Based on the plethora of rumors that came out a week or so before free agency began, seeing Kevin Love traded to the Golden State Warriors by now would not be a complete surprise.
But here we are, on the second day of July, the second day of free agency, and we still haven’t gotten any closer than a week ago on Love coming to the bay. The “stalemate” between the Warriors and Timberwolves that was reported a week ago is still ongoing, for all we know.
Tim Kawikami of the San Jose Mercury News, in a column written today, stated:
An NBA source indicated Wednesday that Minnesota president Flip Saunders has insisted that the Warriors must not only include Thompson but also take back Kevin Martin and his remaining $22.2 million in any Love deal.
That’s the same story that was coming out a week ago. The Timberwolves want Klay Thompson in any deal for Love, and the Warriors don’t want to do that. Minnesota is also asking that the Warriors take back Martin and his colossal contract, and the Warriors don’t want to do that.
The ball is in the Warriors’ court here: the second they say “yes” to including Thompson, Love will be in a Warrior uniform next season. Or, they can play hardball with the Timberwolves and call their bluff, which is what they appear to be doing right now. They know that they have the asset — Thompson — that Minnesota values most, but they might think that they can get the Timberwolves to accept a deal of David Lee, Harrison Barnes, and a first round pick. If another team jumps in with a better offer, the Warriors know they can always put Thompson back in the deal and get it done. But what the Warriors are hoping for is that the Timberwolves don’t find a better offer, become desperate to move Love because he is going to bolt next offseason as a free agent, and take Golden State’s non-Thompson trade proposal.
So that’s where we stand right now, with both teams playing hardball. The crickets will keep chirping on the Kevin Love front — that is, until one team caves.