Kevin Love Will Not Play in FIBA World Cup
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love withdrew from the roster of the FIBA World Cup U.S. team only days prior to training camp starting. The ongoing trade saga continues for Love and he has decided to sit out the FIBA tournament.
USA Basketball released a statement that said Love could not participate due to his status. That was a reference to the ongoing trade talks that have taken place since June.
The U.S. team is scheduled to meet on Sunday at UNLV and start practices on Monday.
The situation of Love and a possible trade to Cleveland or another NBA club would likely have been a major distraction for team USA, not just at training camp but likely during the World Cup which will be played in Spain starting next month.
Over a dozen NBA teams have bid for the Minnesota power forward. The three bids receiving the most attention are from the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Chicago Bulls and the Golden State Warriors.
Inside sources have said that Cleveland is optimistic their chances are the best for Love. The Cavs deal would involve Andrew Wiggins the overall No. 1 pick in the draft last month.
Two other players Blake Griffin and LeMarcus Aldridge withdrew from the list of players at the USA training camp.
With those two out and now Love withdrawing, team USA has seen its best power forwards leave the team.
Love has excelled on team USA as a big man with a great shooting touch. He showed that during the London Olympics in 2012.
USA Basketball officials said Love wanted to play. They stressed how remorseful he was, but the current circumstances will not allow it to happen.
The next summer Olympics are in Brazil in 2016 and the winner of the FIBA World Cup, which involves 24 teams, will be given an automatic qualification.
The biggest reason Love has withdrawn is his health. Because such a huge trade is in the works, Love’s professional basketball future hangs in the balance.
The talented scorer and rebounder knows he must remain healthy through the end of the trade process to secure what likely will be a huge contract.
Last season with the Timberwolves, Love averaged 26 points and over 12 rebounds per game.
However, Love has not been happy in Minnesota as he has played in 6 seasons in the NBA and has yet to play in the postseason.
If Love were to be traded to Cleveland, he would join the recently signed LeBron James on a team that includes second year point guard Kyrie Irving.
If the Bulls were able to pull off the trade, Love would be joining a front line that would include Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol. If Derrick Rose returns 100% then that lineup would be one of the strongest in the NBA.