Love Wasn’t Going Anywhere … Today

Kevin Love has another year left before his current contract with the Wolves end.

Kevin Love has another year left before he can opt out of his current contract with the Wolves.

Now that the trade deadline has passed, it’s safe to relate a random tidbit that otherwise might have blown up the Internet, at least in the Upper Midwest:

At one point during All-Star Weekend, in the lobby of the NBA players’ hotel in New Orleans, Stan Love – father of Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love – was spied in conversation with agent David Falk.

Cue the ominous dun-duh-DUH! music.

Keep in mind that this was Stan Love, who played four seasons in the NBA (Bullets, Lakers) and ABA (Spurs), not Kevin, and that the Wolves’ All-Star is a client of agent Jeff Schwartz, not Falk. Doesn’t matter, close enough: Falk is the guy who tore a hole in the Wolves’ first great blueprint for success, hired by Stephon Marbury to get him out of the Twin Cities in 1999 in the me vs. we move that basically thwarted Kevin Garnett‘s dream of a Minnesota championship.

If nothing else – and there’s no evidence there is anything else – a little Love pere-“Prince of Darkness” intrigue might have prepped Wolves fans for what they dealt with leading up to the deadline Thursday, and given a glimpse of what they’ll endure for the next year or so as the countdown to Love’s 2015 contract opt-out ticks louder.

The “he said/he didn’t say,” back-and-forth Twitter fight Wednesday between longtime NBA writer Peter Vecsey and Wolves president Flip Saunders, eventually joined by Love, was just the start. And let’s face it, largely academic.

Even if, as Saunders and Love said, there was no specific ultimatum, the basketball world knows that a) Love still smarts from not getting a fifth year on his Wolves extension, b) longs to reach the postseason, something Minnesota hasn’t done since 2004, c) at 26-28 hasn’t seen enough (or contributed enough to) progress toward that goal to commit emotionally or financially to re-upping, and d) has little reason not to explore his opt-out.

That same hoops world knows that Saunders and the Wolves have about 15 months to settle this by convincing Love to stay. That means nailing down one or ideally two playoff berths, despite some dire math for this spring. It means developing and shaping the talent already in house – Ricky Rubio and the currently injured Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin – and adding pieces to aim higher. It also means weighing the team’s options with Love – trades or otherwise, reluctantly or not – this summer. And again at the deadline next year. And, if it’s not too late, in the offseason of 2015.

Saunders’ first shot at sprucing things up, last June’s draft, didn’t help much; Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng have not been factors. His most recent passed Thursday afternoon without adding Andre Miller, Tayshaun Prince or a few other rumored names who might have provided a boost.

So if there is panic in play in Minnesota, it remains the low-level kind, based on the continuing failure to get traction toward 50 victories and May tip-offs. Panic of the more hysterical sort can wait, though it creeps closer by the day.

Then again, this is a franchise that, whether with Love or Garnett, has spent nearly half its existence nervously wondering, “Do you think Kevin is going to stay?” Its fans unfortunately should be pretty adept at coping by now.

14 Comments

  1. Unkle Daddy says:

    ’14 Hayward joins Spurs, ’15 Love joins Spurs. More Rings in Texas and I’m not talking about Houston.

  2. sirsparhawk says:

    Why the hell would they give pekovic the max contract and not love. Makes no sense, I would be honestly surprised if he decided to stay, if I was him I would get the hell out and not stay like Garnet did. It isnt worth the trouble and unless they make a miraculous trade its over for the wolves for awhile. Love would be great on OKC or the kings. Hell he would be great on any other team…

    • DRAGONFORMVP says:

      He wouldn’t mesh well in OKC, I do agree he could mesh well with the kings. but i’m guessing you haven’t watched many T’wolves games at any point this season Pekovic is a pretty great player, i would’ve liked to see him in the all-star game. But he’s just a bit short on the D-fence as he can’t play d without fouling. Plus Pekovic is one of the best pick and roll centers in the game and a great rebounder, best in offensive rebounding. And with corey brewer minnesota’s starting line is top 8 in net rating. they need to develop Dieng get budginger health and find a back-up SG fast.

      Though that was a stupid move not giving Love that long contract.

      • sirsparhawk says:

        Sure he is a good player, absolutely. But he isnt near the player Love is. I mean, dont get me wrong, Id love to have Pekovic on my team, dropping 19 and 10 is better than most centers in the league, however, 19 and 10 isnt the same as 25 and 13 and 4-5. So yea, I watch the wolves games I can get in my area but what I do see, it seems to me like they were pushing love out the door. Remember Pek was not the first one they put over LOVE, They put Rubio over him also, which imo was even more stupid. Rubio is garbage atm, until he develops a shot, and can drop more than 8 points.

  3. Cain says:

    It’s such a shame really, they are a talented team who just seem that they can’t get over the hump in a loaded western conference. They desperately need some help and i would suggest that they need to have a clear out of some unproductive players in order to bring some more gritty, less attractive, hardworking role-players.
    Rubio is amazing to watch but is an offensive liability and defensively not athletic enough to contend with other premier players at that position. JJ is again a nice player with scoring punch off the bench but usually at the detriment of running the offense for the rest of the team, they almost need a hybrid of the 2 players.
    Love isn’t going to stick around unless they either make the playoffs (and don’t get sweeped in the first round) or if some serious moves are made for another all star or significant improvements in the team. I hope they can make the playoffs but can’t see them making up enough wins to secure the 8th seed.

  4. WestMo says:

    Give “The Love Boat” whatever he wants to stay in Minnesota. A little “under the table” money won’t hurt. Glen Taylor did it for Joe Smith back in the day.

    • Dieter says:

      Give Love whatever he wants? This is one of the reasons why the T-Wolves aren’t a contender and won’t become one… thinking about giving Rubio a max contract, Love a max contract, Pekovic a huge contract, … they have no idea how to spend their money.

  5. jake s. says:

    It’s so sad.every year the wolves seem like they have every part they need to make it to the western conference finals. They just always seem to come up short. They need more defensive-minded players to match up against the contenders. They are a Chris Paul and Serge Ibaka short of a championship.

    • Unkle Daddy says:

      Did you just compare Paul and Ibaka, as if they are anywhere near the same level of player…

    • MrNBA says:

      All due respect, talk about making the playoffs first before mentioning conference finals. Paul is not a guarantee they’ll make it past the 2nd round (Clippers anyone?).
      Rubio needs to be more like Nash. They need more plays for Brewer, Barea, and Budinger. Martin can come off the bench.
      Maybe then they can plan about the playoffs.

  6. hellon says:

    What’s up with these rumors about ?What I’ve read on him,he’s having fun on Twolves…although asfter I’ve written it,it seems really ironic…..

  7. Jeff Scott says:

    C’mon Flip. The TWolves need your A game.