For NBA fans, this is either the best offseason ever or the three most interminable months in the history of the sport.
The marquee free agents took their time in deciding their new homes, while one of the best players in the league has been on the trade block all summer, with no end in sight. People complain about the NFL training camp storylines, but the NBA's been ridiculous this year.
And between The Decision and the Dwightmare from past years, everybody's completely burnt out.
Here's to hoping that these most recent developments in the Kevin Love sweepstakes bring about as speedy a resolution as possible.
Amar'e Stoudemire and Kevin Love
Does swapping out Love for Amar'e Stoudemire sound like a good idea to you? If it does, you're probably not going to be running an NBA team anytime soon. Making that deal would be like owning a Porsche and swapping it out for a Ford Pinto.
Granted the New York Knicks were gonna throw in Tim Hardaway Jr. and Iman Shumpert, but that combination doesn't look radically better than just Stoudemire. Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal reported that New York thought enough of the trade package to actually offer it to the Minnesota Timberwolves:
The Knicks recently attempted to make a trade for Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love, offering forward Amar'e Stoudemire and his enormous expiring contract, second-year guard Tim Hardaway, Jr. and swingman Iman Shumpert, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
But the long-shot offer, made in the past week, was declined and never stood much of a chance, particularly because the Timberwolves could potentially strike a richer deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers involving No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins. The Chicago Bulls, who have a bevy of intriguing assets to trade, have reportedly had conversations with Minnesota about Love in recent weeks since failing to sign Knicks star Carmelo Anthony in free agency.
Watching that deal happen would've been entertaining if only to see how long Wolves fans would take to burn down the Target Center as they rampage through the streets of Minneapolis.
It's nearly impossible to trade away a superstar and get a superstar in return, but to think that the Knicks even put an offer of Stoudemire, Hardaway and Shumpert on the table is laughable.
Of course, that's about the best the Knicks can do if they wanted to seriously pursue Love this offseason. They're unable to deal any first-round picks for the foreseeable future after the Carmelo Anthony and Andrea Bargnani trades.
The only way Love will be headed to Madison Square Garden is if he becomes a free agent at the end of next season and can choose his own path.
More than likely, the three-time All-Star will end up in either Chicago or Cleveland.
With the Cavaliers signing Andrew Wiggins to a rookie deal, they'll of course be unable to do anything for 30 days. That won't, however, affect their pursuit of Love, according to ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein:
Sources told ESPN.com that the Wolves, at present, are higher on a Cleveland trade package centered on Wiggins than any other offer on the table for Love.
ESPN.com reported Tuesday that the Cavaliers, meanwhile, are increasingly confident about their chances of landing Love and firmly believe they are progressing toward a trade framework that the Timberwolves will accept in exchange for the All-Star power forward, which would enable Cleveland to pair him with Olympic teammate LeBron James.
The Bulls are also handcuffed after signing Doug McDermott earlier in the week. Batten down the hatches. It's going to be a long month.
Once that 30-day window expires, Cleveland might be in pole position, especially after a report from Fox Sports Ohio's Sam Amico claimed that Love has his eyes on Quicken Loans Arena:
Multiple league sources told FOX Sports Ohio on Friday they are under the impression Love has relayed his desire for a trade to Cleveland to his agent. Love is represented by Jeff Schwartz.
Sources could not say for certain whether Love or Schwartz have made a formal trade request to the Timberwolves. Most believe if such a request is made, the Cavs will be able to obtain Love at a considerably cheaper cost than what has been discussed.
Even if Love agitates for a deal to Cleveland, though, there's little incentive for the Timberwolves to accept a lesser deal simply to placate his demands. They'll wait it out and ask for Wiggins when he's available again.
One of the players discussed in a possible Love deal from the Bulls' perspective is Nikola Mirotic.
There's a slight hitch in that plan. The Chicago Tribune's David Haugh (subscription required) reported that Chicago has an agreement in place with the Montenegrin forward to keep him with the team.
"Mirotic bought out his contract with Real Madrid of the Spanish League only after the Bulls committed to keeping him in Chicago, according to a source familiar with negotiations," Haugh wrote, via Pro Basketball Talk's Dan Feldman.
Feldman correctly pointed out that the Bulls didn't work out a no-trade clause with Mirotic, so technically they could deal him after he's eligible to be moved. Nothing contractually could prevent them from doing so.
Agreeing in principle not to trade a player and then going ahead and doing it anyway would be a rather shady business practice, though, and could hurt the Bulls down the line when it comes to foreign stars who are ready to come over.
Getting a player of Love's quality isn't something that should be taken lightly. Maybe it would be worth it to burn that bridge with Mirotic and possibly other Euro stars if the endgame is Love.
The ends could justify the means.
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