If Kevin Love is on his way to Golden State, Warriors GM Bob Myers isn’t telling.
With his team one of the many that has had discussions with the Minnesota Timberwolves about Love, Myers declined Friday to speak specifically about the possibility of adding the three-time All-Star to a team that won 51 games last season. He said it was “unlikely” that the Warriors would make a significant trade before the draft Thursday, but also acknowledged that things could change on that front at a moment’s notice.
“I will say if you asked me last year at this time would we be in a situation to grab an (Andre) Iguodala, I would have said the same thing,” Myers said. “I could get up from this (press conference) and five minutes later my phone rings and it’s a deal that I hadn’t thought of, and all of a sudden you’re going down that path. Right now it’s unlikely.”
The Timberwolves are considering moving the face of their franchise because Love can opt out of his contract after next summer and has made it clear to the team that he plans to sign elsewhere after missing the playoffs for the first six seasons of his career.
Flip Saunders, the Timberwolves’ president and coach, has received interest from a number of teams, including the Warriors and Celtics, who could send Minnesota their two first-round picks in this year’s draft – Nos. 6 and 17 – and a player or two in exchange for Love. The Rockets, Bulls and Cavaliers are among the other teams who could be interested in one of the best power forwards in the league.
Saunders is believed to be looking for a package highlighted by proven young veterans who could help the Wolves, who won 40 games last season but have missed the playoffs for 10 straight years, avoid yet another rebuilding phase.
The Warriors could send 23-year-old guard Klay Thompson, former All-Star forward David Lee and a first-round draft pick to the Wolves for Love and Kevin Martin, or Saunders could try to get the Warriors to include swingman Harrison Barnes in the deal as well.
Saunders also could elect to keep Love on the roster, make a couple of moves once the free agent market opens on July 1 and try to convince Love to change his mind next season and remain with the team.
Rumors about a potential trade involving Love picked up steam when former NBA player and current sports talk radio host Mychal Thompson, Klay Thompson’s father, went on air earlier this week and said a deal appeared imminent.
Myers smiled when asked about it.
“Things are reported and immediately reported based on that initial report,” Myers said. “Sometimes things pick up speed. It’s nice to be relevant, I suppose. But to be honest I prefer things not to be out there that are not actually accurate.”
New coach Steve Kerr spoke when he was hired about his desire to add “a stretch 4” – a power forward who could rebound and shoot 3-pointers – and Love is the best one in the league at the moment. He averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and shot 37.6 percent on 3-pointers last season and was voted a starter on the Western Conference All-Star team.
But one thing Myers is weighing is the possibility of making a big move and risking upsetting the chemistry of a tight-knit team versus staying the course and getting the young players on the roster to develop.
“I have a strong belief, as does our organization and ownership, that the more familiar you are with each other as teammates, the more chance you have to become … the sum of the parts is better than each individual,” he said. “We believe in that. And that would lead you to think that grow organically is the best way to do it. But that doesn’t preclude the organization, myself, from exploring anything. You have to. It’s your job.”
If the plan to make any changes to their roster this offseason, it’s not likely to happen as a result of the NBA draft.
For the second straight year they don’t have a single pick in the draft. They traded their first-rounder to Utah last year as part of a deal to acquire Iguodala. The second-round pick was sent to Minnesota as part of another three-team deal.
“I don’t think that we’re necessarily in need of a pick,” Myers said. “Everything’s pretty fluid so I never want to rule it out but I think it would be difficult to get one this year.”
Updated June 20, 2014