Warriors remain on prowl for Kevin Love's services

Warriors remain on prowl for Kevin Love's services
June 26, 2014, 10:30 am
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Multiple sources continue to insist, directly and indirectly, that the Warriors remain very much on the prowl for Love. There never was much of a chance to do a deal before the draft...
Monte Poole

Programming note: The Warriors don't currently possess a pick in tonight's NBA Draft but they could acquire one. Tune in to SportsNet Central tonight at 6 & 10:30 for complete draft reaction and analysis. 

As much as they like Michigan guard Nik Stauskas (a lot) and Creighton wing Doug McDermott (nearly as much), the Warriors are neither fixated nor desperate to get into Thursday's draft.

They'd like to, yes, but they realize it's not necessary to maintain their status as a playoff team likely to win 48 to 55 games next season.

So even as the draft unfolds, there is but one primary target for the Warriors this summer. If they nab Kevin Love, they might excuse the absence of an intriguing rookie when camp opens.

We say might because the Warriors do have a real affection for Stauskas and McDermott, largely because newbies are easy on the bottom line.

Love, however, is the man in the sights of CEO Joe Lacob and general manager Bob Myers. Barring the stunning act of financial trickery and silver-tongued magic required to pull LeBron James out of South Florida, Love is the only available/desirable player who would sound alarms and light up marquees around the NBA.

[REWIND: Myers dances around Thompson-Love deal]

And we know all too well of Lacob's affinity for the big bang. From Mark Jackson to Jerry West to DeAndre Jordan to James Harden to Dwight Howard and many others in between, Lacob chats up every pair of legs with a recognizable face.

Multiple sources continue to insist, directly and indirectly, that the Warriors remain very much on the prowl for Love. There never was much of a chance to do a deal before the draft, but those chances rise considerably once the league's newest recruits start topping designer suits with logo caps.

Though every judge on the Warriors' supreme court is impressed with Love, not all have similar appraisal of his value. Not everyone on that court has the same opinion of Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes, for that matter, and both have been part of the discussion.

Even the players are chipping in. Veteran forward Andre Iguodala, who joined the team last summer, went on Sirius Radio XM Thursday and made his feelings known, urging the Warriors to keep Thompson and make him "a Warrior for life."

Disagreement and angst are natural when deliberating whether to make a blockbuster trade. Outright thefts are rare in today's NBA; the most recent that comes to mind is the Lakers' brazen heist of Pau Gasol back in 2008. That trade, which delivered two championships to Los Angeles, doesn't look as bad now.

So the Warriors are playing this about as smartly as possible. They've engaged and considered and reengaged and reconsidered. The trade dynamics changed, I'm told, when Minny team president Flip Saunders added the title "coach." A complete rebuild isn't quite as appealing when you have to implement as well as acquire.

There was a point during which a deal was likely. Then it was unlikely. And now? Both teams still want to do something, if they can get past their reluctances.

There have been frameworks, though, and that's why Thursday night's draft is germane to a Warriors team that woke up Thursday morning without a pick.

They'd like to have one, and Minny may oblige. The T-Wolves would like to have one or more in years to come, and there is every reason to believe the Warriors would oblige by giving up their 2015 first-rounder if it meant acquiring Love. Having already traded their 2014 pick, they cannot move the '15 prior to the '14 draft.

So Warriors fans should keep their eyes and minds open, particularly if Minny should draft Stauskas or McDermott with the 13th overall selection.

At that point, it's perfectly acceptable to do what you've been doing for weeks, which is to wait until the teams finally make a deal or, once and for all, reject one.

It's a lot easier to wait, though, when you know a resolution could come at any minute.

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