Minnesota eyes Thaddeus Young

Thaddeus Young

The Minnesota Timberwolves have expressed interest in Philadelphia 76ers power forward Thaddeus Young as a potential replacement for Kevin Love, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Wolves, while continuing to discuss trade proposals that would send Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers, have been exploring their options for acquiring Young from the Sixers, either through a separate transaction or as part of an expanded Love trade.

Whether Philadelphia proves willing to part with Young, though, remains to be seen.

Young has two years left on his contract, including a player option for the 2015-16 season, valued at a combined $19.3 million. Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie said in June that he anticipates Young starting next season in Philadelphia, but it's believed that the club is willing to move Young if the assets acquired in return are sufficiently attractive.

Because of his ongoing trade limbo with the Wolves, Love has removed himself from the Team USA squad that started training camp Monday in Las Vegas in advance of the FIBA Basketball World Cup that starts Aug. 30 in Spain. With Love widely expected to be dealt before the start of next season, both he and the Wolves deemed risking injury with the national team before a trade was consummated to be too risky.

ESPN.com reported last week that LeBron James' Cavaliers remain the front-runner in the trade hunt for Love despite the fact Andrew Wiggins -- Minnesota's top target in Love discussions -- can't legally be dealt before Aug. 23.

Sources say that the Wolves, at present, are still higher on a Cleveland trade package centered on Wiggins than any other offer on the table for Love. Sources say that the Cavaliers, meanwhile, are increasingly confident about their chances of landing Love and firmly believe they are progressing toward a trade framework that the Timberwolves will accept in exchange for the All-Star power forward, which would enable Cleveland to pair him with Olympic teammate James.

The fact league rules prevent Wiggins from being traded for 30 days after finally signing his rookie contract Thursday would appear to give other suitors a window to put together an offer for Love that trumps Cleveland's. But the Cavaliers' main current threat in the Love sweepstakes -- Chicago -- has to sweat out a similar wait if it hopes to entice the Wolves with either of its prized rookies.

The Bulls signed sharpshooter Doug McDermott last Tuesday and top European prospect Nikola Mirotic on July 18, so they'd likewise have to wait 30 days from those respective signings before including either in a trade package for Love. ESPN.com reported last week that the Bulls have re-emerged as a determined trade suitor for Love, but it's believed that Chicago would need to package at least one of those rookies -- and maybe both -- along with Taj Gibson to have a shot at competing with Cleveland's ability to offer Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a future first-round pick for him.

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