Check out 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.
The Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets have emerged as possible trading partners for the Wolves, who fell below expectations this year and failed to make the playoffs for the 10th year in a row.
Boston will likely have the fifth pick in the upcoming draft (to be determined on Tuesday at the Draft Lottery), which will be the centerpiece of any deal for Love. Love would instantly become the franchise player in Boston, and would lead a young, developing roster. While the Celtics are not ready for a playoff run as of now, they are on the upswing with young players, multiple draft picks and new head coach Brad Stevens. Also, the Eastern Conference is much weaker than the West, and Love would have an easier route to the playoffs than he had in all his years in Minnesota.
The Rockets are also a possible destination. Chandler Parsons would be at the center of any deal for Love. Parsons has proven to be one of the most versatile small forwards in the league, and is still very young. Omer Asik, who is one of the best defensive centers in the league, would also likely be included.
Other teams that will reportedly pursue Love include the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors. The Suns, in particular, have several assets to make a deal and a strong core to incorporate Love into. Nothing is imminent yet, and a deal will not be made until Love commits to signing long-term with any team that wants to trade for him.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the Bulls will attempt to sign international prospect Nikola Mirotic this summer. Mirotic, who currently plays for Real Madrid, was acquired by the Bulls on draft day in 2011.
Mirotic is a skilled big man at 6’10 and would be a significant addition for the Bulls next season, especially if Carlos Boozer is amnestied.
Another possibility is the Bulls including the rights to Mirotic in a package to acquire Kevin Love from the Wolves. The Bulls can also include their first-round picks for the upcoming draft (No. 16 and No. 19) in any deal with Minnesota. A pairing of Derrick Rose, Kevin Love and Joakim Noah would make the Bulls a contender in the East, even if a player like Jimmy Butler is sent to Minnesota.
If Mirotic does not come over to the Bulls this season, he will likely sign the following season.
The Cleveland Cavaliers recently removed the interim tag from David Griffin and made him the full-time general manager. Simultaneous to Griffin’s promotion was the firing of former head coach Mike Brown.
Now Griffin will be tasked with finding a new head coach and retooling the roster, which underachieved this season. Tristan Thompson is a solid big man, but is still very much a work in progress. Though he has improved since being drafted fourth overall in 2011, he has yet to establish himself as one of the better young big men in the league.
Anderson Varejao is a very good big who can play power forward or center. He always gives maximum effort on the court and is one of the best rebounders in the league. Varejao’s contract is only partially guaranteed for the 2014-15 season.
A package of Thompson, Varejao and a first-round pick should net valuable assets and would signal that Griffin is not adverse to moving significant players and assets. With a new general manager in place and Kyrie Irving’s free agency coming up, this could be an active offseason for the Cavaliers.
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