Kevin Love may technically still be a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, but it sounds like he’s already moved on from his current team.
The power forward made the media rounds yesterday for the first time in weeks and took questions on his current situation in Minnesota. Love did not outright confirm that he’s asked to be traded, but his Q-and-A sessions didn’t exactly indicate that he plans on suiting up in Timberwolves uniform this year either.
Love was asked first on ESPN’s “SportsNation” if he wanted out of Minnesota:
“My agent is handling everything at this point,” Love declared. “I got some advice….you know… six years in the league, I’m 25 years old, I’m hopefully heading into in my prime, working as hard as I possibly can…I’m hoping everything works out for all parties involved.”
Love added later in the same interview: "No matter what the outcome is, I just want to end up in a great place where I can win. At the end of the day, I've played six years, haven't made the playoffs yet, that burns me and hurts my heart, so I really want not to be watching these guys all the time [in the playoffs], I want to be playing."
The more telling comments from Love came in an interview with Fox Sports at E3 2014, where the power forward was doing some promotional work for the Call of Duty video game. In that exchange, Love was asked about Minnesota’s playoff chances, and the All-Star choose to refer to the Wolves as “they” instead of “we” in his response.
“I mean if they are healthy, they can do a lot of damage,” Love said. “Now with Flip [Saunders] as the coach, [he’s] kind of been there, done that in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference, having seen and really played all sides in the basketball world, he’s going to do a great job…so I think they’re very close.”
You can watch the full interview below and see Love’s comments for yourself:
Love did not comment directly on his recent trip to Boston in any interviews. In fact, a stipulation of his interview with The Big Lead required there would be no questions about the Boston Celtics, perhaps to reduce the risk of any possible tampering allegations. Love remained open to playing for other teams, including the New York Knicks when they were suggested.
"I think any time you have Phil Jackson involved in any organization, you're going to definitely look at it and it's very intriguing," Love said on SportsNation. "The Knicks are definitely a place where anybody would like to go."
Luckily for Boston fans, the Knicks don’t appear to have the assets to land Love in a trade this summer.
The veteran forward remains under contract with Minnesota for next season, but has the option of opting out of his deal next summer. If Minnesota elects to move their prized All-Star to ensure they won't lose him with no return, it probably won’t happen until the NBA Draft at the earliest. At that point, the Wolves will have a better idea of what players will be available to them on draft night if they make a trade away Love for draft picks.
For now though, if the big man gets his way, it is apparent that it’s simply a matter of when, not if Love will be dealt away by the Wolves in the coming months.