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Timberwolves owner on trading Kevin Love: “That’s not our plan”

May 20, 2014, 6:13 PM EDT

Glen Taylor AP

If I were Glen Taylor, the owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves, I wouldn’t want to trade Kevin Love.

It’s hard to get elite talent to come to Minnesota, and even when you do it’s hard to get all the pieces around them to win (see the Kevin Garnett era). The Timberwolves have an elite talent in Love right and have surrounded him with a team that should be better than it is (but can’t get out of its own way at the end of games).

Love’s people reportedly have told the Timberwolves he will leave at the end of next season, putting pressure on Minnesota to trade him this summer and get something in return. But again, I can’t blame Glen Taylor if he doesn’t want to make that trade and start another rebuild. Here is what Taylor told the Pioneer Press (hat tip Eye on Basketball).

Asked Monday if he would say he’s not going to trade Love, Taylor said, “I should never say never because who knows what might come up? But that’s not our plan.

“I’m not in a position where you would say absolutely I wouldn’t do it, because what if something that I can’t even speculate (on) happens? You’d say, ‘You’re nuts, Glen.’ Maybe some team puts a value on him that’s different than we suspect….

“At this point, we’re not talking to any teams,” Taylor said. “I haven’t heard from Kevin or his agents or anything like that. We’re assuming that Kevin will be here next season, and we’re working with that scenario. This isn’t the time for us to do anything but to prepare for next year.

First off, we all know that how this works is not that Kevin tells the owner he is not coming back, it’s done through intermediaries, through back channels, allowing Taylor to say, “I haven’t heard from Kevin” or for Love to say, “I never demanded a trade” when nobody buys that as reality.

The reality is closer to what Taylor said off the cuff the other day — they are not trading him before the draft.

Minnesota has to decide if a new coach and some roster tweaks can lead to a Portland-like turnaround, then if even that is enough to get Love to stay (thanks again to David Kahn for putting a match to the Love/Timberwolves relationship). If the answer is no, then the Timberwolves need to move Love this summer, or when they can get the best offer.

Whether it’s what the owner wants to do right now or not.

  1. jimsjam33 - May 20, 2014 at 6:25 PM

    Minnesota you have a star in Kevin Love . No doubt about it . The problem is that you have surrounded him with low budget players , who have played their hearts out , but lack the skills of other Western conference teams . All that means is that in the Western conference the Wolves will always be fighting for that elusive eighth playoff position . First round losers every year .
    You have Rubio , but he can’t shoot . You have Petrovic . He is a bruiser , but basically a blue collar worker . The rest of the team would be second line players on any other Western team . You need talent and you need Love .
    Pay him the max ( your GM already screwed that up once ) and give him a piece of the action . Just like Jerry Buss did with Magic Johnson . The NBA needs Love in Minnesota just to balance the league . LA and New York will do just fine without him .

    • kb2408 - May 20, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      Just getting max dollars won’t make Love happy. He can get a max contract anywhere. He wants to win a title, or at least be in contention for one. That is something Minny can’t guarantee him. Magic won a title as a rookie and knew he would be on a contending team for years.

      • casualcommenter - May 20, 2014 at 8:04 PM

        Agreed – it’s not just a money issue for Love.
        Otherwise, he’d just take the 5-year “super-max” extension Minnesota can offer him and not deal with the drama of threatening to leave in free agency if he isn’t traded.

        Minnesota’s ceiling, even if Pekovic stays healthy next year and Rubio finally develops a reliable jump shot, is what, the 6th or 7th seed in the West? And what are the odds of both of those happening? Love wants to win, and he’s not convinced Minnesota can put him in a situation to win.

  2. eugenesaxe1 - May 20, 2014 at 6:52 PM

    He knows what time it is. It’s time to find the best possible trade he can. Find out where he wants to go, and see what they’ll say.

  3. packhawk04 - May 20, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    Kevin love is as elite of a player as chris bosh is. If hes the best player you have, youll be .500 at best. If hes your third best, you have a great team.

  4. mnsadsportsfan - May 20, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    And that headline is the reason the timberwolves are the timberwolves and Minnesota is waste land for the NBA! Thanks Glenn!

  5. rrhoe - May 20, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    No playoff’s in the 6 years he’s been there and despite multiple high draft picks since he got there they haven’t done so well in that area either. I remember the year they took Rubio at no. 5 and followed that up with Jonny Flynn at no. 6,Wesley Johnson at no. 4 one year over Cousins,Greg Monroe and Paul George. This list goes on and on. Whoever does their drafting is the problem.

  6. campcouch - May 20, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    If superstars like Durant and James can succeed in small markets,then so can Love. Unfortunately their draft history and moves (trading Ray Allen and even Brandon Roy),the only good thing after Garnett was swapping OJ Mayo for Love. If he wants to go,they need to get something for him and not second tier vets. Boston and LA have high picks and as rumor says,those cities are ok with Love. I feel bad that franchises have to stress over an entire length of a rookie deal before knowing if a guy will walk,which is his right. But at least he said something before the season and draft. It’ll give them some options.

  7. jebdamone - May 20, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    It’s hard to get elite talent to come to Minnesota, and even when you do it’s hard to get all the pieces around them to win (see the Kevin Garnett era)
    *****************************************************
    except that numerous stars came out and blatantly said they wanted to play in MN with KG during his prime years there. T-mac, Ray Allen, Allen Iverson to name a few. Taylor is just too big of a cheap skate to pull the trigger…you could have practically sneezed on the pups roster during about a five year period with KG and they would have been contenders.

  8. twinfan24 - May 20, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    I really believe that Stern always had it in for Taylor due to the team being foolish enough to put the Joe Smith fiasco in writing. They didn’t do anything other teams weren’t doing, except putting the illegal agreement in writing and getting caught. I know most won’t believe the draft isn’t fixed, but what are the statistical odds that Minnesota would have NEVER once improved their draft position? That has to be nearly as statistically improbable as having Cleveland get the 1st overall pick over and over and over….

    Sure, Stern is gone now, but have to wonder if Wolves ever get a “fair shake” while Taylor is still the owner.

  9. don444 - May 21, 2014 at 8:17 AM

    Taylor has failed badly in his tenure as Timberwolves owner all things considered and that must be extremely disappointing for someone who’s known great success in other areas of his life.

  10. doorharp11 - May 21, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    i hope k love stays this year if he walks do a sign and trade then. kahn was the idiot who ruined this team. flip has turned this team into a 500 team in one year. after this draft and free agency the twolves will make the playoffs with the 5-6 seed.

    • don444 - May 22, 2014 at 7:35 AM

      Timberwolves a five or six seed in the 2015 Western Conference playoffs? lol Confidence is a wonderful, if not vital, thing in life, but that’s unlikely all things considered. Time will tell, but Minnesota needs to move Love over the summer and stop deluding themselves that his legacy with their franchise is anything other than a great player who ultimately toiled for failed, forgettable teams before moving on to greener pastures.

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