Kevin Love won’t be in Minnesota for much longer. That much is known. The rest, however, is still up in the air. About a month ago, a Love-to-the-Warriors deal seemed imminent, but the Warriors are insistent in keeping Klay Thompson in the Bay Area.
The Golden State Warriors were still the frontrunners for Love until LeBron James made his return to Cleveland official. James’ decision not only shifted the balance of power in the Eastern Conference, but it also elevated Cleveland’s chances at landing Love, therefore decreasing Golden State’s chances.
The talks between the Timberwolves and Cavaliers reached a snag similar to the one holding up a Golden State-Minnesota deal: the Wolves are demanding Andrew Wiggins in return while the Cavs desperately want to keep him.
Sources say KLove remains "intrigued" by chance to join LeBron with Cavs. I'm told Wolves, though, still asking for off-limits AWiggins
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 13, 2014
Love has also stated that James’ two-year deal would not discourage him from joining forces in Cleveland because he believes James is indeed committed to Northeast Ohio for the long-term.
At the moment, Golden State and Cleveland lead the chase for Love, but don’t count out other dark-horses. According to reports, the Boston Celtics are also involved in Love talks, but they seem to be on the outside looking in.
At this point, the Wolves are holding out for the best possible deal. Although Love has made it clear he wants to be traded to a contender (e.g., the Warriors or Cavs, and not the Celtics), Minnesota is more concerned with what they get in return than Love’s future happiness.
Love’s destination will most likely be determined by which team gives in first–the Warriors by including Thompson, the Cavs by including Wiggins, or the Wolves by accepting the deal without either of those two.
If the decision were completely up to Love, where would he go? Love has experienced the toughness of the Western Conference. If he’s serious about winning, he should heavily consider Cleveland.
The Cavaliers also have the advantage in one other way: they have King James. Although the Warriors’ roster is great with Stephen Curry and others, it’s hard to compete with James. James makes Cleveland’s deficiencies–as both a city and a franchise–disappear, making Cleveland much more appealing.
Love must like the possibilities of moving out West again and living in the beautiful Bay Area. There, he’d play in front of some of the best fans in basketball for a franchise that has catapulted itself into the league’s elite in a few short years.
While the decision is not up to Love, it’d be hard to turn down playing with James. As stated earlier, Love will most likely end up in the colors of the team that gives in first.
Knowing Joe Lacob’s stubbornness, Steve Kerr’s want to coach the Warriors as they are now, and the power of James, I believe Love will soon be on his way to Cleveland. This wouldn’t be the worst news possible for the Warriors as although they missed on Love, so did every other Western Conference team.