Unquestionably, Kevin Love will be the most sought after player on the NBA market this offseason.
Although he won’t be an unrestricted free agent until next summer, the Minnesota Timberwolves forward might be eying a quick and painless departure from the Twin Cities — after all he’s accomplished almost everything in his six-year career except reaching the postseason.
While plenty of teams have been linked to the three-time All-Star and his future services since the close of the 2014 regular season, ESPN.com’s NBA analyst Chris Broussard isn’t so sure Minnesota team president and head coach Flip Saunders has designs to part ways with Love anytime soon.
And at the very least, not before the NBA draft.
“I don’t think so,” Broussard said when asked if the former UCLA standout could be changing teams by June 26. “Flip Saunders became the head coach because he wants to convince Kevin Love [to stay in Minnesota] or at least give it his best shot.
“He wants to give it his best shot to keep Kevin Love. Obviously, if it gets too bad he may pull the trigger if he gets a great offer. But I think he’s going to try and coach Kevin. I think if Flip looks at that roster and thinks they can win some games.”
Should Saunders change his mind, though, the Suns are among the organizations reportedly curious as to what it will take to make a legitimate run at Love.
But according to Broussard, the feeling might not be so mutual for Love, who averaged 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game in 2013-14.
“I honestly think Phoenix would be a great place for Love,” said Broussard. “I don’t think he looks at it this way, unfortunately. I think he’s looking more at the big markets.”
Despite the fact the Suns can’t offer Love a market similar to that of the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls or Golden State Warriors, they can provide him with an up-and-coming head coach and a young nucleus potentially centered around budding stars like Eric Bledsoe (restricted free agent in 2014) and Goran Dragic (player option after 2014-15 season).
Still, Broussard isn’t sold that will be enough to bring Love or any young players of his ilk to the Valley.
“It’s sad because a lot of these younger guys don’t understand how great…I mean Phoenix has historically been a great franchise,” said Broussard. “And it’s obviously a great city to live in with the weather. It’s a great city to be in. But you look at the way the team plays, you look at Goran Dragic and we’ll see what they do with Bledsoe, but they actually have some promise.”