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NBA Rumors: Kevin Love Visiting Boston

Kevin Love spent the weekend visiting Boston. See what Flip Saunders had to say … Scott Brooks isn’t concerned about being fired … Tony Parker should be ready for Game 1 of the Finals

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Kevin Love Spends Time in Boston

During a weekend trip to Boston, All-Star forward Kevin Love has been taking pictures with fans and seeing the sights, leading Celtics fans to speculate that he’s going to follow in the footsteps of Kevin Garnett as the next Minnesota star to come to town and turn around a struggling franchise.

Not so fast, Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said.

“The last I knew Kevin was under contract with us, and I expect him to be playing for us next year,” Saunders said Sunday after a workout of draft prospects. “I don’t really dictate where guys go on vacation or what they do. They can go wherever they want to go.”

via The Associated Press

The rumors surrounding Kevin Love and his desire to go to a new team have been picking up steam the last few weeks. Love added fuel to the fire by spending the weekend in Boston, which is significant as the Celtics are one of the many teams that will reportedly make a serious attempt to acquire the talented power forward.

Love has been with the Minnesota Timberwolves for six seasons now, but has never made it to the playoffs. Reports suggest that Love wants to go to a team where he can compete immediately in the playoffs, and compete at a high level long term.

Timberwolves president Flip Saunders stated that he expects Love to play in Minnesota next season, but he is aware that there is a real chance Love could leave for nothing if the team doesn’t trade him.

Saunders’ stance may change with the NBA Draft coming up soon, along with serious trade proposals from other teams. The Celtics have the sixth pick and 17th pick in this draft, which is loaded with talent, as well as other assets to offer in a trade. Love is arguably the best power forward in the league, and it will take a lot to convince Saunders to trade him. Expect things to heat up as the draft approaches.

Brooks Confident He Will Return as Coach of the Thunder

Thunder coach Scott Brooks says he doesn’t listen to his critics and hasn’t even thought about the possibility of not returning next season as the team’s coach.

“It’s something I don’t even consider,” he said. “I just do my job every day.”

via Royce Young of ESPN.com

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s season came to an end on Saturday night as the San Antonio Spurs grinded out a tough win in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. Now, the focus has shifted to head coach Scott Brooks and whether he is the man to lead this talented team to a championship moving forward.

Brooks is not often put in the same category as coaches like Gregg Popovich, Rick Carlisle and Doc Rivers. To be fair, not many coaches are, since each of these coaches have won at least one championship. However, NBA coaches are being scrutinized more than ever before, and some are even being fired after 50-plus win seasons. Some examples of this include Vinny Del Negro, Lionel Hollins, George Karl and Mark Jackson.

While Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook gave Brooks their endorsements, rumors about Brooks’ job security won’t go away until the front office states affirmatively that he will return.

Parker Should be Ready for Game 1

Despite a sprained ankle, San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker is hopeful to play in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Parker “should be ready” to play in Game 1, two sources with direct knowledge told Yahoo Sports.

via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports

Tony Parker was forced to miss the second half and overtime of Game 6 against the Thunder on Saturday due to an ankle injury. While it is not clear how severe the injury is, it seems that Parker will at least be healthy enough to test it out in Game 1.

While losing Parker for any time would be a big loss for the Spurs, the team showed on Saturday against the Thunder that it can manage the loss of their starting point guard better than probably any other team in the league. Still, Parker is one of the best players in the league at finishing shots around the rim, and the Miami HEAT lack the rim protection that the Thunder have with forward Serge Ibaka under the basket.

If Parker is anywhere close to 100 percent, it will make a big difference for the Spurs. If not, Patty Mills and Manu Ginobili will have to pick up slack as the primary ball-handlers, and Marco Belinelli will have to have a much better series than he did against the Thunder.

Parker will have a few days to rest and rehab as Game 1 is set for Thursday.

Jesse Blancarte is a Deputy Editor for Basketball Insiders. He is also an Attorney and a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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