On Monday, it was pointed out by Sam Smith that the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers are among the favorites to land Kevin Love when he hits free agency in 2015. But while teams are no doubt interested in Love, it’s highly unlikely that anyone will trade for the All-Star forward prior to his opt-out clause in 2015.
In the summer of 2015, Love can opt-out of his current deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves and he’ll be free to sign with whoever he wants. That’s why Smith is implying it’s not very likely that we will see a trade for Love before he opts-out of his deal with the Wolves.
Of course, this is all assuming that he’s indeed going to opt-out of his deal but almost everyone is expecting him to do exactly. With Love likely to opt-out, there’s no real reason for a team to pay the Timberwolves ransom to land Love when a team can just bypass a trade and sign Love in 2015.
The only benefit to trading for Love before 2015 would be so no other team gets a crack at him, but a trade before 2015 would mean a team would have to ensure a long-term deal with Love to avoid losing him in 2015 the way the Wolves likely will.
No one knows what will happen, but while the Timberwolves may very well lose Love in 2015, they may also lose out on the opportunity to trade him the way other superstars with soon-to-be expiring contracts have been traded in the past.