Love Rumors Swirl With Draft Lottery Approaching
Timberwolves forward Kevin Love is in the news again regarding his future this offseason leading into the 2014-15 campaign and his potential to opt-out of his current contract following the season.
The most recent report comes from ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, who wrote on Sunday that Love has reached out to the Wolves’ front office and made his intentions known that he will not sign a contract extension with the team. It is noteworthy that the Wolves cannot talk to Love about extending his contract until January 2015, at which point they are allowed to offer him a two-year extension.
The Wolves have not made an official statement on the report, and Love has also not commented publicly. Stein’s sources were anonymous in the story.
Wolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders was steadfast during the regular season that he and the front office would not look to trade Love and would look to extend a contract extension to the three-time All-Star when they are allowed under league rules.
If he chooses to not accept that extension and Love does indeed choose to opt out of his current deal, the Wolves will have the opportunity to begin negotiating with Love in July 2015. Through the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Wolves have Bird Rights when it comes to Love’s contract and can offer him $26 million more over the life of his next contract than any other team in the league.
Love is coming off his career-best season. He made his third All-Star team—voted into the starting lineup by the fans in the process—and put up a career-best 26.1 points per game, which were fourth-best in the league. He also finished with 12.5 rebounds, which were third-best in the league, and put up a career-best 4.4 assists per game thanks in part to his feared outlet passing that became a nightly threat.
He recorded all three of his career triple-doubles during the 2013-14 season, with the first coming on Feb. 22 in Utah—a 37-point, 12-rebound, 10-assist effort. He set a Wolves’ franchise-record with 2,010 points and also became the first player in NBA history to score 2,000 points, 900 rebounds and 100 3-pointers in a single season.
Love signed his current contract in January 2012, a four-year deal which places him under contract through the 2015-16 season. However, the contract allowed for an opt-out after three years, which means Love can choose to become an unrestricted free agent in July 2015.