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Report: Kevin Love to 'look around' in free agency

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Report: Kevin Love to 'look around' in free agency

Yesterday's post in this space about the Bulls firing Tom Thibodeau wasn't just about the transaction, but also noting that one of the Wizards' rivals for the 2015-16 made a move. Tracking all Kevin Love rumors falls under the same category.

Similar to the idea of Chicago saying adios to its head coach, the buzz about Love putting Cleveland in his rear view is nothing new. The chatter has simply died down a bit because the focus is on the actual basketball, but also because the power forward isn't on the court. The LeBron James-led Cavaliers cruised through the East and will face the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. The Cavs advanced despite Love's season-ending shoulder injury that occurred in the opening round against Boston. 

Anyway, back to the rumors. If Gallup polled the NBA world, good bet the majority sense the three-time All-Star who fell into role player status with the Cavaliers opts out of the final year of his contract for another team. At the very least, most love the idea that Love really, really, really ponders his options. Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, perhaps the most plugged-in NBA Insider around, spoke on the subject Thursday as a guest on Yahoo! Sports Radio (transcription from Sherdian Sports via Pro Basketball Talk):

“I think he’s going to look around,” Wojnarowski said. “I think he’s going to look closely at Boston. I think he’ll look at LA. I’m sure the Texas teams are going to try and get involved.

“If you remember, he really liked Kevin McHale in Minnesota,” Wojnarowski continued. “Would he fit potentially in Houston? It seems like every summer, they have the ability to go out and create a max slot, and they do this summer again. They know they have the option to do that.

“I think he’ll be in play. He could stay where he is, but there’s no question he’s going to look long and hard at what his options are.”

Worth noting that Wojnarowski apparently didn't mention the Wizards, which is not surprising. Even if Washington were inclined to get involved, other moves must come first, like moving Nene's contract. Whether Love would want to play under Randy Wittman, his former coach in Minnesota, is another story.

While PBT's Kurt Helin makes a valid case about Love staying in Cleveland - largely perception reasons -, I'm not sure such motives apply to this player. LeBron James, yes. Bigger reason I'd guess Love stays is financial: Hang out until the salary cap explodes in 2016 and then sign for mega deals elsewhere while maybe picking up a ring (or number two) along the way.

Regardless, this topic will explode the offseason one way or another once the actual games are done. If Love stays, the Cavs are the clear faves in the East. If he leaves, Cleveland won't have much financial wiggle room with which to replace him assuming it brings the rest of the band back together. If he leaves, then possibly the Lakers, Celtics, Rockets or some other NBA team looks plenty different.

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Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Kemba Walker, Dwight Howard, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS. CHARLOTTE HORNETS

Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

On a roll

The Wizards have some serious momentum going right now. With an impressive win over the Cavs on Thursday, they have now won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall went down with a left knee injury. They had a week off due to the All-Star break, but didn't show any rust at all in their first game back.

The Wizards are now 34-24, 10 games above the .500 mark. They are fourth in the East and could move into third on Friday if they win and the Cavaliers lose. Even with Wall out, things continue to look up for Washington.

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Hornets have had their number

The Wizards haven't done so well against the Hornets so far this season. Charlotte has taken both meetings and that includes a 24-point win on Jan. 17. That game featured Dwight Howard taunting the Wizards late in the fourth quarter.

Howard has killed the Wizards through two games with averages of 22.0 points and 14.0 rebounds. Jeremy Lamb (20.0 ppg vs. Wizards) has been a big factor as well as All-Star Kemba Walker (21.5 ppg vs. Wizards).

The last time these teams played about a month ago frustrations boiled over in an incident that got Tim Frazier ejected. Michael Carter-Williams picked a fight with Jason Smith and Frazier went off:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

Hornets coming in hot

The Hornets are outside the playoff picture at the moment at eight games below .500, but they have won two straight games and Walker and Howard are coming off huge games. In a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, Walker dropped 31 points and Howard grabbed 24 rebounds.

Those guys will be riding a high coming into Washington on Friday. But it should be noted that Howard complained after the game how tired he is at this point in the season. That exhausion could affect him more in the second game of a back-to-back.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' huge road win over Cavaliers, including Markieff Morris' alley-oop

5 must-see moments from Wizards' huge road win over Cavaliers, including Markieff Morris' alley-oop

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Washington Wizards' 110-103 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night...

1. The Wizards didn't start out well, as they trailed by nine points at the end of the first quarter. Kelly Oubre, Jr. stumbled early by missing four of his first six shots and it looked like a carryover of his slump before the All-Star break.

But Oubre got hot in the second quarter and helped the Wizards turn the game around. This was one of his best plays, a two-handed slam that he celebrated with an emphatic scream to the crowd:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

2. Tomas Satoransky was one of the stars of the game. He had 17 points to go along with eight assists, four rebounds and two steals. 

Here's one of his dimes, a perfect alley-oop lob to Markieff Morris, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds:

3. Satoransky has reached double-figures in six of the 10 games since John Wall went out with an injury. This was a very impressive move, a stepback fadeaway that was super smooth:

RELATED: GET TO KNOW NEW WIZARDS FREE AGENT SIGNING

4. Ian Mahinmi made some key contributions including four offensive rebounds and a steal. This was his best basket, a powerful slam that came at a key time:

5. This play helped seal the victory. It was a smart after-timeout set drawn up by head coach Scott Brooks and it worked to perfection:

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS