Ever since Kevin Love publicly declared his intentions to opt out of his contract with Minnesota next summer, teams have been tripping all over themselves to acquire a player many consider the best power forward in the game today. Since that time, he’s been a swirl of trade rumors. He attempted to address his future in Minney with the media yesterday, inadvertently setting off more alarm bells that his time with the ‘Wolves is all but over.
Love was on Sportsnation, where he was pointedly asked by co-host Michelle Beadle if he wanted out of Minnesota. By way of Pro Basketball Talk comes Love’s stammered reply:
“Uh, you know, my agent is handling everything at this point,” Love said. “I’m hoping that everything works out for all parties involved.”
Co-host Marcellus Wiley pushed him, and wanted to know what he was going to tell his agent, since “You [Love] dictate the terms with your agent.”
“Uhhh, no matter what the outcome is I just want to end up in a place where I can win,” Love responded. Watch the full, awkward exchange below:
Not only did Love appear on Sports Nation, but as part of an E3 event promoting the video game Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare — where our own Jack Winter spoke with Bradley Beal — Love spoke with The Big Lead’s Jason McIntyre who addressed the rumors yet again:
Q: What’s the best word that sums up what it’s like to jump on the internet or social media and find hundreds of different rumors about what may or may not happen to you in the coming weeks?
Love: In a lot of ways it’s laughable, but in other ways I guess it’s humbling for a number of reasons. I can’t go anywhere without someone saying I’m going to their team. A Brewers game? I’m going to the Milwaukee Bucks. If I spend time in South Beach, it’s the Miami Heat. It’s funny how the world works. I respect what people put out there, but a lot of it is not true and laughable. At the same time, it’s fun and nice to be wanted.
Q: I saw this actual sentence on ESPN over the weekend: “Cleveland has interest in Love, but the feeling isn’t mutual.” Did you see that and what do you make of reporting like that? How difficult is it not to pick up the phone and call your agent, or pick up your phone and tweet that it’s BS?
Love: I try not to read it. A lot of it is brought to my attention through outside sources, sometimes twitter. But like most people, I need to be conscious of my image and try to roll with the punches. I know that’s a generic answer. I don’t think the Cleveland [trade rumors] are outlandish at all. They have a great young foundation.
Obviously, now, some believe the Cavs are in the running for his services, since they hold the No. 1 pick in this month’s draft and have a host of young players as trade bait. Attempting to read between the lines has become part and parcel of trade talk, but we just think Love is demurring to the status quo.
Kevin is going to be traded, but the question is when or to whom? While he can dance around his feelings about playing for the Timberwolves, he seems to associate the franchise with the six consecutive years he’s missed the playoffs. That’s a judgement on the personnel around him, rather than his own part in the lack of a postseason berth. While his predecessor as a star in Minney, Kevin Garnet, held the company line for so many years before agreeing to a trade with the Celtics, Love has been more forthright with the organization about how tired he’s become with the losing. Even KG got into the playoffs with the ‘Wolves — before losing in the first round for half a decade.
Now Love’s tiptoeing around the questions in case he actually has to play for the Timberwolves next year. Can you imagine rooting for a guy that just doesn’t want to be on your team? Nuggets fans are nodding their heads and mouthing ‘Melo. It’s remarkable Love deferred to his agent when his agent works for him. He didn’t out-and-out say he wants to be traded, but he might as well have.
Maybe Love wasn’t prepared for the intense scrutiny after his earlier remarks this summer about opting out next year, but ultimately, the ‘Wolves will move him so they’re not left with nothing next summer. Whether he signs an extension with the team who ultimately trades for him, plays a year for whomever trades for him and then opts out for free agency, or simply plays out the remainder of his contract with Minnesota, before becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer, these rumors and innuendos are here to stay until he’s moved.
It would be nice not to have to parse his language for coded references to his feelings about other teams, but that’s the world we live in these days.
What do you think?
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