NBA Rumors Round-Up

NBA Rumors: Lakers’ Lottery Pick Available?

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Check out our breakdown of the biggest rumors of the day in our NBA Rumor Round-Up. For more rumors and news, check out Basketball Insiders’ headlines, which are constantly being updated.

Lakers want Kevin Love

The suggestion is already in circulation that the Lakers will attempt to use their forthcoming high lottery pick in June to assemble the sort of trade package that finally convinces the Wolves to part with Love and end the uncertainty that hangs over this franchise even before the 25-year-old enters the final year of his contract. Yet there is just as much defiance emanating from Minnesota, as we speak, about the Wolves’ ability to keep Love in town.

Via Marc Stein of ESPN

It’s no secret that the Lakers would love to pry Love away from Minnesota. Because of their future cap space, incoming lottery pick and the fact that they’re willing to make a deal for him without a long-term commitment, they’re one of the prime landing spots should he become available.

Love is the kind of guy who you only get to trade once if you’re the Timberwolves, though, which is why they’re in no hurry to jump at the Lakers’ offer. They know they’re going to be willing to trade for him at any point in time, whether it be during free agency in July or at next year’s trade deadline in February. Because they don’t have any sense of urgency to move Love, the Lakers should explore other options because they could still get a serious difference maker if they’re willing to trade their lottery selection.

For Timberwolves GM Flip Saunders there’s more pressing decisions ahead, like who will be the team’s next head coach in the case that Adelman walks away this summer. In Stein’s article, he mentions that as a possibility, with Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg being one of the top candidates to replace him. However, the Timberwolves’ gig isn’t the only one he’s being mentioned in association with right now.

Knicks’ coaching candidates list growing

If indeed TNT analyst and former NBA guard Steve Kerr, who played for three of Jackson’s championship Bulls teams, wants to coach, he is the front-runner, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

But one other name to consider, if Kerr doesn’t end up as coach: Derek Fisher, who could end up with the Knicks either as a coach or front-office executive.

Via Sam Amick of USA Today Sports

Kerr and Fisher are no surprises to be on the Knicks’ short list for a new head coach, assuming that Mike Woodson is relieved of his duties at season’s end – a virtual certainty at this point.

This is the first time that Hoiberg has been mentioned as a possibility. He’s a hot name in coaching circles, though, and now with his team eliminated he could start to pursue pro opportunities a little bit more seriously. He’s under contract through 2020, but his is buyout is only $500,000 as long as he goes to the NBA.

As of right now it seems like Knicks fans should start to embrace the idea of their next head coach having no NBA coaching experience, because it seems like only guys without any are being considered.

More underclassmen declare for NBA Draft

Xavier’s Semaj Christon, UCLA’s Kyle Anderson and Zach LaVine have declared for the 2014 NBA Draft.

Via Basketball Insiders

Christon is a 6’3 point guard coming off of a strong sophomore campaign in which he averaged 17 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists. He’s a quality defender, but still has a long way to go as a shooter. He connected on 38 percent of his attempts from distance this year, but only made 19 on the season. Turnovers are also a weakness of his; he turned it over seven times in the Muskateers’ season-ending loss to N.C. State. He’s on the first round bubble, with workouts likely to determine which side of it he ends up on.

Anderson is going to cause a lot of debate in front offices as scouts and executives will likely be split over whether his unique style can translate to the NBA. He was a 6’9 point guard for UCLA this season, but he’s not going to be able to defend that position at the next level. He’s likely going to have to transition either into a small forward or power forward, depending on which one he can contain the best. Without being able to defend his position, Anderson won’t get the opportunity to utilize his incredible playmaking gifts offensively. His stock is all over the place, from the lottery to the late first round. The risk is great with him, but the potential reward makes him too good of an investment to get past the middle portion of the first round, odds are.

Because of Anderson we didn’t get to see as much as LaVine with the basketball in his hands as we were hoping to this season. He really impressed early on and was starting to be projected as a potential lottery pick by many. However, he really hit a wall late in the season. His role with the Bruins decreased as they became more successful. He’s going to have to really put together some good workouts in order to get back into the top half of the first round range. Hopefully his representation doesn’t try to limit his workout opportunities and act like he didn’t hurt his stock late in the season. He needs to be seen and prove that his late season struggles are worth looking past based on his potential. If they become sold on his ability to play the point, he could be much better off than if he’s solely looked at as a two guard.

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About Yannis Koutroupis

Yannis Koutroupis

Yannis Koutroupis is Basketball Insiders' Managing Site Editor and Senior Writer. He has been covering the NBA and NCAA for seven years.