Because he has no idea where he will be playing in the NBA next season, Kevin Love has withdrawn from the United States basketball squad.
Love is in limbo while the Minnesota Timberwolves field offers for their three-time All-Star, a process that was complicated and likely lengthened when Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Andrew Wiggins signed his contract this week.
Love is the latest All-Star to pull out of the team, which begins its training camp in Las Vegas next week to prepare for the World Cup in Spain.
In recent weeks, the Americans have lost Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. They have 18 players remaining and will choose 12 for the World Cup.
Love, who won gold medals at the 2012 Olympics and 2010 world championship and was one of the first players to commit to play this summer, told USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo that he would be unavailable for training camp that starts on Aug. 4.
“He wants to play but it’s a little bit of a sign of the times when you look at the league in terms of contracts, rumored trades,” Colangelo told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “All of those circumstances put players in a funny position.”
The Cavaliers are in pursuit of Love, while the Timberwolves have been willing to trade for Wiggins, the No. 1 overall draft pick. Under NBA rules, Wiggins cannot be traded until 30 days after he signed his contract with the Cavaliers.
That length of time allows other teams to make offers for Love as well, but also makes it too risky for Love to participate with Team USA.
An injury could derail any trade possibilities, so Love had to take the difficult step of informing Colangelo that he would not be able to participate.
(JON KRAWCZYNSKI, AP Basketball Writer)