Report Says Kevin Love Trade Is “Dead,” But What Does That Really Mean?


The well-esteemed Ric Bucher reported on Monday that the potential trade of Kevin Love to the Golden State Warriors is “dead,” and that Love is unlikely to be dealt before the draft.

But is that really 100 percent accurate? How can any deal be “dead” before the NBA draft, before free agency, before the season, and before the trade deadline?

“Dead” is a strong word to use to describe a trade rumor; I would perhaps use “stalled” or “muted temporarily.” I don’t believe the Warriors would just completely hang up the phone on the Timberwolves and forget that the possibility of trading for Love ever existed.

What we have here, as ESPN’s Chris Broussard states, is a “serious game of chicken.” Flip Saunders and the Timberwolves are asking for David Lee, Klay Thompson, and Harrison Barnes in a deal for Love, and the Warriors are saying no. That’s where we stand right now, and neither side is budging.

Nor should they. Yes, the Timberwolves will eventually have to trade Love because all indications are that he will walk away as a free agent next season if he isn’t dealt. But it’s June 23rd, three days before the draft, and not even close to panic time for any team wanting to net Love. The Timberwolves have all the leverage right now; they don’t have to deal Love until the trade deadline in 2015, and it would be in their best interest to wait things out, let teams bid against each other, and accept the best offer that comes to the table. They can essentially sit back until one team gets desperate and presents an offer that Minnesota cannot refuse. You know, like the Lee, Thompson and Barnes package from the Warriors.

All these reports coming out stating that there’s “no way” the Warriors trade Thompson or that the deal is “dead” are premature, to say the least. For all we know, the Warriors could be fueling the news updates as a way of posturing. It could be a message to the Timberwolves that “we’re not negotiating until you come down from your asking price.”

As an NBA source told Tim Kawikami of the San Jose Mercury News, “Who knows?”. Unless you’re in the Warriors’ war room and have inside knowledge of what Bob Myers and Co. are thinking, no one has a clue as to where the Love trade talks will go next.

But one thing’s for certain: they aren’t “dead,” and if they are, it won’t be for long. USA Today’s Sam Amick discussed this in his latest update, writing that the deal is “one that is being deemed dead now but will likely be miraculously revived by tomorrow.”

” ‘Dead’ is a different kind of term in the NBA, where front-office possums are so prevalent,” Amick continues. “Don’t be surprised if this Golden State-Minnesota situation is the latest reminder that even the most lifeless of trade talks weren’t so dead after all.”

So no, Ric Bucher, the deal isn’t “dead.” And no, Chris Broussard, it can’t be definitively stated that the Warriors will not trade Thompson. The NBA is very fluid, and many phone calls and trade talks happen behind-the-scenes that aren’t reported to the public. So who knows? Maybe talks pick up again tomorrow and a deal gets done by or on the draft on Thursday. Or maybe this period of dead air continues until one side backs down.

But I can almost guarantee you that the trade talks aren’t “dead,” and that we haven’t heard the last of this Love-to-the-Warriors rumor.