Fresh off naming himself the new Wolves head coach, Flip Saunders shed some light on the trade interest in Kevin Love:
“We probably have 16 teams that have called us,” Saunders said, regarding interest in Love around the league. “We haven’t called anybody.”
Regarding Love’s recent weekend visit to Boston, Saunders said he didn’t know if it had any connection with basketball.
“I don’t think [the] Boston [Celtics] had anything to do with it. But I don’t know,” he said.
Apparently Love’s agent is telling teams that Love will enter free agency next season, but financially, Love can make more money staying with the Wolves.
“We can sign him to a five-year deal, the last year of his contract would be $27.5 million,” Saunders said. “Anybody that is his number of years serviced in the league, that’s what their contract is. To go sign as a free agent anywhere else, he can only sign for four years, so you’re not getting that fifth year.”
Flip doing his best to play it cool and act like trading Kevin Love is still an option.
As for the Wolves being able to pay more guaranteed money in that 5th year, I don’t think it matters. Unless Love’s skills erode prematurely or he suffers a career-ending injury, he’s going to see that money. He’ll have more than $100+ million in career earnings by that point. It’s a comfortable risk when you want out of Minnesota.