There are plenty of teams interested in a trade that will land them Kevin Love, but through his agent the star power forward, who has pulled out of Team USA duty this summer in the basketball World Cup, has made it clear that the only team he plans on playing for and signing a new contract are the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Is this an attempt to put pressure on his own team or the others to make better offers? Love has been in something of a stormy relationship with the Minnesota Timberwolves ever since he found out they were planning on using the ‘franchise contract option’ with Ricky Rubio and not on him. He’s also not too happy about the team still not making the playoffs, and he was the only player on the Olympic roster in 2012 among the veterans without a playoff experience.
Love won’t be playing for Team USA in Spain this summer, although teams and agents can do things without him. Maybe he’s afraid of picking up an injury that will hurt his value in the eyes of teams looking to sign him, or maybe he truly is too distracted with his NBA situation to allow him any kind of focus when it comes to international basketball.
Right now, it seems like the charms of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the opportunity to play with LeBron James is too much for him to resist. From the latest version of how things are going down, Love will simply play for the Cavs, no one else. This season if a trade is agreed upon, maybe even during the season, or next year when he becomes a free agent. Of course, the Cavs will need some trades to make it work and free up the necessary cap space.
But is it a sure thing? Love can be in a different state of mind come the summer of 2015. The scenery may change, and suddenly the Cavs won’t look so appealing, with other teams also looking to sign him by then. Waiting an entire summer in hope of signing a player when you know a lot of things can go wrong or change along the way is too much of a risk.
If the Cleveland Cavaliers want Kevin Love now and don’t care about what they have to give up for him, they need to make the trade happen right now. They’re not the only team in the chase for the All-Star and might not look as appealing to him a year from now. If this team truly is about winning right now and worrying about the future later, they shouldn’t postpone their chance of signing him, with the Timberwolves simply waiting for the right offer to pull the trigger.