MINNEAPOLIS - Throughout most of last season, Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders and owner Glen Taylor remained steadfast in their stance that they would not consider trading Kevin Love. They were determined instead to convince the All-Star forward that he should sign an extension to remain after next season. With the NBA draft lottery coming up this week and an increasing concern that Love will leave for another team after next year, that stance has softened, two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. The Timberwolves are now open to the idea of trading Love if the right deal comes along. The people requested anonymity because the team has not made any final decisions on Loves future in Minnesota. A likely asking price would include a high first-round pick in this years draft and a solid veteran or two who would come in and contribute right away to a team that is lacking in veteran leadership. If the Wolves do not get an offer they feel is worthy of parting with the second-best player in franchise history, they are content to move forward with a plan to show Love that Minnesota is where he belongs, much the way the Portland Trail Blazers did with LaMarcus Aldridge last off-season. Love just finished the second year of a four-year deal that includes an option for him to opt-out in the summer of 2015. The contract terms were the first signs of strife for Love and the organization when former basketball boss David Kahn declined to give him the full five-year maximum deal that Love wanted. Kahn was fired in 2013 and Saunders has worked tirelessly to try to convince Love that he should stay in Minnesota where he can make about $26.5 million more than he can anywhere else. But the Wolves have not made the playoffs in 10 years, including all six of Loves seasons with the team, a lack of success that has one of the best power forwards in the game growing more and more impatient. Neither Love nor his representatives have gone so far as to ask for a trade, but as the NBA draft lottery approaches on Tuesday, the trade market figures to heat up. The Timberwolves are slotted to pick 13th in the first round. But they are holding out hope that they get lucky for the first time in franchise history in the lottery and jump up. Getting one of the top three picks in a strong draft could be an encouraging sign for Love. If that doesnt happen, the Wolves could look at making a trade if they felt it had a chance to make them better in the long run. Love has made three All-Star teams and helped Team USA win the gold medal at the London Olympics. He averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists last season, but the Wolves finished a disappointing 40-42 and missed the playoffs in the Western Conference. While there remains some question whether Love can be the best player on a championship-calibre team, there figures to be a long list of suitors to line up for his services via trade this summer or free agency next year. But Love would likely have to give any team that makes the Wolves an offer some kind of indication that he is open to signing an extension, much the way Chris Paul did when he was dealt from New Orleans to the Los Angeles Clippers in 2011. The uncertainty surrounding Love has also complicated the Wolves pursuit of a coach to replace Rick Adelman, who retired after the season. Saunders has been in the market for a proven, experienced head coach who can come and command respect right away while also handling what most assuredly would be a difficult season filled with constant questions about Loves status. Not surprisingly, most of the names near the top of Saunders list have been reluctant to entertain the idea of taking the job without knowing what is going to happen with Love. Some luck on lottery night could also make the job more attractive for an incoming coach. In the absence of any long-shot lottery luck, the Wolves will ramp up their coaching search after their draft position solidifies on Tuesday night. Names such as Lionel Hollins, Sam Mitchell and Scott Skiles will all get consideration. And return runs at Michigan States Tom Izzo, Floridas Billy Donovan or Iowa States Fred Hoiberg arent out of the question after all three gave them a tepid response early in the process. ___ Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter: http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski Authentic Andrew Copp Jersey
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. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists detailed in a report how Russian and international journalists have been harassed and prevented from covering sensitive stories in Sochi such as the abuse of migrant workers and environmental issues.NEW YORK, N.Y. - Greg Maddux could break a 22-year-old record Wednesday, though he wont become the first unanimous selection in the history of the baseball writers Hall of Fame ballot. When Tom Seaver received 425 of 430 votes in 1992, his 98.84 percentage topped the mark set by Ty Cobb in 1936. A dominant pitcher when offence ruled in the Steroids Era, Maddux has a chance to enter Cooperstown with a little extra bit of fame. "I just have just never come across any human being, whether theyre a voter or just a fan, that doesnt think Greg Maddux is a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest pitchers who ever pitched," The Boston Globes Nick Cafardo said Tuesday. "I cant imagine someone not voting for him. So I would guess that hes going to break Seavers record." Maddux is among three high-profile players on the Baseball Writers Association of America ballot for the first time, joined by former Atlanta Braves teammate Tom Glavine and Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas. Holdovers include Craig Biggio, who topped voting at 68 per cent last year, 39 votes short of the 75 per cent needed for election. It was only the second time in four decades the BBWAA failed to elect anyone. Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, a former reporter for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, said Tuesday the only player he voted for was Jack Morris, on the writers ballot for the 15th and final time after falling 42 votes shy last year. "To me, I didnt exclude Maddux. I excluded everybody from that era, everybody from the Steroid Era," Gurnick said. "It wasnt about Greg Maddux, it was about the entire era. I just dont know who did and who didnt." Gurnick said Morris also was the only player he voted for in 2013 and added he intends to abstain in future elections. "Some people quibble over when the era starts, but the bulk of his career was in my opinion well before all of the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs," Gurnick said. Given that 569 ballots were submitted in 2013, Maddux likely could be omitted from six this year and still break Seavers record. Back in 1992, Seaver was left off by Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News, Bob Hertzel of The Pittsburgh Press and freelance writer Bob Hunter. They all submitted blank ballots to protest the decision by the Hall of Fame board of directors to bar Pete Rose from the vote because of his lifetime ban from baseball following a gambling probe. Retired writers Deane McGowen and Bud Tucker also did not vote for Seaver. "If it had cost Seaver anything, yeah, I prrobably would regret it at some level, but it didnt really cost him anything," Hagen, now with MLB.ddddddddddddcom, said Tuesday. "He still got the highest vote (percentage) total ever, and he wouldnt have been unanimous anyway." The Steroids Era has impacted the vote totals of players with stellar statistics. In initial appearances last year, Mike Piazza was at 57.8 per cent, Roger Clemens at 37.6, Barry Bonds at 36.2 and Sammy Sosa at 12.5. Mark McGwire received 16.9 on his seventh try. The Baseball Think Factory website compiled votes by writers who made their opinions public, and with 161 ballots had Maddux at 99 per cent, followed by Glavine (96), Thomas (91) and Biggio (79). The websites count had Piazza (68), Jeff Bagwell (61) and Morris (60) falling short along with Tim Raines (55), Bonds (42), Clemens (41), Curt Schilling (37) and Mike Mussina (29). McGwire (14) and Sosa (
had little support. Eighth on the wins list with a 355-227 record and a 3.16 ERA over 23 seasons, Maddux won four consecutive Cy Young Awards from 1992-95 and a record 18 Gold Gloves with the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego. An eight-time All-Star, he won at least 13 games in 20 straight seasons. Among pitchers with 3,000 innings whose careers began in 1921 or later — after the Dead Ball Era — Madduxs 1.80 walks per nine innings is second only to Robin Roberts 1.73, according to STATS. Glavine, a 10-time All-Star and a two-time Cy Young winner, was 305-203 over 22 seasons. At the induction ceremony in Cooperstown on July 27, Maddux and Glavine figure to join their former manager Bobby Cox, elected last month by the expansion-era committee along with Joe Torre and Tony La Russa. A two-time AL MVP, Thomas hit .301 with 521 homers and 1,704 RBIs in 19 seasons with the White Sox, Toronto and Oakland. Biggio was a seven-time All-Star who spent his entire 20-year career in the majors with Houston. He had 3,060 hits, 668 doubles and 414 steals and set a big league record by getting hit with pitches 285 times. Approximately 600 writers who have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years at any point considered the 36-player ballot. Next years ballot could be even more crowded when Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Carlos Delgado and Gary Sheffield become eligible, five years after their retirements. The BBWAA last month formed a committee to study whether the organization should ask the Hall to change the limit of 10 players per ballot. Jerseys NFL China Cheap Adidas NHL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys From China Cheap MLB Jerseys Wholesale China Jerseys NFL Jerseys China Discount Soccer Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys China China NCAA Jerseys Cheap Cheap Nike Dolphins Jerseys Cheap Nike Patriots Jerseys Cheap Nike Jets Jerseys Cheap Nike Bengals Jerseys Cheap Nike Browns Jerseys Cheap Nike Steelers Jerseys Cheap Nike Texans Jerseys Cheap Nike Colts Jerseys Cheap Nike Jaguars Jerseys Cheap Nike Titans Jerseys Cheap Nike Broncos Jerseys
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