Mar 20, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) shoots the ball during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Love Rumors Starting To Heat Up; Houston Rockets Will Pursue

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In an article talking about potential coaching options for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Adrian Wojnarowski (Yahoo Sports) says the Timberwolves are “under pressure” to start looking for deals to trade away Kevin Love.

“For the first time, [Saunders] sounds like looking at deals for [Love] is an option,” one rival executive told Yahoo Sports.

The article goes on to mention teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, and Golden State Warriors as some of the many teams that will make a run for the star power forward.

The Timberwolves would be crazy to keep Love on the roster for one more season and then let him walk in free agency. Trading him with one season left on his contract would maximize his value and maximize the value sent back in return when they ship him elsewhere.

The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks have been mentioned as his preferred destinations, but that doesn’t mean the Timberwolves would trade him there.

The Lakers have their first round pick to offer, but nothing much left to trade. The Knicks have no picks and little value to send the Timberwolves way.

Apr 30, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; An exterior view of the Toyota Center prior to game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Houston Rockets. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 30, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; An exterior view of the Toyota Center prior to game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Houston Rockets. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

Of course the national media will continue to mention the Lakers, Knicks, and Chicago Bulls as “big time” cities that Love would like to play for, however, the Houston Rockets would be the best fit for Love’s services.

Love is looking for a “big time” city with a chance to win a ring. The current Lakers and Knicks have zero chance of winning without convincing another star or two to join Love, and that likely won’t happen this offseason. The Bulls have a great coach with Derrick Rose returning next season but there is no guarantee Rose will return to his MVP form, and it would be extremely tough for the Bulls to make the cap space necessary.

Enter the Houston Rockets. A fourth seed in the Western Conference with two young superstars in James Harden and Dwight Howard. A “warm climate” and “big time” city (fourth largest in America) which Love reportedly seeks.

Does Love fit in Houston? No doubt about it. The Rockets have been looking for a power forward that can stretch the floor and rebound the basketball. Love is a perfect fit with the Rockets. Adding him to a roster with Harden and Howard would immediately put Houston atop the Western Conference.

Can the Rockets afford Love? Not currently. However, it’d be pretty easy to free up the necessary cap space.

The Timberwolves will certainly be looking to trade Love and that could happen as soon as this summer as they look to maximize his trade value. The Rockets have the assets to deal in such a trade. Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik would likely be headed to Minnesota along with Chandler Parsons and/or Terrence Jones. The Rockets could also include a few future picks and take back another Wolves player (Chase Budinger?) to make the deal possible.

The Timberwolves would be hard-pressed not to take such a deal. Though Ricky Rubio is in town – Rockets GM Daryl Morey has liked the PG, however I find it a bit unlikely that MIN would include him in such a deal – Jeremy Lin would bring a spark to the arena. Omer Asik isn’t a great fit in Minnesota but he has the trade value to bring back other assets.

Chandler Parsons and Terrence Jones would also be nice fits in Minnesota and could help them build a young basketball team.

No other team can offer what the Rockets can in terms of young assets that are both good players, have both the playoff experience, and have the will and know-how to win in the regular season. Other teams (Lakers, Celtics) can offer their early first round pick this season, but not much else in return. The Timberwolves would have to decide if the want young and (somewhat) proven assets, or try and build through this year’s draft.

Love has yet to mention Houston as a preferred destination to the media but he’s likely interested in Houston as well. Rockets head coach Kevin McHale has a great relationship with Kevin Love and that could be a big reason Daryl Morey decided to keep McHale for another season.

The national media may not mention it, but the Rockets are certainly interested in Kevin Love and will be one of the frontrunners, if not THE frontrunner if Minnesota is serious about trading their All-Star power forward.

Has there been an official “expert” or reporter that has said it yet? Not yet. Just connect the dots. The Rockets will pursue. They may not get him, but they will go all out in trying to acquire their third star.

UPDATE:

In a tweet later on Sunday, Wojnarowski confirmed the interest will be there from Houston.

Wojnarowski writes in his article that Love’s bond with McHale could give the Rockets an advantage.

Officials believe Love’s close relationship and respect for coach Kevin McHale could give the Rockets an edge. 

Things will clear up a bit once the NBA’s draft order has been determined this coming Tuesday night.

For now Rockets fans, get ready for an offseason with lots of rumors. We’ll have it all covered for you here at House Of Houston.

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