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NBA Rumors: Flip Saunders Coaching The Timberwolves To Keep Kevin Love?

The Boston Globe suggests that Timberwolves president Flip Saunders decided to coach the team to try to keep All-Star Kevin Love.

Kevin Love
Kevin Love

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Timberwolves president Flip Saunders has previously said he did not want to come down from the front office to coach the team.

This week, that’s precisely what he did.

There is a thought that Saunders’ decision to return to the sidelines was a scripted move so the team could hold on to All-Star forward Kevin Love, according to the Boston Globe.

On Thursday, Timberwolves president Flip Saunders hired himself to coach the team, a move viewed by many as an effort to prevent Minnesota’s All-Star forward, Kevin Love, from leaving.

“It was the only thing Flip could do to keep Love,” one league source said. “He put all his chips on the table.”

If the Timberwolves reach the playoffs next season, there is always the chance that Love decides to stay instead of opting out of his contract next summer.

But league sources doubt anything will keep Love in Minnesota. “Gone,” another league source said of Love.

Will Love stay with the Timberwolves or not — it’s the biggest question hanging over NBA clubs this summer and could remain relevant very much into next year, too.

Last week, Yahoo! Sports reported that any trade involving Love would be put on hold until Minnesota found a new head coach.

Love seemingly has been linked to every team in the league, including the Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, and the Boston Celtics, where he visited last weekend.

Now that Saunders is not only in charge of basketball operations but the coach as well, the Globe suggests he may be more “selective” in potential trades.

“Flip probably as coach and [general manager] will now only listen to really good trade scenarios that help Minnesota rather than feeling like they need to move him for the best deal prior to the draft or free agency when he was only the GM,” a league source said.

As coach, naturally Saunders would be more directly responsible for wins and losses, leading league sources to believe that he’d likely prefer proven players over draft picks in a potential swap, thinking more short term than long term.

The Celtics maintain an edge over other possible landing spots like Golden State and Chicago because of their wealth of draft picks, which includes up to 17 over the next five years and 10 in the first round. Boston remains confident they can make a competitive offer for Love, though Minnesota remains skeptical about dealing their All-Star given what happened to the team in 2007 when it sent Kevin Garnett to Beantown.

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