Chatter has Golden State as promising suitor for Love

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 20, 2014 - 1:20 AM

Klay Thompson and David Lee could be trade pieces.

Kevin Love trade chatter is percolating, and there’s still a week before next Thursday night’s NBA draft.

Former Gophers star Mychal Thompson, citing a trusted anonymous source, went on his Los Angeles morning radio show Thursday and predicted the Golden State Warriors will soon trade his son Klay, forward David Lee and a future first-round pick to the Timberwolves for their “two Kevins,” Love and Martin.

And he didn’t sound any too happy about it.

Later, ESPN.com reported, also citing anonymous sources, that Golden State now is willing to trade Klay Thompson to the Wolves. Even if the Warriors have known all along they would have to include the shooting guard soon eligible for a huge raise in any package for Love.

Another ESPN reporter suggested the Wolves will trade Love, Kevin Martin, J.J. Barea and the No. 13 overall pick in the draft for Thompson and Lee.

Even with the Warriors willing to include Thompson, the Wolves likely will seek another player — forwards Harrison Barnes or Draymond Green — in return for swapping a three-time All-Star and accepting back Lee’s huge contract, which has two years and more than $30 million remaining.

Wolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders said Thursday he has no intention of trading the No. 13 pick.

“You can always trade a pick,” he said. “But that hasn’t entered my mind.”

Boston, Chicago, Denver, Sacramento and Phoenix all are believed to be among the many teams who have inquired about trading for Love, who can opt out of his contract after next season and become an unrestricted free agent in July 2015.

Thompson is eligible to sign a rich contract extension starting July 1. If he has not reached an agreement by October’s end, he would become a restricted free agent next summer and his current team would have the right to match any other offer he might receive.

Mychal Thompson said on ESPNLA 710 radio Thursday that was “too depressed” to talk about a trade he believes will happen, because it would mean his son will leave a Warriors team poised to win big in the Western Conference, particularly if it acquires Love.

He said on the show that had “inside information” about a forthcoming trade, but later off the air told a San Francisco Bay Area reporter that his source was a ESPN employee.

Mychal Thompson said his son will be disappointed if he doesn’t get the chance to play with Love, one of his childhood playmates, and remain part of a Warriors team that now presumably will seriously contend in the Western Conference.

“If this happens, I’m going to have to talk him down off the ledge,” Mychal Thompson said. “It’s disappointing because Klay and I have been talking about this all summer, the possibility of this happening, him and Kevin being on the same team along with Steph Curry. He was really looking forward to that.”

Mychal Thompson played with Saunders for the Gophers in the 1970s and Klay Thompson’s agent, Bill Duffy, was a college pal of the elder Thompson, Saunders and Kevin McHale at the University of Minnesota.

“Flip Saunders is a good coach,” Mychal Thompson said. “I like him as a human being. He’s a good guy. He was my teammate. I like Minnesota, it’s great, except for the winters.

“You’ve got to look at the positives for Klay if this deal goes through: You get to play with Ricky Rubio, who’s one of the best passers in the game. You’re playing for a good coach in Flip Saunders. He’ll take a step back career-wise as far as the playoffs are concerned.”

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