After kicking the tires near the trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers are making a renewed push to land Kevin Love this summer. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Lakers are supposedly offering the Minnesota Timberwolves their draft pick in return for Love. The Timberwolves it should be noted have denied any trade talk.
“The suggestion is already in circulation that the Lakers will attempt to use their forthcoming high lottery pick in June to assemble the sort of trade package that finally convinces the Wolves to part with Love and end the uncertainty that hangs over this franchise even before the 25 year old enters the final year of his contract. Yet there is just as much defiance emanating from Minnesota, as we speak, about the Wolves’ ability to keep Love in town.” – Stein
This trade activity of course comes on the heels of the recent media blitz by Kobe Bryant, who publicly aired out Lakers management for a lack of vision and urgency, and rightfully so; Kobe knows his career is coming to an end, something he alluded to in his Sportscenter interview, but landing Love could get everyone to back away from the panic button and could spell be the end for Pau Gasol.
Gasol has played it cool all season on all trade talk — and it’s evident the speculation has taken it’s toll — but any deal in the offseason for Love should involve Gasol. It gives both sides a chance to rebuild while addressing a key need on the floor. The writing is on the wall anyway; Gasol is likely out whether it comes in the Love deal or another.
With both teams saying the opposite regarding a trade, the speculation will follow both players into the final stretch of games and offseason. For the Lakers, it’s a strong message by management, but not a definitive one. For the Timberwolves, it’s another big star likely to slip out of their fingers. But that’s not so bad, everything starts anew.