A new suitor has emerged in the ongoing sweepstakes for Kevin Love. According to Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports, the Phoenix Suns are interested in a Love trade involving one of star guards, Goran Dragic or Eric Bledsoe, in addition to future draft picks.
Suns interested in Love deal w/best assets Dragic, Bledsoe & picks.NBA sources say it will take full max deal to control free agent Bledsoe.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 7, 2014
Perspective is pertinent here; every team in the league is interested in acquiring Love and all players in his elite tier. The fact the Suns have made their hopes to get in on the bidding public speaks to the gravity of their involvement. Whether or not Love – who many believe prefers to play in one of the league’s premier media markets – would sign an extension with Phoenix remains to be seen, and the Suns’ interest in such a deal without assurances that he’d be in the desert for the long-haul is unknown, too.
Also of note is Spears’ report: Bledsoe is seeking a maximum-level contract. Phoenix opted against signing him to an extension before the season began, making him an unrestricted free agent this summer. While the 24 year-old Bledsoe enjoyed a breakout campaign in his first year as a starter, it’s mildly surprising he’s expecting such a big payday. He’s a fantastic talent with room to grow, but Bledsoe has his warts — the biggest of which are lingering injury concerns. The free agency market for point guards is an interesting one; Bledsoe and Toronto’s Kyle Lowry head the list, and the contractual terms of whichever player is off the board first could dictate those of the other.
Meanwhile, Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio maintains he wants Love to remain in Minnesota. Speaking with NBA.com from Italy on Sunday, Rubio said it’s tough to decipher Love’s real intentions from those reported by media.
“I don’t want to convince him if he doesn’t want to stay. But I want him to stay and I’m going to tell him what I think, which is we’ve been improving every year and he’s a great player, he helps us a lot.
I think we need to make the next step. … The media says it’s pretty settled, but I don’t know what he thinks. What I’ve been hearing is from the media, not from him, so I don’t trust that. It can be an opinion from you guys. I just really want to talk to him as a teammate.”
Recent comments made by Minnesota part-owner, president, and newly-minted head coach Flip Saunders likely don’t endear Love to the organization.
In an interview with KFAN 100.3 in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Saunders compared the situation with Love to one he experienced with Kevin Garnett almost a decade ago:
“Just like I told (Kevin) Garnett, he didn’t have a right to be frustrated. Why does any player have a right to be frustrated? You’re either part of the problem or part of the solution.
Should the team be frustrated? Yeah, the team can be frustrated. But I don’t think any one individual should be frustrated.”
Clearly, times like these are a foggy memory in Minnesota:
(GIF via Morgan Hayward)
Do you think Phoenix is a good spot for Kevin Love?
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