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Report: Some league executives think Kevin Love will bolt Timberwolves for Lakers in 2015

Jan 10, 2014, 8:44 AM EDT

Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

Kevin Love is frustrated — and he should be. The Minnesota Timberwolves have the point differential of a team that should be 23-12 (according to, yet they are 17-18. Minnesota is 0-10 in games that ended within five points, which is a combination of some bad luck and some poor execution at the end of games.

That frustration manifested itself Wednesday night when Love lashed out at guys off the bench (on a night he was 4-of-20 shooting, for the record).

What has to worry Minnesota and its fans is how that frustration manifests itself in the summer of 2015, when Love can and likely will opt out of his current deal.

Ken Berger of quoted one executive who spoke for a lot of others on Love’s state of mind come 2015:

“They should trade him,” one Eastern Conference executive said. “No one thinks he’s staying. Everyone knows he wants to go to the Lakers.”

Berger’s question is how should Minnesota handle this situation? Like Cleveland handled LeBron James and stick with him trying to convince him to stay? Like Utah did with Deron Williams and move him early? Something more like the middle ground of Dwight Howard or Carmelo Anthony?

Minnesota’s plan is clearly to keep Love by making him not want to leave. They jettisoned David Kahn — the former GM who insulted Love by not offering the big man a max five-year extension on his rookie deal (saving that for Ricky Rubio) — and brought in Flip Saunders, who has a better relationship with Love.

With Love, Rubio, Kevin Martin (acquired this summer), Nikola Pekovic and guys like Chase Budinger (just healthy now) and Corey Brewer this should be a playoff team, a growing young team. Berger notes that Minnesota’s model is not any of the players who bolted their teams listed two paragraphs up.

But not all executives agree, and while none would wish Saunders’ dilemma on his worst enemy, there’s another situation that bears comparison to Love’s. That would be the one involving LaMarcus Aldridge and the Portland Trail Blazers.

As Portland endured front-office turmoil and the bad luck of losing No. 1 pick Greg Oden and franchise cornerstone Brandon Roy to devastating knee injuries, it once seemed that Aldridge’s days in Portland were numbered. Though he frequently said all the right things publicly, suspicions around the league were growing stronger that a third straight non-playoff season this year would force the Blazers’ hand as Aldridge approached his 2015 date with unrestricted free agency.

Portland GM Neil Olshey stayed the course, found Damian Lillard in the draft, put the right pieces around Aldridge, and voila: the Blazers have been the surprise story of the league with the third-best record in the West.

It is impossible to say with any certainty right now what Love will do in 2015 — Love doesn’t know. He is frustrated today, and the Lakers have the cap space on the books to go get a max player in 2015, but both of those things could change in the next 18 months. If Love decides to leave Minnesota he will have a number of suitors, including potentially the New York Knicks.

But know there are a lot of people around the league that think Love wants out of Minnesota and to get back to the city where he played his college ball.

  1. money2long - Jan 10, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    love and kobe. send kobe out right.

    • asimonetti88 - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:33 AM

      The author of this article should be fired from this website. If I’ve learned anything from the commenters on this website, it is that the Lakers are not only no longer a premiere franchise, but that they should probably be demoted to the D-League because they are a joke, no one wants to play with Kobe, Jim Buss is the living embodiment of Tommy Boy, that the city of Los Angeles is a dumpster fire and that the NBA is rigging games so that the Lakers can win.

      • asimonetti88 - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:34 AM

        These are all facts. I know so because I saw them on the internet.

      • antistratfordian - Jan 10, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        Half of that is true, though.

      • dollasnsense - Jan 10, 2014 at 1:07 PM

        You do realize that Tommy Callahan saved the company in the end, right? If your analogy of Jim Buss and Tommy Boy is correct, then great times for the Lakers are quickly on the horizon!

      • asimonetti88 - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        Apparently PBT commenters have no sense of self-satire.

      • dinofrank60 - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:31 PM

        I thought that was very good!!

  2. shanelsweet - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:00 AM

    I don’t blame him for being angry that the bench didn’t help on a night when he was playing poorly. Those are the kinds of nights where you’d want some help from the other guys. He didn’t get it and they lost again. If the guys won’t listen to you in the locker room, you’ve got to let it out somewhere. I wouldn’t want a microphone in my face every night after work for sure. Doesn’t make him a bad person, it just makes him not the best

  3. sportsnut101 - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    Well they wouldn’t trade him to lakers the lakers have no1 to send back

    But I would trade him to clippers for Blake griffin and a pick if I was to make a move

  4. fanofevilempire - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    I’m not a executive and I posted he was going to leave for the
    original Minnesota nba franchise and I got thumbs down.

  5. tfilarski - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    should bolt for chicago

  6. monkeyhateclean - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    And suffer an even OLDER ball-hogging Ko-ME Bryant? Unlikely.

    Love is headed back to the friendly confines of Portland, to begin the next NBA dynasty.

    • innovativethinking87 - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:15 AM

      He just might. He’s born and raised in Portland loves his city. An Aldridge, Love, Lillard combo would be dynamic..

      Ps they saved the max contract for Rubio? LOL the guy has possibly the worse shooting percentage for a starter I think in league history. Ouch

      • zeedoubleyou - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:28 AM


    • aboogy123456 - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      even if you were right and kobe is a ball-hog, you do realize that it would only be one season with Kobe don’t you? You think a guy in his prime would decide against spending the rest of his career in LA because the first season is with kobe?

      • asimonetti88 - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        let me get this out of the way so that we can continue with this conversation.

        JUsT lOoK at Dawight HowRD! He left AFTER 1 SEASON BECAUSE OF KOME CRYANT. FAKER faNS are a JoCKE! ThIS is WUT happens when U caNt have Dennis STERN FIX GAMES FOR U

      • dinofrank60 - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:34 PM

        Don’t worry, Dennis Stern will be gone soon. But Alan Silver will be playing maestro…

  7. borisalessandri - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    San Antonio would love to have LOVE! Could be a potentially great landing spot for KLUV

  8. aboogy123456 - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    but why would anybody wanna play for the lakers anymore? I thought the Dr. Buss is no longer the owner??

    • 5xchamp24 - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:40 AM

      The Lakers will always get big name players to come. No matter who the owner is……… #winningfranchise

    • ranfan12 - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      Because it’s a business and if someone offers you money, you have a choice to take it of you want to. No one had to sign with the lakers. But they did. Deal with it.

      • aboogy123456 - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:29 PM

        ME deal with it? I guess you didn’t understand my sarcasm but I’m a lakers fan, and there are plenty of idiots on the internet who say that the lakers are done and nobody wants to sign there because Dwight didn’t sign, or because kobe is there, or because dr. buss is gone, or some other idiotic reason.

      • asimonetti88 - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:08 PM

        “nobody wants to sign there because Dwight didn’t sign, or because kobe is there, or because dr. buss is gone, or some other idiotic reason.”

        My personal favorite is the guy that says Dwight didn’t sign because he hates avocados.

      • ranfan12 - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:08 PM

        my humor and sarcasm senses has been ruined by this site, sorry lol

  9. joeyashwi - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    Love is a big numbers guy on a bad team. He doesn’t make players around him better. Unless he goes to the Heat, who have bonafide stars in place already, he will not push a team past its current potential. He goes 4 for 20 and they lose by one point and he calls out guys for not huddling up during a timeout? How about hitting some damn shots? Trade him! We don’t want him. Should have kept Derrick Williams.

    • asimonetti88 - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:09 PM

      “Should have kept Derrick Williams.”

      If you’re wondering why you’re not a NBA GM yet.

    • JHathwell - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:14 PM

      Ain’t this the truth. In fact, I’d go so far as to say the Wolves can build a contender by trading Love ASAP. The guys is as overvalued as any player in the league. If you trade him now, you’d likely get 2 or 3 quality players and a few #1 picks, a bounty similar to what Denver got for Melo.

      Lot of similarities, actually. Both Melo and Love are supremely talented players that have nothing to show for the careers beside empty numbers. Hell, at least ‘Melo has made the WCF and won some medals and an NCAA Title. Love still has yet to even win 35 games in a season!

      • asimonetti88 - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:33 PM

        I agree. He is far overvalued. They should trade him to the Lakers. We’ll give them Xavier Henry and Robert Sacre.

      • JHathwell - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:45 PM

        That’s too much. How about a sign & trade for Shawne Williams and Ryan Kelly + the rights to DJ Mbenga?

  10. soundsofsuccess7 - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    Kobe Kevin and Carmelo

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      Looks great on paper, but that would be a bottom 5 ranked defense. With or without D’Antoni as coach.

    • ranfan12 - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      So many isolation lol

      • aboogy123456 - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        Kobe and melo both play well off the ball, and on a good team I think Love becomes more of a rebounder and spot up shooter, where the offense doesn’t flow through him.

    • beavertonsteve - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:02 PM

      At the Lakers current pace it could be Kobe Kevin Carmelo and Embiid

  11. lakerade - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    It’s all coming together, again.

  12. antistratfordian - Jan 10, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    I can see Love going to LA because… he’s from LA. Makes sense.

    Now, what would that mean for the Lakers exactly? They’re still going to need a true alpha dog. Love is like Melo – immensely talented but still lacking a key ingredient required for consistent winning – so he’ll probably be best in a super-sidekick role ala old Dwyane Wade or young Kobe Bryant.

    • Kurt Helin - Jan 10, 2014 at 8:44 PM

      Technically Love grew up in Oregon, but played his college ball in LA.

  13. 00maltliquor - Jan 10, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    Report: Some league executives think Kevin Love will bolt Timberwolves for Lakers in 2015

    …As he should!

  14. stayhigh_247 - Jan 10, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    everybody is gonna want K Love, but him going to LA would pretty much be a rebuild all over again. They would have to have a coach and a serious plan in place. Chicago is the better option

  15. lakerade - Jan 10, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    Stayhigh, you’re on the right track about the Lakers needing a coach and then mentioning CHI. Thibs wants a franchise committed to winning, and that Deng move hurt him regardless of how good it was for the future. Hmmm, what to do…

  16. xli2006 - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    Why would he stay?

  17. illogic87 - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    why would he want to go to LA? they have no young talent, kobe is retiring, team is filled with expiring contracts and they have no #1 pick next year

  18. khmer379 - Jan 12, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Lakers will get lust not love from Kevin flip saunder will surround him with talent so hell be happy n wins championship here like the mpls lakers

  19. filone17 - Feb 2, 2014 at 5:23 AM

    This scenario is not getting much traction but if Kevin Love is really serious about leaving Minnesota you may see the T-wolves will trade him to the Los Angeles Clippers. Now as a Laker fan…I HATE this possibity BUT it actually makes some sense for Minnesota. Salarie’s match up first of all. Secondly, if Kevin Love leaves they will definitely want to get maximum value in return. Since teams know he wants to go play for the Lakers who in their right mind would give anything of value up in return, unless they can convince him to sign there. Possibly the Clippers since they also play in LA. The Clippers also have a far better chance of getting him a ring at the moment and they sold Chris Paul on the “other” LA team so they may be able to do it with Love too. Another reason it makes sense is that Blake Griffin is locked in his contract until 2017 so they will have him at least a few years before he can bolt. Yes Kevin love is a better overall player than Griffin but not by much and with Griffins athleticism he may have a better upside.
    I still want to see Kevin Love put on the Purple and Gold however, I think this might be the best deal Minnesota can get. It actually makes sense for both teams. That being said I think I read somewhere that Kevin Love grew up a Laker Fan b/c his dad loves the Lakers… let’s just hope Kevin Love has his heart set on the Lakers and is willing to help Buss and Kupchak build a new dynasty.

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