The Cleveland Cavaliers are fielding calls from everywhere, but the team they’d really like to to make a deal with is Minnesota.
And if the Timberwolves are willing to surrender Kevin Love, the No. 1 pick is available to them, sources tell SheridanHoops.com.
The situation with Love in Minnesota is tricky.
He was offended when the ‘Wolves would not offer him the one five-year deal that is available to them (they are saving it for Ricky Rubio), but he buttressed his displeasure by getting an opt out in his current max deal after the third year.
“I was willing to make a commitment for five years. They thought otherwise,” Love infamously said after reaching agreement with former Wolves GM David Kahn.
The bottom line is that Love can opt out of his contract in 2015, and the Wolves could lose him as an unretricted free agent with nothing in return.
Also, Minnesota has to deal with the restricted free agency of Nikola Pekovic this summer, and as we learned with Omer Asik last summer, teams with cap space can find very creative ways to entice a very valuable player away from his old team.
Also, the Wolves are stacked with picks, holding No. 9, 26, 52 and 59, but they do not have a first-rounder next year in the loaded 2014 draft. Would an offer of Love and a ’14 No. 1 pick, along with picks 9 and 26, in exchange for Cleveland’s No. 1 constitute overpaying? Depends on how new GM Flip Saunders feels about Noel, the kid from Kentucky with the torn ACL who may become the first overall No. 1 draft pick to walk to the podium using crutches to shake commissioner David Stern’s hand.
The Cavs also love Georgetown’s Otto Porter, but they couldn’t trade down very far and still have a chance to grab him. I don’t see Porter slipping out of the Top 5.
Other chatter we are hearing from around the league:
- The Knicks really like Shane Larkin, if he is there for them at No. 24. Larkin, in case you missed it, set an NBA combine record with a 44′ inch vertical leap at pre-draft camp in Chicago.
- Word on the street from our top spy in Greece is that two NBA teams have make first-round promises to Greek Freak Giannis Adetokumbo. We have a strong suspicion that one of those teams is Atlanta, which picks 17th and 18th.
- The Jazz would love to see C.J. McCollum slip to them at 14, but if he doesn’t seem okay with Michael Carter-Williams or Dennis Schroeder and will look to add a big later in the first round to replenish their depth with Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap both free agents.
- While Oklahoma City has mostly been linked to bigs in the draft, a source insists the Thunder are intrigued by McCollum and think he could be an upgrade over Kevin Martin in their system. Other names to watch in the first round with the Thunder are Kelly Olynyk, Steven Adams, Rudy Gobert, Jeff Withey, or Gorgui Dieng as the search for Kendrick Perkins’ eventual replacement.