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Quote of the Day: Kevin Love wonders why you’re so sure he’s bolting for L.A.

Feb 19, 2014, 12:02 PM EDT

Phoenix Suns v Minnesota Timberwolves Getty Images

“People think it’s so far-fetched that I would stay in Minnesota. And I’m not s—— on the Lakers, but we have the better team, the better foundation. I’m having fun.”

Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves, speaking to Steve Mash of GQ (in an article in large part about beard trimming).

Love is not wrong. The Timberwolves have a roster right now. It’s a roster that may be a disappointment but has a better foundation for winning than the Lakers right now. If you use the present tense. 

That said, very few people around the league believe Love is staying in Minnesota — of course he’s going to say things like this publicly because he doesn’t want to create an awkward situation, but what he says to GQ or anyone else on the record and what his agent or other intermediaries tell the Timberwolves off the record do not necessarily match up. That is how the game is played. Most people around the league still think he winds up in Los Angeles, although in free agency Love would have multiple major suitors.

Minnesota’s man in charge Flip Saunders isn’t going to move Love at the deadline. Maybe this summer (if Love says he’s gone as a free agent), but more likely Saunders will massage the roster hoping for a Portland-like turnaround that will swing Love back toward staying in Minnesota. Saunders’ tip priority is to keep him. But a year from now, if Minnesota isn’t winning and winning a lot, Saunders may have no real choice but to deal. 

  1. monkeyhateclean - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Come 2015, Kevin love will join the Portland Trailblazers, and a new dynasty will begin.

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:17 PM

      Portland already has Aldridge

      • pbtunpaidwriter - Feb 19, 2014 at 6:35 PM

        Lol I don’t know who’s worse, monkey saying Love will join the blazers or asimonetti even responding.

        I don’t even know why I’m responding to this but just had to point this out.

    • rexgrossman8 - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      He’ll opt for the Sparks, Mystics, or Storm before the blazers.

    • dluxxx - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      This makes way more sense than the Lakers. He’s from Portland. Just because he lives in LA doesn’t mean he wants to play there. He played one year at UCLA. He lives in LA. Thus, everyone thinks he wants to go to LA. It’s total BS.

      If that fact that a player lived in LA meant that he wanted to play in LA was true, then half of the league would want to be there. Kevin Garnett lives in LA. Did he want to go there? No.

      Honestly, the only people who are talking about Kevin Love going to LA, are media members outside of the Twin Cities. These are media who either cover crappy teams that need help. It’s pure conjecture. That’s it.

      Ultimately, money will talk. Kevin Love will sign where he gets the biggest/best contract, and the Timberwolves are the team that can offer him that. Nobody else can offer him the money they can, and thus, he isn’t going anywhere.

      • therealhtj - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:34 PM

        It’s really a difference of 1 year guaranteed and slightly higher raises. Around 7-8mil if you don’t take the 5th year into account. Players will pass on that if they want to get out of an unhappy situation. Spending your winters in Minnesota, when you have a choice, is probably not the choice you’d make.

        There are even some advantages to taking the 4 year deal with the 4th being a player option. Just ask Dwight Howard.

      • dluxxx - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:36 PM

        To add to this, there’s tons of stories that aren’t being talked about outside of the Twin Cities in regards to Love. You don’t hear about how Love took out a full page ad thanking the fans for all of their support. You don’t hear about him popping up in the skyway handing out tickets to unsuspecting people. You don’t hear about how he has several times grabbed the mic and told the fans at games how much he appreciates them and how much he loves playing in Minnesota. You don’t hear about how he flew in to Rochester in the off season to put his input into the negotiations with Mayo Clinic on their practice facility. Does this sound like a guy ready to bolt?

        If he was really so disgruntled, don’t you think he would just do what was required of him (play and practice) and little else? Seriously, everyone needs to get over this. Will Love test free agency? Maybe. Is he going to come out and say “I want to be a Wolf for life?” No, of course not. That would tie his hands when it comes time to negotiate again.

        Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s All Star Power Forward…

      • asimonetti88 - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:46 PM

        Yes, that worked out for the Nuggets with Carmelo, the Cavaliers with LeBron, the Raptors with Chris Bosh, the Lakers with Dwight Howard.

        Maybe the Wolves can offer Love the Joe Smith deal.

      • dluxxx - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:52 PM

        Every one of those deals you mentioned were made before the new CBA. You’re going to see a lot more superstars stay right where they’re at. Is it possible Love ends up somewhere else? Sure, but everyone seems to act like this is already a done deal.

      • asimonetti88 - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:54 PM

        Dwight Howard was certainly not before the new CBA.

      • dluxxx - Feb 19, 2014 at 1:20 PM

        Did the Lakers offer Howard a max contract? Did they offer more money than Houston? Was the contract that he signed with the Lakers a new one, or was it the contract from when he was with Orlando?

      • aboogy123456 - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:56 PM

        @dluxx, go read PBT’s recent article about the players who make the most endorsements, because you didn’t factor endorsements into your argument about money. So it’s not as plain and simple as you say it is.

      • dluxxx - Feb 19, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        Kevin Love does make money from endorsements. Off the top of my head I know he’s done ads for Taco Bell and Pepsi. He’ll continue to get more as he goes. It isn’t like there aren’t major corporations in Minnesota that would be willing to do endorsement deals with him as well. The endorsement situation is overplayed anyway. Look at Robinson Cano. Everyone was sure he’d stay in New York because of endorsement deals. What happened? Money talks. Different sport, but same premise.

      • aboogy123456 - Feb 19, 2014 at 1:37 PM

        well if you think that the value of endorsements in Minnesota is the same as the value in Los Angeles, then I guess there’s no point in arguing with your logic.

      • casualcommenter - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:00 PM

        “Did the Lakers offer Howard a max contract?”

        No, I think they only offered him the mid-level exception…NOT.

        OF COURSE they offered him the max, lol. You think they were super eager to go with Chris Kaman at center instead?

      • casualcommenter - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:06 PM

        aboogy123456 – Feb 19, 2014 at 1:37 PM

        well if you think that the value of endorsements in Minnesota is the same as the value in Los Angeles, then I guess there’s no point in arguing with your logic.

        I hate to have to come to the defense of LA Laker fans, but they’re right, and you’re wrong. NBA max salaries are $20 million per year for veteran free agents. You can easily match that in endorsements.

        Right now, even with a few token ads from Pepsi and Taco Bell, Kevin Love isn’t even top 10 in the NBA in endorsements. That would change if he were playing for the LA Lakers. Not only is the LA media market far larger than Minnesota’s, but the LA Lakers have a global fanbase, and no, the fanbases of Ricky Rubio and Nik Pekovic in Europe don’t compare to the Lakers’ reach.

      • asimonetti88 - Feb 19, 2014 at 3:31 PM

        “Look at Robinson Cano. Everyone was sure he’d stay in New York because of endorsement deals. What happened? Money talks. Different sport, but same premise.”

        If the Timberwolves offer Love $80 million more with 4 more years than any other team, I’m sure Love will stay. But seeing as that is impermissible under the CBA, I doubt that happens. Although that hasn’t stopped Minny before (Joe Smith)

    • kb2408 - Feb 19, 2014 at 1:42 PM

      A “new dynasty”? That implies that Portland was once a dynasty. Pardon me, but I must have missed it.

      • antistratfordian - Feb 19, 2014 at 9:05 PM

        “another dynasty” would imply that. a “new” dynasty does not require a previous dynasty. you can be the first and new, of course.

  2. RavenzGunnerz - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    Soon, the NBA bigs such as Lakers and Knicks will see the full effect of the new CBA. Players will surprisingly make choices to stay with their current teams, if those teams are winning.

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:50 PM

      T-Wolves might want to start winning then.

    • ghelton03 - Feb 20, 2014 at 12:10 AM

      I disagree. Lakers offered Howard a 5-year max contract and he turned it down for a lesser contract. When LBJ goes to resign, he is not worried about getting a 5-year deal with the Heat as opposed to a 4-year deal with any other team. He is going to take a contract where he has a choice of opting out on as soon as possible, so he can either sign for more money or move to another team. The current CBA rule does not do anything to keep major stars with their team.

  3. jcmeyer10 - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    I am rooting for the Wolves. Though they are doing better surrounding their All-Star PF with talent, than they did in the KG years (I’m looking at you Joe Smith and Wally Szerbiack), they need to translate that into winning.

    • aboogy123456 - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:29 PM

      I think that Love will leave because he probably knows that he not only needs talent to win, but he needs someone who is better than him on the same team, meaning another max player. It’s hard to predict what teams will be able to land those guys, but it’s more likely that a max quality free agent will want to play in LA with love, rather than Minnesota with love.

      • jcmeyer10 - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        Well there’s the rub. I tend to agree with you on that angle but am hoping that someone goes to Minnesota.

      • therealhtj - Feb 19, 2014 at 1:08 PM

        There are maybe 10 or so guys in the league that could be the #1 option over Love. Name one that would ever consider signing with Minnesota . . .

  4. azarkhan - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    He’s giving the Lakers the same message Dwight Howard did: you suck and no, you can’t buy a championship.

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      Is that the same message every FA the last 3 or 4 years has sent the Mavericks?

      • azarkhan - Feb 19, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        Go ask Mark Cuban, I’m not a Mavericks fan.

      • casualcommenter - Feb 19, 2014 at 1:55 PM

        Yes, but in the case of Deron Williams, the message began with, “Could you forward the following message to Mark Cuban once he’s done filming an episode of Shark Tank instead of attending my recruitment meeting?”

      • irvfin3 - Feb 19, 2014 at 5:53 PM

        Mavs did win w/o that way of doing it Cuban shouldn’t have let Chandler go.

  5. nolahxc - Feb 19, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    “That said, very few people around the league believe Love is staying in Minnesota.”

    The two major media markets are New York and LA, and they think they have the pulse of the rest of the NBA. They do not, and they are often wrong.

  6. money2long - Feb 19, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    how come the quote isn’t italicized and the story regular print

    • sonnysuave - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:29 PM

      Lol! I was thinking the exact same thing – author has it backwards & italicized the whole article, except the actual quote!

  7. kb2408 - Feb 19, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Haha…this Love kid is funny! A number 42 LAKERS jersey is already made up for him and hanging neatly in his future locker at the Staples. See you soon, Kevin!!

    • therealhtj - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      42 is retired for James Worthy for near 20 years now there “LAKERS” fan.

      • sportsfan18 - Feb 19, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        He’s not a Lakers fan… he’s just a fan of Kobe’s balls…

      • kb2408 - Feb 19, 2014 at 4:51 PM

        Obviously, you don’t follow the LAKERS….Big Game James has gone on record saying that if (when) Love becomes a LAKER he can wear number 42.

      • therealhtj - Feb 19, 2014 at 5:14 PM

        I’m almost leaning towards him just being a troll who tries to epitomize the moronic Lakers fans who think Kobe is the GOAT, every free agent will either sign with the Lakers for less money or will force a lopsided trade to get to LA, and has no idea about the salary cap or just believes it doesn’t apply to the Lakers.

        He’s either just not very good at trolling, or is trying so hard to make it obvious that no one buys it.

      • kb2408 - Feb 19, 2014 at 5:26 PM

        Big Game James has already said “when” Love comes to L.A. he can wear number 42. Look it up, numbskull.

  8. big64d - Feb 19, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    K Love is a beast. He is the best at his position and one of the most underrated players because hes not flashy or black. Dude is a double double monster and all he needs is a Robin to get the Twolves to start winning on a regular basis.

  9. casualcommenter - Feb 19, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    Kevin Love has said, openly and often, that his number 1 priority is winning. He’s tired of losing, he hates that his friends who play on playoff teams have stories to tell while he’s stuck watching playoff games on TV, etc.

    I think if the Wolves build a winning team around Love, he’ll stay despite the allure of a bigger market like LA and those endorsements opportunities.

    However, if the Wolves have a repeat season next year like this year, in which they’re desperately fighting for the 8th seed despite Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love staying healthy for the most part, he’s gone. He’s not going to sacrifice the endorsement opportunities LA offers to stick with a losing roster.

    • casualcommenter - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:03 PM

      And to address the complaints of a fan above, the additional endorsement opportunities a guy gets from playing from LA compared to Minnesota more than make up for the lower maximum salaries LA can offer compared to Minnesota due to CBA restrictions. Money alone isn’t going to keep Love in Minnesota. It has to be winning.

      • therealhtj - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        The starting salary is actually EXACTLY the same as Minnesota can offer. The current team has an advantage in that they can offer 3% greater raises and a 5th guaranteed year.

        Obviously that 3% can be made up for with the endorsement opportunities of a much larger media market. Losing that 5th year only becomes an issue if the player gets hurt. Love, when he leaves and signs that 4 year deal, will likely negotiate an opt-out after the 3rd year like Dwight Howard did and resign for another 5 years at max money.

        The only money the player loses would be 3% worth of raises for seasons 2 & 3 of the deal. The big risk is losing that last guaranteed year due to injury, but you’re still getting near 90mil guaranteed after making a ton of money leading up to it.

        Sounds like something almost any Max Free Agent would sacrifice to land in a better situation.

      • bkbell3 - Feb 19, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        Thank you thereallhtj, Someone who understands a little about how the nba works. Huge stars like lebron or Durant can overcome playing in a small market and still get major endorsements but few others can. Also to consider is playing 41 games in LA at almost 14% income tax is a factor, I would think minn. is less if they have any at all? If his next contract was his last big contract because of age then that fifth year can be a bigger factor. The biggest problem in minn. is rubio cant shoot or defend very well and the front line of love and the big center is very nonathletic as is most of the team and the game is changing.

  10. loungefly74 - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    “I Love LA!”…oh Kevin, think of the marketing possibilities!!!!!

  11. farminfool - Feb 19, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    He is going no where. Everyone quit speculating on something you know zero about. The only one that knows is K Love. Let’s just enjoy how well he is playing while he is in a wolves uniform. Instead of worrying about what he will do in a year and a half from now.

    • sportsfan18 - Feb 19, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      He wants to win. Do we know if he is going to leave the Wolves? No. But if they continue on their same path, losing, not making the playoffs… well my money is on him leaving.

      They DON’T have much time. If they aren’t set up to win BEFORE his contract is up, he’s gone… Hes’ given them years of playing with them while they were trying to build a team around him.

      He won’t do that again. He’s done his time and his part.

      At this moment in time, I’d put the odds much better than not that he is gone… to where I don’t know as I think it will be more about winning when he does catch the first bobsled out of snowville…

      He isn’t getting younger and he’s already rich so he’ll chase the team with the best setup at that point in time (and for the next couple of years that is looking for someone like him).

      As the Lakers are like 5 yrs from contending, he won’t go there…

      • aboogy123456 - Feb 19, 2014 at 4:48 PM

        it doesn’t take 5 years to put together a great team in the NBA. The lakers have cap space and a very high draft pick that could even be top 3. We don’t know what will happen but for you or anyone to say the lakers can’t contend soon doesn’t know what you’re talking about. I’m sure you were saying the same thing about the celtics and the heat before they landed their big free agents.

      • therealhtj - Feb 19, 2014 at 5:19 PM

        When Love’s a free agent in the summer of 2015, the Lakers will likely only have Kobe on the books along with whomever they select in the lottery this year. That leaves room for Love and another max free agent or a handful of great complimentary pieces.

        Call me crazy but that sounds better than anything Minnesota’s put on court in over a decade.

  12. billtetley53 - Feb 19, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    What exactly is Love going to be teaming up with? A 37 year old Kobe and Dante Exum?

    Pau is gone. The 2015 draft pick is gone.

    In Kobes last year Kobe and Love would eat up approximately 42 million of a 57 million dollar cap. That leaves 15 to flesh out a roster of 10-12 players.

    An ancient Kobe, Love and Exum isn’t anything more than a 10 seed in the West. I don’t know why that would make you so happy lakers fans.

    I still hope it doesn’t happen, just because a majority of you have a 1/2 pack of rolaids in your pants about it.

    kb2408, I see you got schooled again on your lakers history. How do you not know that Worthy had his # retired?! Some fan…

    • therealhtj - Feb 19, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      The cap’s projected to be 60 mil next season, doubt it goes down in 2015. There’ll be another max slot there, whether they can fill it is another question.

  13. iamawesome2014 - Feb 19, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Love is leaving minnesota. period. Minnesota rubbed him the wrong way by catering to rubio. Rubio was kahn’s gem and the person kahn wanted as face of the franchise. Kahn publicly stated as much. Even though Kahn is gone now I doubt Love has forgotten the disrespect he was given. Love is way better at his position than rubio is at his. Love is the best individual power forward in the game today. Period. Whether it be LA, NY, or wherever, Love is leaving Twolves.

    • jollyjoker2 - Feb 19, 2014 at 6:43 PM

      let him go. He can rebound and shoot but can’t finish games. He is 2nd tier at best.

  14. campcouch - Feb 19, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    So Kevin Love will sign with a team with a player who is coming off of 2 major injuries,on the down side of his career and will probably be force retired by the Lakers,unless he mercs it out to another team. Then it’ll be Love,some cap space and the hope that one of the top tier FAs opt out of their contracts in 2014 and come to LA…oh and toss in some endorsement money from Roscoes Chicken and Waffles. I’m not buying that. Love has better chances in Minnesota.

    • therealhtj - Feb 19, 2014 at 6:42 PM

      May as well hop on It’s a Small World, cuz you Wolves fans are in fantasy land. I don’t even really understand why you’re so intent to keep Klove. He’s not a focal point of a championship team, and you Minny fans will never attract a free agent who is. Long as Love’s there, you’re looking at late lotto/8th seed picks that will never materialize into another Lebron or even another KG.

      You need to draft a superstar, maybe two or three. You should follow the OKC model because it’s really your only chance. Hey you wanna hold on to the pipedream that is Klove staying to keep you in NBA purgatory for another 5 years or so, then have at it.

  15. billtetley53 - Feb 19, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    Another blatant lie by kb2408 to cover up his idiocy. Googled Worthy, Love etc.

    No mention anywhere about him letting Love wear 42, you know why? Because it didn’t happen!

    You didn’t know Worthys # was retired, just like you didn’t know Jerry West was great at defense.

    Not only are you an embarassment to yourself, you’re an embarassment to Lakers fans everywhere.

    How do you keep coming on this site after your epic fails is beyond me.

  16. billtetley53 - Feb 19, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    thereal: Nope, kb2408 is a binaries lakers fan, he’s been doing this for 2 years.

    He’s a 40 year old “man” that behaves like a teen girl when it comes to Kobe and the lakers. You can Google him and probasketball talk. or under his old handle lakerluver. His futility is legend on this site.
    He even went as far as to say he’s going to cry when Kobe retires. Ick.

    Over the top homeristic know nothing.

  17. genericcommenter - Feb 19, 2014 at 8:24 PM

    Steve Mash? Is that really Steve Nash undercover trying to talk him into L.A.?

  18. ghelton03 - Feb 20, 2014 at 12:18 AM

    Clearly Wolves have the better team now. I think Love is saying that he doesn’t want to go to LA now. So don’t expect anything before the trade deadline. However, I think things will be very different when Love is a free agent.

  19. mackcarrington - Feb 20, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    At the end of the day, the “Love Dial” franchise is worth far more in LA than in Minnesota.

  20. turkbox420 - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    Chandler,Love, Melo are a nice front court

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