Kevin Love Trade Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers Deal or New York Knicks Options Before 2015 Free Agency?

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Jan 10, 2014 09:36 AM EST
Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol
Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol (16) guards Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love (42) during the first half of the game at Staples Center. (Photo : Reuters) "

The Minnesota Timberwolves know they will need to do a lot to ensure that Kevin Love stays with the team when he has the chance to get out of his contract in the summer of 2015, but with the team under .500 and now playing too well, it looks as if Love leaving is a forgone conclusion and while it might not be in a trade, teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat will be waiting.

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Love is considered to be one of the best big men in the league after breaking out a few years ago and with the team under .500 once again, the frustration is starting to grow and that means it's likely he will be leaving. According to Pro Basketball Talk, one unnamed executive said that the Timberwolves should trade Love sooner rather than later, as "everyone" knows he wants to go to the Lakers and likely will do that once it gets to the summer of 2015. Rumors have been circulating for years that Love will bolt eventually for the Knicks or the Lakers and that is why the exec said the team should trade him, so that they can get something in return at least.

The article shows examples of what Denver and Utah did with their stars in Deron Williams and Carmelo Anthony and also compares it with the LeBron James and Dwight Howard situations. Either way, the future doesn't appear to be too bright when it comes to Love staying in Minnesota. Love is a double-double machine and while the Wolves have Nikola Pekovic and Ricky Rubio, the rest of the supporting cast like Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer have not been great and the team is in danger of missing the playoffs yet again and that would be a big hit on the franchise's chances of keeping Love.

Many see this team as talented enough to make the playoffs and if they disappoint again that would set things back and on top of that, the organization and Love have not always had the most "loving" relationship. The article also points to LaMarcus Aldridge and the Blazers, who appeared to be in a similar situation and now the team is flourishing, but they are much better constructed than the Wolves are and Aldridge may end up staying anyway.

The Knicks will make a run at Love in 2015 if he opts out and while the Lakers are a favorite because of his time in UCLA, the Knicks will be a player as well with all the money they will have coming off of the books by then. Love did not get the five-year, 30 percent max deal from the Wolves that many expected after the lockout and now the future may be up in the air for all parties involved. The Wolves are ranked second in the league in scoring and sixth in assists and they are also fifth in rebounding, but yet the team remains fourth in the division, while Love continues to rake while leading the team in scoring and rebounding. Only time will tell on this one. 

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