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Kevin Love and Flip Saunders hitting it off

May 22, 2013, 8:45 AM EDT

Kevin Love, Damian Lillard

NEW YORK – Kevin Love and Flip Saunders shared lunch yesterday, as both were headed to the NBA Draft lottery that night. They talk about the same issues that dominate their bi-daily conversations – leadership, expectations, workouts and, as Saunders put it, “more than anything, just about the vision that we have and how we feel we’ve got to get there to reach that vision.”

For the Timberwolves to reach any vision, Saunders will need Love on board. So far, the team’s new general manager has that.

“He’s very hopeful that I’ll be part of the team, a big part of the team, for many years to come,” Love said. “And I don’t see why he should think otherwise.”

An inability to foster that type of relationship with Love was a large part of previous general manager David Kahn’s undoing. Whereas Kahn frustrated Love by saving the Timberwolves’ five-year extension for Ricky Rubio, Saunders understands which player makes Minnesota go.

“He’s the only player that’s been an All-Star on that team since Kevin Garnett,” Saunders said. “So, because of that, what you want to do is you want make sure that he’s part of your foundation. And I’ve talked a lot with Ricky, but Ricky, of course, is overseas, is not quite as easy.”

Saunders said he’d meet with Rubio early next month, proving that not only is he directing his primary attention to the right Minnesota star, Saunders isn’t making the Kahn-like mistake of alienating the other.

Now, Love is optimistic, even using some of the wacky math many use at the lottery to show much.

“I never expected that I was going to have two broken hands,” Love said. “But they always say two negative make a positive, so maybe that will be the case in my regard, but more importantly, our team.”

  1. saint1997 - May 22, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    The TWolves can make the playoffs next year if they have a good offseason and play the FA market well. They should have the following wish list

    i) get some African Americans

    The rest will take care of itself

    • daddyghi - May 22, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      The TWolves should have made the playoffs this year if it wasnt for injuries… period…

    • patfic15 - May 22, 2013 at 3:14 PM

      Bobcats had a lineup of 90% AA. How’d that work out? Hopefully you’re joking.

      • saint1997 - May 23, 2013 at 3:03 AM

        no I am completely serious. completely. serious.

  2. bougin89 - May 22, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    I’ll get this out of the way before some of the Laker fans start chiming in.

    It sounds like Saunders is ready to trade Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and two first round picks for Pau Gasol and Steve Blake.


    • tigerpork - May 22, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      Kobe and Gasol for Love. Age for youth..fair deal.

  3. scottieplongballs - May 22, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    Very stupid trade comments. Period. Gotta start drafting better and this team can flourish very soon.

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