After so much speculation between Kevin Love and the Los Angeles Lakers this past season, a rumor surfaced on Saturday that his people recently informed the Minnesota Timberwolves to trade him or else he will leave via free agency in 2015.
With the Timberwolves under pressure, the team trading the All-Star power forward has become an option according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
Beyond the coaching search, the Wolves are under pressure to start considering trade scenarios for Love, who’s anxious to exercise his Early Termination Option (ETO) in the summer of 2015 and leave as a free agent, league sources said.
“For the first time, [Saunders] sounds like looking at deals for [Love] is an option,” one rival executive told Yahoo Sports.
With Minnesota trading Love now an option, the Lakers are expected to make their lottery pick available in offers for him:
Boston and Los Angeles plan to make high-lottery picks in the 2014 NBA Draft available in offers for Love, sources said.
According to Wojnarowski, there are numerous teams who will pursue him including the Lakers, Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, and Phoenix Suns. However, all teams will need assurance from Love that he will agree to a five year, $100 million contract extension.
For Los Angeles, the franchise faces its most important off-season in nearly a decade. Depending on what draft pick they receive at the lottery on May 20, general manager Mitch Kupchak recently acknowledged the team is willing to trade the pick.
After their worst season since moving to Los Angeles, the team will have to explore all of their options in hopes of rebuilding themselves back into championship contenders as quickly as possible. Once the team is able to determine what the best course of action is for their lottery pick, the next step is filling their vacant head coaching position.
VIDEO: Mitch Kupchak Talks Kobe’s Influence On Coaching Search, And It Isn’t Much