Now that the NBA's summer free-agency frenzy is essentially over (Will anyone sign Andray Blatche?), the latest rumors in the league have turned to trades, with one potential blockbuster in particular dominating the headlines.
The Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love is on the trade market, and various teams appear to be in the running for his services. Love averaged 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game last season.
For those interested in complicated mathematical summations of a player's output, the All-Star power forward ranked third in the league in player efficiency rating (PER), via ESPN Insider, behind only Kevin Durant and potential teammate LeBron James.
The Plain-Dealer's Terry Pluto gave an excellent rundown on the Kevin Love to Cleveland Cavaliers saga, including this tidbit of information:
For now, Minnesota will not trade Love to the Cavs unless Wiggins is part of the package. I keep hearing that over and over from several places. I also hear that the Cavs love Wiggins, but also know the best chance for a title is in the next few years. Love is a far better bet to win now.
Strap in for the long haul on this one. According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the Cavaliers' signing of Wiggins means they cannot deal the No. 1 pick until at least August 23.
At the very least, this report suggests the Cavaliers' chances of coming out of these talks with both Wiggins and Love are between slim and nil; retaining Wiggins and snagging Love would be an all-time roundball coup if that happened.
Due to the carnival atmosphere of the situation, Love withdrew from playing with Team USA this summer, per the team's official Twitter account:
The New York Daily News' Frank Isola seemed to think it was due to the power forward's reluctance to discuss his situation:
Kevin Love clearly has no interest in answering questions about his future...he won't be showing up for Team USA training camp in Las Vegas.— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) July 26, 2014
This could draw out the trade saga even longer and allow another team with the right pieces to swoop in and make the deal instead of the Cavaliers. The league is set to begin play on October 28; plenty could happen in the meantime.
Speaking of schedules, the latest NBA rumor is unlike any of the news that has dominated the league this summer. For all the talks about trades, free agents and promising rookies, there is one rumor circulating that could alter the very structure of the league.
According to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel, the NBA is looking to extend the All-Star break from a weekend to a full week, resulting in a few more back-to-back nights during the course of the season.
According to a source for Winderman, the league is implementing the longer break for the upcoming season.
"That's the model they're using right now while they're filling in the schedule," an NBA source told Winderman. "Could they go back and use some of those dates if needed? That's possible. But the week off looks like what's going to happen."
Should the NBA lengthen the All-Star break to a full week?
This is a move that could do fans, stars and the league's players some good. An extended break could be the perfect opportunity for teams to retool and strategize for the second half of the season, perhaps leading to more involved and intricate play.
Resting the league's superstars gives them a true break for at least a couple of days, which could also improve the overall quality of play. The only teams that would be opposed to such a move would be those heading into the break on a hot streak, but this should be a rotating cast year in and year out.