The Lakers are looking to add major pieces to their roster over the next few years -- the sooner, the better.
One of the players the team would certainly like to acquire is Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love.
Love is under contract for two more years with the Wolves, but he can opt out after next season. The team might feel compelled to trade him before he leaves as an unrestricted free agent in 2015.
“My agent is handling everything at this point,” said Love during ESPN’s “SportsNation” on Wednesday to a direct question whether he wants out of Minnesota.
He certainly doesn’t sound as if he wants to stay with the Timberwolves, who have yet to make the playoffs since Love entered the NBA as the fifth overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft.
“Six years in the league, 25 years old, hopefully heading into my prime, working as hard as I possibly can, I’m hoping everything just works out for all parties involved,” Love said.
Love will make $15.7 million next season. His option year is for $16.7 million, but he’s likely to exit his contract early to lock in a new, long-term deal, regardless of team.
“No matter what the outcome is, I just want to end up in a great place where I can win. In six years, haven’t made the playoffs yet -- it burns me,” said Love. “It hurts my heart, so I really want to not be watching these guys all the time. I want to be playing [in the playoffs].”
The difficult part for the Lakers is finding a way to acquire Love via trade. Their best (and possibly only) trade asset is the seventh pick in the 2014 NBA draft, but other teams may have more to offer, including the Boston Celtics, who have the sixth and 17th picks (along with a number of future draft picks).
The Lakers should have cap room in 2015 to try to sign Love, but if he’s traded before then to a favorable destination, Love may be more likely to extend his contract instead of joining the Lakers.