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Old 12-14-2012, 02:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Raptors reached out to Minnesota about trading Bargs prior to injury

Since president of basketball operations David Kahn joined the Minnesota Timberwolves in May 2009, he has made an absurd number of trades -- 25.

The strong belief in league circles is No. 26 will come by the Feb. 21 deadline.

Yes, Kevin Love, there is some sort of plan.

However, team sources maintain that Kahn is not making any calls for now until he sees how point guard Ricky Rubio looks, beginning with his expected season debut on Saturday against Dallas at Target Center.

That hasn't stopped Kahn from answering the phone, though. League sources insist both Cleveland and Toronto have reached out in recent weeks.

The Cavaliers are gauging interest in center Anderson Varejao, whom I'm told the Timberwolves like a lot. He's signed through 2015 at less than $10 million per season.

Before he suffered a one- to two-month elbow/wrist injury earlier in the week, the Raptors were putting out feelers about big man Andrea Bargnani.

A league source was quick to remind me of a statement Kahn made at a breakfast with reporters in June 2009: "On a championship-contending team... Kevin (Love) might be the fourth-best player."

The source's informed theory is that statement, combined with seeing good friends Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose get five-year extensions, continues to have Love irked. It's definitely not the money.

A front office executive spelled out how Love will benefit financially in the future: "The reality is that while the difference in guaranteed money between the four-year max deal that Love received and the five-year designated player max that Westbrook received is $17,769,374. (Rose was named MVP, so he was able to take advantage of the designated player max where his first year salary is 30% of the salary cap).

"If Kevin does not exercise his option after the 2014-2015 season, he can become an unrestricted free agent and either re-sign with the Timberwolves for five years or another team for four and receive a salary which starts at 30% of the salary cap. Consequently, Kevin may end up getting more money that Russell over the same period."

As for whether Love will sign an extension before the summer of 2015, the source said, "Kevin could sign an extension prior to declining his option for the 2015-16 season. That extension would be for three years and he could not get any additional money in '15-'16 unless the Wolves were under the cap, which they won't be.

"I don't consider Kevin signing an extension a likely scenario -- see Atlanta's Josh Smith. The extension can only be for four years, including the current years of the contract. If he waits until the end of the '14-'15 season and becomes a free agent, he can re-sign with the Timberwolves for five years (likely for $100 million-plus) or another team for four years. Most players at that stage of their career are prepared to wait and sign for five, or four years."

The Scoops: Wolves may be interested as Cavs shop Anderson Varejao | 1500 ESPN Twin Cities ? Minnesota Sports News & Opinion (Twins, Vikings, Wolves, Wild, Gophers) | Sportswire: Minnesota Timberwolves
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