Widely speculated that Love will leave Minnesota in 2015, but could it happen sooner?
The Los Angeles Lakers could reportedly put together a trade package including their forthcoming high lottery pick in order to acquire Kevin Love, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.
While the Minnesota Timberwolves continue to rue the decision to not offer their power forward a full five-year max salary extension, he has the opportunity to opt out and become a free agent in 2015.
Although Love has hinted previously that he would consider staying in Minnesota, it is a difficult situation for the organisation without any guarantees that he will sign on.
As a result, they would perhaps begin to consider a trade deal the closer they get to the summer of 2015, and inevitably speculation linking Love with a switch to Los Angeles has resurfaced.
ESPN reports that Minnesota are dismissing trade talk at this point, but the situation could change and the Lakers do have the pieces to offer an enticing deal.
The Lakers could essentially use their high draft pick this year to construct a trade package which could convince the Wolves to part with Love to end the uncertainty surrounding his future.
While Minnesota would arguably want to hold on to Love at all costs given the 25-year-old’s continued impact on the franchise, they are aware of the fact that they may struggle to attract top free agent targets in the future.
That in turn makes the offer of a draft pick more appealing, as they can attempt to identify a talent that can continue to be built around moving forward with the likes of Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic.
While Minnesota are perhaps a better team than their current standing in the Western Conference suggests, they are still eager to prove that they capable of building a competitive roster in order to keep Love.
In addition, it would arguably make more sense for the Lakers to wait until 2015 and free agency to try to sign Love, while recruiting a top draft pick this year in order to continue the transition from when Kobe Bryant calls time on his career.