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This comes on the heels of reports that the Boston Celtics have the best offer for the disgruntled Kevin Love. Their package centered around multiple draft picks, young talent like Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk and veterans with filler contracts to meet the CBA requirements like Jeff Green and Gerald Wallace.
While packages like that have become the common return for a superstar headed towards free agency, the Timberwolves have been marred in a long playoff drought for a decade straight. Rebuilding with multiple draft picks and cap space may be attractive for a lot of teams, but they’re at the point where they need to start winning in order to restore some good faith with the fan base, especially if they end up losing Love this summer. The Nuggets’ trade offer certainly offers them a better chance to be competitive next season than Boston’s.
They’re somewhat of a peculiar potential suitor just based off of the risk that they would be taking giving up those two talented players and whatever else it would take to acquire him without any type of commitment beyond next season. As of right now, Love seems intent on exploring free agency. He’s yet to seem open to exercising his player option and putting off free agency for another year. The Nuggets would be taking a sizable gamble on being able to keep him long-term; they recently took a similar gamble with Andre Iguodala, only to see him end up with the Golden State Warriors after just one season with them.
Speaking of the Warriors, they’re one of the other teams interested in Love along with the Chicago Bulls. Their offer is said to center around David Lee, with there being conflicting information out there about whether Klay Thompson would be a part of it as well. Ideally for the Warriors, they’d be able to package Lee and Harrison Barnes instead, but that probably isn’t enough to get the Wolves to bite.
The best-case scenario for the Wolves remains improving the pieces around Love and persuading him to stay. It just doesn’t seem like they have the means to do so, though, which is creating an increasing possibility for him to be traded before the start of free agency, perhaps even draft night.
It says a lot about Young’s professionalism that after a career year he is still willing to come off of the bench. A lot of players would want to go somewhere they could continue to be a primary option as Young was last year in Mike D’Antoni’s system with all of the injuries they had, but he is a Los Angeles native and a big part of him wants to stay with the franchise he grew up following.
Young averaged 17.9 points per game this past season, showcasing his explosiveness offensively on a regular basis. However, he was a bit inefficient in doing so, shooting just 43 percent from the field and 38 percent from distance.
The style in which the Lakers play next year is going to have to a lot to do with whether Young is retained or not. At 29 years of age, he pretty much is who he is at this point in his career. He’s the kind of guy who you can’t micromanage and expect to play within the confines of a strict, halfcourt oriented system. He needs to have the freedom to be aggressive and be himself.
Depending on what the market is like for him, the Lakers may not be interested at all. They’re trying to go after some of the top free agents this summer and don’t have his bird rights. If they are able to land another star to pair alongside Kobe Bryant, they may not have the financial flexibility to match a significant offer, should Young receive one.
Kobe was seen recently playing some soccer, the most proof we’ve seen yet that he is back to full strength. This past season was the most difficult of Kobe’s career as he played in just six games after working relentlessly to return from a torn Achilles, only to suffer a serious knee injury that cost him the rest of the season shortly after.
While Kobe is currently enjoying the World Cup, the Lakers are likely going to lean on him heavily once free agency starts to try to help them recruit the likes of Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James, who they reportedly have interest in trying to lure to Hollywood.
Being at full strength now should help him in his sales pitch, as it’s unlikely they would want to join forces with him without knowing that he is healthy.
Kobe is going into the season with a lot of motivation as his massive two year contract extension has been the subject of serious criticism. With his injury woes behind him, he’ll be able to go into training camp ready to go from Day 1.
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