Warriors trade unlikely for draft night
The Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors continue to discuss a Kevin Love trade, according to sources close to the process, though a deal didn't materialized in conjunction with Thursday night's NBA draft.
Sources told ESPN.com that the teams have resumed dialogue on the much-discussed deal that would send Love to the Warriors, but neither side has yet shown a willingness to yield on the Klay Thompson issue.
The Wolves have been adamant that Thompson be included in the trade, but the Warriors' pursuit has been stalled by what ESPN.com reported last weekend has been described as an "organizational split" on the willingness to part with Thompson.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Warriors, though, remain determined to acquire Love, not only because of their well-chronicled desire to add an elite, floor-spreading power forward but also because management believes that a Stephen Curry/Love duo would get the attention of LeBron James as James weighs whether to re-sign with the Miami Heat or try to force a sign-and-trade elsewhere.
The Denver Nuggets, sources say, also have remained in the hunt for the Love, despite the fact the All-Star forward is believed to be unwilling to make a long-term commitment to the Nuggets. Love's determination to become an unrestricted free agent in July 2015 is the force that has thrust him onto the trade market this month, forcing the Wolves to field offers for their best player despite their preference not to move him.
After it appeared last week that the Warriors were prepared to part with Thompson in order to land Love, sources told ESPN.com that Hall of Fame consultant Jerry West and new Warriors coach Steve Kerr voiced opposition to surrendering both Thompson and a future first-round pick to the Timberwolves, along with former All-Star forward David Lee, for Love and Wolves guard Kevin Martin.
The talks between Minnesota and Golden State gathered momentum in advance of the draft, then stalled. Sources say dialogue has indeed resumed, but the discussions did not involve any picks in Thursday night's proceedings, offsetting any potential spark factor the draft normally might have carried in the situation.
The Warriors, Nuggets and Boston Celtics have been widely regarded as the top trade contenders for Love, with the Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers also said to be among the teams expressing interest.
ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard reported last week that the Nuggets are offering Kenneth Faried, Wilson Chandler and the No. 11 pick in Thursday's draft for Love, while Boston reportedly is building its pitch around the No. 6 and No. 17 overall picks and the inclusion of a veteran such as Jeff Green or a younger player such as Kelly Olynyk or Jared Sullinger.
Any team that trades for Love, though, will need assurances that the 25-year-old is prepared to stay there for the long term. Love's intent to become an unrestricted free agent makes it highly unlikely any potential suitor would offer anything of value to the Wolves without assurances Love would sign a new contract with the team.