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Timberwolves owner wants to ‘wait one more year’ before admitting Kevin Love’s last contract was a mistake

Apr 13, 2014, 2:00 PM EST

Kevin Love

The situation with Kevin Love in Minnesota is one of the more intriguing from a free agent standpoint, and it’s one that isn’t likely to be resolved for more than another year.

Love is under contract through the end of the 2015 season, at which time he will almost certainly opt out of the final year of his deal in order to sign a max contract — either in Minnesota, or somewhere else.

By all accounts, the Timberwolves shouldn’t be in this situation for another year beyond that. The team had the chance to lock up Love for an additional season by giving him a max five-year extension, but the general manager at the time (along with ownership approval) chose to offer a four-year deal, with an opt-out after three.

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, however, isn’t ready to call that decision a mistake just yet.

From Jerry Zgoda of the Minnesota StarTribune:

Taylor and David Kahn, then president of basketball operations, decided in January 2012 to offer Love a four-year contract extension rather than the five-year maximum “designated player” deal that Love wanted. To convince him to sign, they offered the option of becoming an unrestricted free agent after three years.

Taylor was asked if he now considers that decision a big mistake. He paused before answering.

“Let’s wait one more year to answer that question,” Taylor said. “I think it’s a good question to ask at this point because Kevin has played as well as we hoped, and maybe even better. To have him tied up long probably would be better than not, but we still have one more year and we’ll see. My hope is it doesn’t make any difference, that Kevin can get the money one way or another and we’re in position to do that.”

Go ahead and file this one under the heading of, “well, what is he supposed to say.” But it’s truly a ridiculous notion.

Of course it was a mistake not to sign Love for a maximum contract at the time. He’s emerged as a legitimate All-Star who puts up video game-type numbers on the offensive end of the floor on a regular basis.

It might ultimately work out for the franchise, if it can make some offseason moves that improve the team to the point where Love believes it can contend for a championship in the very near future. It’s not a certainty that he won’t re-sign, but there’s nothing wrong with admitting now that a huge error was made where Love and his last contract extension was concerned — mainly, because it’s completely obvious.

  1. thevikesarebest - Apr 13, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    The Timberwolves will be championship contenders next season.dont believe me just watch.

    • ranfan12 - Apr 13, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      but how?

      • eugenesaxe1 - Apr 13, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        NBA2K15. And plenty of cheat codes.

  2. cantonb0und13 - Apr 13, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    Good, I like K. Love. I don’t want the Knicks sign him, they would destroy his career, like how their going to destroy P. Jackson legacy.

    • sportsfan18 - Apr 13, 2014 at 4:54 PM

      Well, if Phil is really considering signing Lamar Odom, HE is working on ruining his legacy, not the Knicks…

    • bendover09 - Apr 14, 2014 at 12:18 AM

      If Phil Jackson is good at what he does like everyone makes him out to be then his legacy shall be fine. Phil as a coach is golden. Phil as management, who knows… the man has never put together a team in his life. He has always been “gifted” to have the players he had.

      Jordan ran his own team and kept players in line

      Since when does kobe/shaq listen to what he said…

      I know it makes it sound like I don’t like the man and he not a good coach. BUT, if youre as knowledged as they make him out to be why hasn’t he ever built a team ? He can’t , the man needs an organization who will overprice average players

    • 00maltliquor - Apr 14, 2014 at 1:34 AM

      Imposter!! You’re not the real cantonbound, he would never say such things! LOL

  3. lenbias34pt - Apr 13, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    Bring the thumbs down, but I’m of the opinion Love is a stat guy.

    He is a very good player, but it’s not like the Wolves are without talent and this is just one more season outside the playoffs.
    While not as overrated as Mello, Love is clearly over rated.

    He is lousy down right bad on Defense, and thou great on O, it’s not like he is going to draw 2 defenders like the other top scorers in the league.
    Love is an interesting case, but unless he becomes absolutely surrounded by great players, Kevin will never find success……………for his team atleast.

    • kb2408 - Apr 13, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      Based on your line of thinking, let’s also say Zach and LaMarcus are both overrated too. Both are 20 & 10 guys that haven’t led their teams very far in the playoffs. Love is not surrounded by all-star teammates. In fact, Zach and LaMarcus have more talent on their teams than Love does. But if you believe he’s overrated you’re entitled to your opinion. I just ask how can a dude that was one of the best prep players in the country, a one and done college player and a perennial 20-10 all star NBA player be overrated? Is he Tim Duncan? No. But can he be a great number 2 option on a contending team? Undoubtedly, yes.

      • therealhtj - Apr 13, 2014 at 5:56 PM

        These Minny fans are already preparing themselves for Love’s inevitable departure, so pay it no mind.

        Really no different than Laker fans who started discounting Dwight Howard as soon as he bailed on them.

      • lenbias34pt - Apr 14, 2014 at 7:30 AM

        Thank you for responding.

        You make good comparisons with Zach and LaMarcus, but they both have lead their teams with more success (not much i’ll grant you) than Kevin.
        The fact that Love was 1 and done and was great in high school is inconsequential. Just as inconsequential as his gold metal.

        What is of interest is how well UCLA played (35-4) in his one season at UCLA. Of course to support my argument i’d mention Westbrook, Mounte and Collison as the other starters on his overly talented team.

        KB every NBA team will score 90 points a game and the rest of general stats to follow.
        Consider this, The 6′s had a hard time giving away Evan Turner and he averaged 17 pts a game and 4 ast. , 6 Reb, 1 steal and he is 25 years old!

        Check out Knight or Sessions stats this season for the Bucks.

        All that said, Love is a great player etc etc. But you put a max contract on him and thus limit your other resources and that NBA team will never win in the NBA…………..imop

    • cruzan80 - Apr 13, 2014 at 4:45 PM

      LenBias34pt,

      Well you got at least one thumbs up from me.

      I look at him the same way I’ve looked at Chris Bosh. He’s better than Bosh but they both stuffed the stat sheet in every category except wins. Their 2nd banana’s who are completely unable to carry a team anywhere.

      I do disagree with you considering Melo to be more overrated. I don’t hear anyone calling Melo the “the best SF in the league” like they call Love the best PF in the league. Yet….unlike Love….Melo has carried his teams into the post season for 10 consecutive years…8 of those years in a tougher version of the Western Conference than Love has played in but has yet to sniff a playoff game.

      Love needs to join a team where there is already a stud or two on it so all his empty stats can begin to actually mean something…..like wins.

      • adoombray - Apr 13, 2014 at 6:55 PM

        Nobody calls Love the best PF in the league. Duncan is still playing and he’s the best PF ever. Griffin and Milsap are both better players than him too.

      • bendover09 - Apr 14, 2014 at 12:30 AM

        Duncan has always had the luxury of a good team and a coach that the league backs. Samething with Bruce Bowen . If he played on a small market team like Sixers or kings the man wouldve not been privileged with all those hacks that were noncalled.

        NBA takes care of their own in every single way. Not just superstars

      • lenbias34pt - Apr 14, 2014 at 7:53 AM

        Thank you Cruzan.
        Bosh is a great comparison.

        Mello
        Guess it’s who you listen to. The easiest thing to do is compare him to the other Max contract guys.
        Wall, Deron, Joe Johnson and Rudy Gay are among the guys who are absolutely stealing $. So i’ll certainly agree Mello is on par with this lot.

        And thou you are surely correct Denver did dance often with Mello i still felt with the talent around him that team underachieved…………..
        In short Mello is not a top 10 player, but surely worthy of a Max deal……i just dont’ think your team will win if he is your Max deal guy.

      • adoombray - Apr 14, 2014 at 9:13 AM

        Please stop parroting the small market stuff. There is no such thing as small market with revenue sharing and the league pass. However, if we were going to engage in that tired, “middle aged sports writers keep saying this because other middle aged sports writers say it too” diatrabe, The Spurs are the only game in town for hundreds of miles, they are the definition of small market… and how on earth you’d call Philly a “small market” is beyond me. Philly is one of the most die hard sports cities in the country.

      • spursareold - Apr 14, 2014 at 9:53 AM

        @bendover09

        Spurs aren’t a small market team? And Philly is? LOL

        Duncan always has a good team, because he MAKES them good. He’s the rock on defense, sure to be overlooked for awards yet again, and the steadying post presence on offense when needed.

      • kookiebuger - Apr 14, 2014 at 10:46 AM

        You just went full retard, please tell me who is the Timberwolves 2nd best player. Martian? He is the most inconsistent player in the league. Rubio? He can’t spread the floor or play defense outside of passing he is basically useless. Pek is the 2nd best player but he is/was out with injury. Love still managed to have the Timberwolves finish with an above .500 record but since they play in the West (which is much better then when Melo played on the Nuggets, dumb comment you made) they finished with the 11th best record which would tie the 3rd best record in the East, it’s not his fault his team sucks.

      • Kurt Helin - Apr 19, 2014 at 11:59 AM

        Rubio is a good defender. Watch him closely.

    • sportsfan18 - Apr 13, 2014 at 5:04 PM

      Len,

      Gotta take BOTH the offense and the defense into account. Basketball reference dot com lists stats of all kinds for every player, retired too.

      They list the offensive ratings and defensive ratings of players, by year and for their careers as a whole.

      Jordan’s offensive rating for his career was 118 and his defensive rating was 103. What this means is that on offense, Jordan scored 118 points per 100 possessions and on defense he gave up 103 points per 100 possessions.

      A plus 15 for his career is excellent. I’ll list some other players now…

      Jordan plus 15 – 118 offense – 103 defense

      LeBron plus 14 – 116 offense – 102 defense

      Kevin Love plus 11 – 117 offense (higher than LeBron) 106 defense

      Kobe Bryant plus 6 – 111 offense (too inefficient on offense to be in the 116, 117, 118 range for offensive rating) 105 on defense

      Carmelo Anthony plus 1 offense 108 (again, way too inefficient on offense) – 107 on defense

      This means Carmelo basically gives up everything on the defensive end that he scores on the offensive end.

      That is NOT the case for Love who is a plus 11. He brings more to the team with his spread between the offensive and defensive side of the court…

      Love’s plus 11 is not super high like MJ or LeBron but it isn’t bad like Melo’s or just good like Kobe’s plus 6 either…

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/bryanko01.html

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jordami01.html

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jamesle01.html

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/l/loveke01.html

    • jollyjoker2 - Apr 13, 2014 at 9:40 PM

      most common sense of anyone on this board.

    • tigerpork - Apr 15, 2014 at 9:41 AM

      An overrated player wouldn’t pull down almost 15 boards per game. Double team him, triple team him he still manage to get the rebounds. You can’t stop Love. They guard him low and he’ll shoot a 3. They guard him high and he’ll post up with a jump hook. Also he’s so close to pulling a TRIPLE double many times this year. With all of that is he still overrated?

      Blake Griffin doesn’t even play defense either but yet no one calls him overrated.

  4. lakerade - Apr 13, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    I’m all for waiting a year too, that way the Lakers keep this year’s first round draft pick as well.

    • adoombray - Apr 13, 2014 at 6:56 PM

      The Lakers already gave that pick to Phoenix for Nash. Laker fan selective memory strikes again, lol.

      • kookiebuger - Apr 14, 2014 at 10:49 AM

        That’s the Lakers 2015 1st round pick, do your research before talking about a team you don’t watch.

      • psyopslayerx - Apr 14, 2014 at 6:10 PM

        Do your research, In the nba you can’t trade consecutive years of draft, example: 12,13,14 , now let’s put Lakers situation they traded their 13,__,15. Which means Lakers has their 2014 first round pick.

      • stephenlin - Apr 14, 2014 at 6:29 PM

        The Lakers have their own draft pick this year. What was that word you used? “Selective memory?”

      • therealhtj - Apr 14, 2014 at 7:22 PM

        And next year’s pick is top-5 protected. So if it goes off the rails again . . .

  5. eugenesaxe1 - Apr 13, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    So, wait til the cattle escape before admitting that not locking the corral was wrong? What a maroon.

    • Professor Fate - Apr 13, 2014 at 6:22 PM

      Exactly, as though management there hasn’t already made a bunch of bad decisions.

      • jollyjoker2 - Apr 13, 2014 at 9:37 PM

        anyone want to trade Durant for Rubio and Love? This guy is not prime rib. I don’t know what a max contract means – but he is not anywhere near it.

  6. ProBasketballPundit - Apr 13, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    How did Rubio’s name never come up in this article? He’s the reason the Timberwolves held on to the franchise player designation. They thought he would deserve the 5-year max contract more than Kevin Love. And now Rubio is an above average passer & individual defender but he’s also among the least efficient scorers in league history.

  7. antistratfordian - Apr 13, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    Kevin Love is going to be 26 soon and has never seen the playoffs. The Wolves are probably going to be better off without him as their primary weapon. He is probably the latest case study of a high-ish PER player who may be as harmful as he is beneficial because of the way he accumulates his numbers.

    If he is only a piece, then he is can certainly help a team – but if he is the #1 option his team is going to naturally struggle.

    • therealhtj - Apr 13, 2014 at 7:46 PM

      A PER of 27 is better than high-ish. That’s all-world elite. Even if you knock off a couple PER points for inflated stats on a lottery team, he’s still All-NBA.

      That said, Love hasn’t had the ideal group of players around him in a lousy city and organization to attract free agents, and he’s not enough to get them there.

      I tend to agree with the notion that he’d be better suited to be the 1a to someone else’s #1 on a contender, but unless they luck out in the lottery, it’s not happening in Minnesota.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 13, 2014 at 8:05 PM

        I’m speaking relatively – in the world of high PERs a 27.0 is not very high at all. According to the PER reference guide 27.0 would be somewhere between a weak and strong MVP candidate. “All-World Elite” to me would be something like 28.5 +?

        Arbitrary, really. But 27.0 certainly has never felt “special” to me.

  8. flyingvien - Apr 13, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    Bollocks to “a lousy city.”

    • therealhtj - Apr 14, 2014 at 1:43 PM

      Don’t take it out of context – lousy city and organization TO ATTRACT FREE AGENTS.

      I’m sure it’s a lovely place to raise a family on a middle class income. For multimillionaire professional athletes, well, they all seem to choose elsewhere.

      I know it hurts to imagine yet another star athlete abandoning your town for the greener pastures of a bigger market and more exciting city, but bracing yourself for the inevitable now may make that outcome a little easier to swallow.

  9. campcouch - Apr 13, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    Sign and trade,Minnesota. The team hasn’t shown any drastic improvement his time there…mainly thanks to that dual PG draft fiasco. Rubio needs to go as well, trade them both! You know you can get MANY picks for Love and at worst a second for Rubio. The parts don’t mesh and the Wolves are going to spin their wheels forever.

    • jollyjoker2 - Apr 13, 2014 at 9:35 PM

      kevin loves is not going to bring anyone to the playoffs. He is not a max player.

  10. jollyjoker2 - Apr 13, 2014 at 9:33 PM

    worried about a guy that hasn’t gotten them to 1 playoff game. Seriously!!!!! Max contract for THAT ….I remember the first year of the wolves…Guy called tony Campbell was draining 20 points a game…he couldn’t even make it on another team. Be wary of a guy like this.

  11. gomybirdsgo - Apr 14, 2014 at 2:13 AM

    MCW – (insert player here)-wiggins-Love-Noel thad is the 6th

    Not bad, not bad at all.

    Did someone call Philadelphia a “small market” in comparison to San Antonio ?? really ?

  12. spursareold - Apr 14, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Minny needs to offload Pek, and start the kid at center. He’ll be the rim protector they need and can cover up some of the doo doo defense that Love doesn’t play.

  13. rodyaugu - Apr 14, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    I’m with them for not admitting yet, because Kevin Love hasn’t done anything beside putting big numbers to prove otherwise. 6 years In Minnesota still zero playoffs appearance. Maybe if he had lead his team to the playoffs once or twice, not locking him up for another season would’ve been a mistake. What good is a top 10 player to a team when he cant even lead that team to the playoffs. They keep adding pieces around him every season, but still the same result. Might as well trade him for draft picks and rebuild around Rubio. If he’s not leading them to the playoffs, he’s just holding them back from the Wiggin and Parker sweeptakes.

  14. onlyavoice - Apr 15, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    Lakers fans think that Love is all packed up & ready to to head to LA.
    LA better have some sort of a foundation down next season or 2015 will be another year when no big name free agent signs with them, # 1 being a head coach.
    Love wants to win & Jim Buss clearly has no clue as to what he’s doing. If Melo stays with the Knicks
    then I can see Love in a Bulls uniform, seeing that rumors the Bulls may perusing Melo this
    summer.
    The Lakers are done for many years. There’s a new showtime in LA that players want to sign with,
    The clippers.

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