright, these rumors are about Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Kevin Love, but they are still incredibly intriguing. Could the Cleveland Cavaliers pair him with LeBron James? Will the Golden State Warriors make another push?
That, and much more, is yet to be decided as the dramatic 2014 NBA offseason continues on its path. With that in mind, let’s pay a visit to the rumor weed.
Bob Finnan of The Morning Journal reported on the possibility of Cleveland trading No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins in a package for Love:
Ever since LeBron James returned to Cleveland, talks have intensified for All-Star power forward Kevin Love.
Rumors have surfaced that the Cavaliers wouldn’t include rookie swingman Andrew Wiggins in any possible deal for the Minnesota Timberwolves’ star.
A league source said on July 17 that the Cavs are now willing to trade the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft…However, a source said James wants the 6-10, 250-pound Love on the roster.
And, what James wants, he normally gets.
Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press added some more context regarding a potential deal:
Remember, the Warriors were in on the Love discussion before it became cool, but nothing ever happened. Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News and Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News provided some updates from Golden State's perspective:
Checked with an NBA source who says there's no indication the Warriors will up their bid for Kevin Love if Cleveland makes a bigger push.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) July 17, 2014
Word on Warriors continues to be this: Myers is the most open to moving Klay. Owner/consultant Jerry West/Kerr not nearly as much. #twolves— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) July 17, 2014
Whether to go after Love is certainly a worthwhile debate.
The Cavaliers can go for an NBA title this year with a Big Three of James, Love and Kyrie Irving, or they can choose to keep Wiggins and hope he fulfills his potential and becomes one of the best players in the league one day. Of course, there is absolutely no assurance that he will do so or that he will even stay in Cleveland long term, which adds another layer of intrigue to the impending decision.
For the Warriors, it is just a matter of how much they value Klay Thompson.
Yes, he’s only 24 years old, but Love is 25. Perhaps the Golden State brass in favor of keeping Thompson doesn't want to break up the “Splash Brothers” marketing campaign, or maybe it genuinely thinks Thompson will be a better fit than Love in the near and distant future.
Whatever happens, it is sure to be the dominant story for the rest of the offseason.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com provided an update on a possible trade involving Josh Smith:
The Detroit Pistons and the Sacramento Kings have resumed trade discussions on a deal that could send Josh Smith to Sacramento, according to sources with knowledge of the talks.
Sources told ESPN.com the Kings have continued to express interest in Smith and the parties are on the hunt for a third team that could help facilitate the deal.
Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News noted that not everyone in Sacramento seems to be on board:
Here's what I do know: Kings GM wasn't too enthralled with the deal. If anything, seems like it's being pushed by coach Mike Malone— Vincent Goodwill (@vgoodwill) July 17, 2014
Smith is a mercurial talent, but pairing him in the frontcourt with DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay has to be intriguing for Sacramento. Throw in Nik Stauskas, and suddenly it looks like the Kings are building something.
Of course, there are also concerns that Smith failed to thrive alongside Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe in Detroit. Still, Smith is a double-double threat every time he steps on the floor and would certainly help the Kings in their pursuit of a playoff spot.
Smith has three years and $40.5 million remaining on his contract, so it would be an expensive gamble regardless of whether it paid off.
Chris Broussard of ESPN.com provided an update on the future of Eric Bledsoe:
The future of one of the most talented free agents left on the market remains cloudy, as Eric Bledsoe and the Phoenix Suns remain far apart in contract talks, according to sources close to the situation.
Bledsoe's representatives have been engaged in discussions with Phoenix, but the Suns' offer is far below what Bledsoe is looking for.
Bledsoe is one of the most underrated players in the league. He posted nightly averages of 17.7 points, 5.5 assists and 4.7 rebounds last year for the Suns and seems to be in the market for a max contract.
It is no longer a safe assumption that the Suns will automatically match an offer for Bledsoe from another team after they drafted Tyler Ennis and completed a sign-and-trade for Isaiah Thomas.
For what it’s worth, though, AZCentral Sports writer Paul Coro said he believed Bledsoe would return to Phoenix in comments he made on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, via Justin Janssen of Arizona Sports:
I don't think he wants to leave Phoenix. It's probably frustrating for everybody to hear him not just say a simple thing like ‘man I would really love to stay here, it was great here, I love my team, I could really see myself being here a long time.' It would have been great if somebody had coached him to say that or had him say that, but I think we maybe read a little too much into Eric Bledsoe not saying things like that.
Whether that is enough to allay worries from Phoenix fans in the meantime remains to be seen.
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