The Phoenix Suns made a late inquiry about trading for Kevin Love, just hours before his previously agreed-upon trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers can be completed, according to a report from ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne.
The Suns reportedly reached out to the Minnesota Timberwolves to ask about the possibility constructing a deal around signing-and-trading restricted free agent guard Eric Bledsoe in exchange for Love. Talks between Bledsoe and the Suns have broken down. Phoenix offered him a four-year, $48 million deal, but Bledsoe is looking for a max contract worth up to $85 million. If Bledsoe signs an offer sheet with another team, the Suns have a right to match. Bledsoe's only leverage is signing the one-year, $3.7 million qualifying offer, which would make him a free agent next season.
The Timberwolves agreed on a trade weeks ago that would send Love to the Cavs in exchange for the No. 1 draft picks from the last two drafts, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, plus a protected Miami Heat 2015 first-round pick. It was reported Friday that the deal would become a three-team trade, in which the Timberwolves would acquire power forward Thaddeus Young from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Alexey Shved and the Heat's first-round pick. Because Wiggins signed his rookie contract with the Cavaliers, the deal cannot officially be completed until Aug. 23, 30 days after he signed the contract.
Bledsoe averaged 17.7 points, 5.5 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game last season for the Suns. Love, a three-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA second-team pick, averaged 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game last year.
- Alex Hampl