Ryan Miller to the Sharks and Kevin Love to the Warriors?
CSN Bay Area – Goaltender Ryan Miller will hit the open market on July 1, and speculation has already begun on whether he could end up in San Jose.
The St. Louis Blues, who acquired Miller late in the 2013-14 season, announced on Monday they would part ways with the goaltender after his unsuccessful stint there, which ended with a first round defeat to the Blackhawks. The Blues signed Brian Elliott to a three-year contract extension, and he’ll pair up with prospect Jake Allen in the St. Louis net next season.
As for the Sharks, their situation between the pipes is unclear. General manager Doug Wilson has already indicated there will be some significant changes to the current roster, and while many believe that to mean Joe Thornton and/or Patrick Marleau will be leaving town, Wilson could very well opt to change his team’s look in the crease, too.
Starter Antti Niemi, 30, is about to enter the final year of his contract with a salary of $3.8 million, and if Wilson decided to move him, it shouldn’t be all that difficult.
ESPN – Kevin Love has made it clear to the Timberwolves that he intends to become an unrestricted free agent after next season and has no interest in a contract extension to stay in Minnesota, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
Although sources say Love has stopped short of demanding a trade, his position could effectively force the Timberwolves to deal the All-Star forward before next season — or before the trade deadline in February 2015 at the latest — if they hope to dodge the risk of losing him without compensation.
The Timberwolves, at the behest of owner Glen Taylor, have rebuffed all trade interest in Love for months, resisting all trade offers for his franchise player until, as one source put it, he “has no choice.”
Teams around the league are increasingly expected to test that resolve once the lottery order is established, and The Associated Press reports that amid growing concern, that stance has softened somewhat.
Two sources told the AP that the likely asking price would include a high first-round pick in this year’s draft and a veteran or two who could bring immediate leadership to a team that lacks it.
So quite the little hubbub in the Bay about two potential free agent/trade signings for these teams that seem to be just short of championship contention. If we are being honest, both of these potential additions have a high likelihood of happening as both teams have the money, draw and pieces to deal to make it happen, however it’s the managing of expectations of success that need to be measured with both. Let’s start with the Warriors.
The Warriors actually have the higher chance of pulling it off. They have the pieces in place in David Lee and Harrison Barnes to send away to the Timberwolves and perhaps a draft pick, more importantly they have the destination as a lure. Harrison Barnes should have no problem getting 16+ points a game on a bad team, with David Lee matching a 20 and 10. In all honesty, between the oft injured Bogut and Lee, the Warriors will never succeed without a big man that can score AND rebound effectively. Steph Curry has become a legitimate superstar but in the end I think it will take Steve Kerr having the conversation with Kevin Love to come to Golden State to seal the deal. I’d say 60% chance of happening.
With Ryan Miller, there’s a little bit less certainty. Ryan Miller is not coming off being the silver medal winning goalie on Team USA. He’s the 33 year old coming off a playoff loss at the hands of scorching hot Chicago Blackhawks team, while the team he was trade to in St. Louis put their confidence in a younger goalie. Ryan Miller is not the answer to the Sharks woes, but Niemi is in the last year of a 3.8 million dollar deal which makes him easy trade bait for a team that might want someone above average in net. Speaking frankly, Niemi did not fail the Sharks as much as his defense did. There’s a lot of goalies on the market this off season as well as the fact that there is about to be an enormous Sharks roster shake up about to begin, so if I am Ryan Miller I wait till the dust settles before seeing who is in front of me in San Jose. 40% of happening.