Your Morning Dump… Where Phoenix wants Love

kevin love vs celtics

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

Kevin Love wants to get out of the small market of Minnesota (and his people have told the team he will opt out next summer), a team that didn’t make the playoffs last year, to get to….

Phoenix?

That’s not exactly on his list of “places I will sign a new deal” but the Suns want in the game, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Suns interested in Love deal w/best assets Dragic, Bledsoe & picks.NBA sources say it will take full max deal to control free agent Bledsoe.

CSNNE:  Suns prepping Love trade offer

Phoenix went into last season as one of the “rebuilding” teams that was aiming for a slot in the lottery.  They put together a bit of a unique roster that somehow meshed quickly under Jeff Hornacek and, for a while, was right in the middle of the playoff pack.  In fact, it was kind of a worst-case scenario for the Suns because not only did they not hold onto that playoff spot, they became one of those “missed it in the West but would have been a 6th seed in the East” teams that now not only has no playoffs to look forward too, they also got a terrible draft pick.

Meanwhile, their roster is still kind of weird and there’s no guarantee that they’ll improve and be a legitimate playoff team, but there’s also no real combination of players the Suns can give up for a player like Love that keeps any kind of core intact for the future.

Realistically, will the Timberwolves take Gerald Green as the centerpiece of a trade?  Channing Frye?  The Morris Twins?

The Celtics supposedly have a roster full of rotation players that doesn’t interest the Timberwolves, but the Suns don’t have much better unless they give up Goran Dragic and/or Eric Bledsoe.  And I HIGHLY doubt that Minnesota is going to toss around max money for Bledsoe if they’re gutting their roster and rebuilding in the post-Love era.

Dragic and Bledsoe are nice players.  But (a) I don’t see them as the bedrock of any team’s long-term future… at least not as the guys you get in return for a future Hall of Famer.  I doubt Minnesota can sell its fans on “hey, we had to move Love but HEY LOOK…. ERIC BLEDSOE!”  And (b) why would Kevin Love agree to go to Phoenix if they’re giving up any players worth anything to land him.  Phoenix would just be Minnesota with much better weather at that point.

You can’t sell a guy like Love on Ryan McDonough’s ability to evaluate talent and Jeff Hornacek as a rising coach.  The Celtics could counter with Danny Ainge and his ability to win a title, Brad Stevens and, oh by the way, they’d still have Rajon Rondo as a cornerstone player.

Phoenix can prep its offer, but I still don’t think it can match the overall package Boston can offer even if it offers two better players in Dragic and Bledsoe than the Celtics can offer.  The C’s can offer better picks, more cap flexibility, and a more palatable situation for Kevin Love.

Page 2:  FREE THROWS FREE THROWS FREE THROWS!!!

The Spurs missed four straight free throws in the fourth quarter after officials charged Mario Chalmers with a flagrant one on Tony Parker. San Antonio also shot only 60 percent from the charity stripe, something that came back to haunt them as they struggled to put up points late in the game.

“I don’t think we lose the game on that. We were up one with one minute and a half to go or two minutes and we make the stops that we need,” Spurs guard Tony Parker said. “We just couldn’t make the shot to come up on top. We had a great opportunity.”

Project Spurs: James, Heat steal home court

Sorry, Tony, you absolutely lost the game on that.  To me, that was an essentially a seven point swing in the game because not only did the Spurs miss the four free throws on one possession (2 on the flagrant, 2 more by Tim Duncan on the ensuing play), LeBron James nailed a 3 to take the lead.

A 91-85 lead with 6:30 to go isn’t a lock by any stretch, but it changes the complexion of the game.  It changes how Miami defends, it changes the shots Miami takes…

it changes everything

This is the second year in a row missed free throws have cost San Antonio against Miami.  Last year, it directly cost them the title.  This year, they have a chance to recover.

If this was another 2-3-2 series, I’d be writing a rough draft of San Antonio’s obituary.  But because this is 2-2-1-1-1, San Antonio just needs to steal back home court advantage in one of the next two games and then hold serve.  I trust the Spurs to do it because they’ve got the right people in place to do it.  I do think they’re the better overall team.

Just make your damn free throws.

And Finally…

one of the best nba photos in history RT @ESPNNBA: pic.twitter.com/JubtNqqQpI

— DrLawyerIndianChief (@DrLwyrIndnChf) June 6, 2014

H/T Boston.com

The rest of the links

CSNNE:  Grande:  Anthony’s number would go in TD Garden rafters  |  Jason Terry thinks Spurs cut AC intentionally  |  Draft prospect breakdowns:  Shabazz Napier