By Charlie O. Mallonee
Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports is reporting the Sacramento Kings are interested in trading the number eight draft pick and an unnamed player package to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love. Of course, the Kings are not the only NBA team interested in Love.According to Yahoo:
The Sacramento Kings have let the Minnesota Timberwolves know they are interested in trading for All-Star forward Kevin Love – and the Kings would make a deal without any assurance from Love he’d re-sign with them, a league source told Yahoo Sports.
The Kings are willing to give up their eighth overall pick in this year’s NBA draft and a combination of players for Love, even though he would not be expected to sign a contract extension before next season – if ever, with the rebuilding, small-market franchise, the source said. Sacramento envisions Love and DeMarcus Cousins playing alongside each other in the front court. Swingman Rudy Gay has a player’s option for next season.
The Kings know they’d have to gamble on convincing Love to re-sign, given that the franchise is rebuilding and Love is looking to play for a contender after never reaching the playoffs with the Timberwolves. Love’s suitors also figure to include a number of bigger markets, including the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls.
Love’s representatives with Excel Sports have pushed Timberwolves president Flip Saunders to find an acceptable trade prior to the start of free agency in July. Without a trade, Love plans to opt out of his contract in the summer of 2015 and likely leave Minnesota as a free agent.
The Kings showed in their first season under new owner Vivek Ranadive and general manager Pete D’Alessandro they are willing to spend money. They acquired Gay and signed Cousins to a four-year, $62 million extension.
Sacramento struggled to a 28-54 record last season and missed the playoffs for the eighth straight season. The Kings expect to begin playing in a new downtown Sacramento arena in 2016.
The Kings have not issued any reaction to the Yahoo Sports report.
Love has never played in a post-season game in the NBA. He most likely wants to be traded to a contender. A team that is just one player away from competing for the NBA Championship. That does not describe the Sacramento Kings who must first make the playoffs before thinking about playing for a title.
The Kings have become an aggressive team when it comes to acquiring personnel. Going after a Kevin Love is admirable but not realistic at this time. The packaging of the eighth pick for a veteran impact player is a logical move if the right player is available. If a fair trade cannot be arranged then it’s time to choose the best available player on draft night.
The next 30-days will be active ones for the Kings player personnel department.