April 23, 2014

NBA Rumors: Timberwolves reject Cavs offer for Kevin Love

The Minnesota Timberwolves reportedly turned down a loaded trade proposal from the Cleveland Cavaliers for All-Star big man Kevin Love.

According to ESPN’s Andy Katz, the trade offer was the following: forward Tristan Thompson, guard Dion Waiters and the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft. Per Katz, new Minnesota team president Flip Saunders won’t move Love and thus rejected the offer.

The trade rumor proposal was the headliner in Katz’s report late this afternoon on the Cavs continuing to shop the top pick in Thursday’s draft. Katz wrote that Cleveland is high on their two young players, but would love to nab a current All-Star to pair with Kyrie Irving (and not just in Pepsi Max commercials).

The rumored deal immediately became the talk of Twitter with some national writers saying that it makes sense for Minnesota to decline the offer. Certainly, the 24-year-old Love was one of the premier young stars in the league before battling injuries over the past year. He played just 18 games during the 2012-13 season. These writers shared how the Cavs’ offer was not of significant value or enough star power.

Love, the No. 5 pick in the 2008 draft, had a career-low 17.9 PER in his limited minutes this past year. He also posted career lows with 35.2% shooting along with 70.4% from the free-throw line. Over the previous two seasons, he averaged 22.7 and 14.4 per game with a 24.8 PER.

Thompson, 22, averaged 11.7 and 9.4 in playing all 82 games in his sophomore season. He was much improved down the stretch as the Cavs played without their best big man, Anderson Varejao. He developed an effective push shot and increased his True Shooting percentage to a respectable 51.6% from a disappointing 46.9% his first season.

Waiters, 21 and nine months younger than Thompson, averaged 14.7 and 3.0 in an up-and-down rookie season. He shot only 41.2% from the field, yet improved his shot selection and efficiency over the course of the year.

The Cavs’ No. 1 pick in the draft has been much criticized with no unanimous favorite among pundits. Previous rumors had the GM Chris Grant making a pitch to the Portland Trailblazers for LaMarcus Aldridge. Indications are that the team is over-valuing the pick, hence leading to varied trade rumors and speculations.

[Related: Are the Cavaliers on the verge of making a huge mistake?]

  • architrance

    Wow. Does this “rumor” mean “so your saying there’s a chance” of prying away Love? I wouldn’t have thought the Cavs would even make an attempt. Talk about a dream scenario…

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    I get why the Cavs offered it and I also get why Minny might have turned it down. Quantity doesn’t always trump quality and Love is more of a known than anything the Cavs are sending. The Cavs could have buyers remorse if a deal like that went through and so could Minnesota.

    That’s the sign of an interesting proposal at least.

  • wildrover4

    Have the Cavs confirmed this?

  • Lunch

    And another fine rumor, brought to you by Andy Katz’s toilet. Flip Saunders already stated that he wasn’t going to trade Love, so why did Grant try anyway? Must have been more poop that needed to be flushed down the drain.

  • JHop

    Doesn’t hurt to try. If anything, knowing how the new regime up in Minnesota values certain players may help the Cavs in proposing future trade offers.

  • saggy

    gotta at least TRY. It was also probably only a first offer. I would expect Grant to try again.

  • Guest

    Katz did not report this… There is NO WAY this was the actual offer. “LegionSports” was the Twitter account that reported this, likely trying to make something more concrete out of Katz’s vague reports.

    Grant is WAY too shrewd to offer this kind of deal. I call bullshit.

  • BROSEPH

    If this was a legitimate offer, thank goodness it didn’t happen. Minnesota should be kicking themselves for not taking it.

    Love’s future in Minny is not certain, neither is his health. Waiters and Thompson are two rising players with all star potential. #1 can get you whatever you feel fits best, Bennet or Porter would fit nicely. They still have #9, that can get you another good young player. You have Rubio, Pekovic (most likely), DWilliams. That’s 7ish SOLID players all around 23 or younger That’s a contender for years to come, 2005 Detroit Pistons 2.0.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    I think the point about the Cavs “overvaluing” the pick is accurate from a reporter’s worldview, but think about it this way: If you’re the Cavs, and you likely will end up making a pick at #1, you absolutely need to express to the player you’re drafting, the fans, and any other teams that you would be perfectly happy keeping that #1 pick. “This is the guy we wanted.” ‘But didn’t you look to trade the pick?’ “We looked at all our options, but ultimately we didn’t feel that any of the offers we received were more valuable than this guy.” The only way that’s true is if they demand a high, high price. Otherwise you’re tacitly acknowledging you want out of the pick really badly and then other teams figure there’s no reason to offer you a lot for it.

  • woofersus

    Tristan, Dion, AND the number 1 pick for a guy who Minnesota isn’t sure they can keep? I would hope the #9 was coming back at least. That said, I doubt there were serious talks about this deal. The Cavs would “love” to get Kevin, but he may be available for a lot less in a year, and the deal creates more holes than it fills. You need a complete team to be competetive, and these deals that send out multiple current pieces AND the pick don’t really allow the Cavs to complete the team. For Minnesota Love is nearly untouchable for the time being, because he’s their best player and they have another year to get good enough for him to re-up. I don’t think either team would want that deal.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Lets not over value Thompson and Waiters though.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Cavaliers can’t find any Love first Portland now Minnesota. DAMMMMMMMMMM!

  • RGB

    Hopefully all this trade the #1 pick talk is just an effort to “convince” Orlando that someone is going to move ahead of them and pick the guy they want…Nerlens. That way they will trade up to the #1 with us, and we end up with their pick and a another asset or two.

  • mgbode

    wholly agree here. and, I think it makes sense that Grant is going after the big fish even if we are the ones throwing rumors out there for people to nab. good for the fans, good for keeping Kyrie happy, and plausible deniability for discussions with the other players.

  • BenRM

    good sleuthing!

  • Harv 21

    that’s right, Katz simply passed on a rumor from someone else based on an anonymous source. Important to remember the primary goal of these one-line reports in the hours pre-draft: draw as many hits with as much exciting-sounding stuff as you can, and if one happens to turn out correct claim credit for breaking it early. There’s almost zero consequences for being wrong.

    So many have incentive to blow contradicting smoke that readers have to ask: why would either team make/reject/accept that offer? Why would the parties let discussions leak, given the potential blowback of dashed expectations, damage to future negotiations between the parties or poisoning the team/player relationship?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Orlando has a nice combo at SF and PF seems to me PG is a huge need. McLemore wouldn’t be bad either.

  • Brandon Sander

    I can pretty much guarantee that is was never something the Cavs offered. This was some crap that Minnesota made up and leaked. Maybe we offered them Thompson straight up for Love and they got pissed or maybe they just straight pulled it out of their ass.