The moment that many Los Angeles Lakers fans have been hoping for may be lining up, as the Minnesota Timberwolves might be getting closer to trading Kevin Love, according to reports from multiple outlets. Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reports that Love's "people" have "reiterated" to Minnesota that he will leave as a free agent if they do not trade him, and that Love would like to play for the Lakers or New York Knicks:
"Kevin Love's people reiterated to the Timberwolves this past week that they had better trade him or else he'll leave via free agency when his contract is up after next season... Love wants to play for the Lakers but he's also open to coming to the Knicks"
Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski adds that the Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns and Lakers will make "hard" runs to land Love. Both the Lakers and Celtics are expected to make their 2014 draft picks available in order to acquire him:
The Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns are among many teams determined to make hard runs at trades for Love, league sources said. Boston and Los Angeles plan to make high-lottery picks in the 2014 NBA Draft available in offers for Love, sources said.
For now, these are obviously just rumors, and people spreading these rumors usually have some type of agenda and thus they must be taken with a grain of salt. On the other hand, this much smoke usually indicates that there is some type of fire.
In terms of how this relates to the Lakers, with limited assets other than what could be a middling lottery pick pending the results of Tuesday's lottery, it 's hard to see how general manager Mitch Kupchak could assemble the most attractive trade package for Love out of these rumored suitors. Even if they are making their lottery pick available in an offer for Love it would still appear as though the only way that he could end up in Los Angeles via trade is if he makes it clear that he will not re-sign anywhere else and scares off other suitors.