Rubio will make his pitch for Love to stay

VIDEO: Ricky Rubio talks about the changes on the Timberwolves and Kevin Love’s future

TREVISO, Italy — First, the jokes.

Ricky Rubio said he saw the reaction to Timberwolves teammate-until-further notice Kevin Love visiting Boston, noted that he, Rubio, is flying to Los Angeles on Monday for typical offseason training sessions and quickly added, smiling, “I’m not going to L.A. to visit the Lakers.”

Oh, and “I’m here in Treviso. That doesn’t mean I’m going to sign for Benetton,” an Italian team.

Through the smirks, though, through the belief that a lot of the speculation surrounding Love’s escape route out of Minneapolis is overblown media reports, there is a genuine concern from Rubio about the crater a Love exit would leave and what it would mean for his own career path.

Rubio is planning those L.A. workouts to visit with a new shooting coach, similar to his offseason practice routine so far in his native Spain. But Rubio said one of the first things he will do upon returning to the United States is call Love and try to convince the All-Star power forward to keep an open mind about the Timberwolves.

“He’s my teammate and I want to know how he feels and if he wants to stay or whatever,” Rubio told on Sunday at La Ghirada Sports Complex in an appearance as part of the adidas Eurocamp, the real reason he was in Treviso. “But it’s something that I think we had a good relationship and we can talk as friends.

“Of course I want him to stay.”

Are you going to tell him?

“Yeah,” Rubio said. “I don’t want to convince him if he doesn’t want to stay. But I want him to stay and I’m going to tell him what I think, which is we’ve been improving every year and he’s a great player, he helps us a lot. I think we need to make the next step. … The media says it’s pretty settled, but I don’t know what he thinks. What I’ve been hearing is from the media, not from him, so I don’t trust that. It can be an opinion from you guys. I just really want to talk to him as a teammate.”

Rubio obviously won’t get Love to commit to staying when he becomes a free agent in July 2015. But Rubio is hopeful of either finding out Love is not desperately tunneling out of Minnesota, as is the perception, or that he can convince Love to keep an open mind about the future under new coach Flip Saunders and, thus, not force the Timberwolves into dealing their best player before the February trade deadline (rather than lose him for nothing after the season).

If Love does continue to signal he has no intention of staying and Saunders, also head of basketball operations, does do a deal, there will be new implications. Rubio, while saying he wants to stay, made it clear his own future in Minnesota would be in play. He, too, could take a similar tact and try to force a trade if a Love deal meant gathering picks and prospects.

“No,” Rubio told when asked if Love’s departure would prompt him to want to leave. “I like Minnesota. But I want to win too. Of course when a big guy like him leaves you’re thinking about what’s going to be happening with the team. Are we going to lose a lot? Before I came to Minnesota, the season before they won like 17 games. I was a little scared when I went there. I’m coming from Europe, where I was playing in Barcelona. I think we lost six games or seven games in two seasons and every loss was a disaster. I don’t want to go through a process like every win is something special.

“If he leaves, it’s going to be painful because he’s a main guy. But it depends what we get back for him. We’ll see what we can do. I don’t think going through a rebuild year is going to help us because we’ve been improving every year and now we’re so close to making the playoffs that it doesn’t make sense to rebuild it again. It’s not continuing what we were doing.”

VIDEO: GameTime’s crew discusses what move might be best for Kevin Love


  1. Lovinthenba says:

    Come to sacramento kevin. Wouldn’t mind giving up Carl Landry and mclemore, along with our 8th pick for love. I might be thinking way to ahead of myself, but imagine: Cousins, Gay, Love, and Thomas in the same lineup. There wouldn’t be that many starting lineups better than that, and the scary thing is, these guys our not in their prime yet except for gay. Come to sacramento you’ll love it, is CALIFORNIA…. The west coast… best believe that

  2. louis says:

    Love to Boston. If you get a facilitator like Rondo with a combo like Love and Green plus all the picks Boston is picking up the rebuild of Boston is full steam ahead.

  3. Bird33 says:

    Love to Beantown. We know how to make dreams come true for former Timberwolves All Stars named “Kevin” 🙂

    PS…damn….where’s McHale when you need him……#32 would have this deal already done with Danny…..c’mon Flip, speed it up…we can’t wait all day 🙂

  4. TURSETTE says:


  5. J says:

    Love to Ptown

  6. ko0kiE says:

    I don’t know but he hasn’t proven that he is a winning player… before he even thinks about leaving the wolves, he should lift them at least to the playoffs

    • Tucker says:

      A winning PLAYER? Wins come from good teams not one guy. If you actually bothered to take ten minutes and see what kind of players Love has had around him since his rookie year, you’d change your mind.

  7. jaime silva says:

    Rubio had to go, and then kevin will stay

  8. LAL says:

    Love belongs in LA!!!!!

  9. Chi1313 says:

    Rubio should shut his trap and learn to shoot over the break. He is the reason Love wants to leave in the first place.

  10. manuel Mercado says:

    LOVE I’m heat fan, but I’m a good basketball player fan first .Stay with the Ttimberwolves team and fans. For sure they love you.If you make this decision they will very appreciate.
    Good basketball player Fan.

  11. bagamonstr says:

    love worth a ring! either to LAL (to his birthplace) and wait till kupchak rebuild the team (rubio to LAL too LOL) or…

  12. Kevin Love is an impressive all-star and the leagues premier rebounder along with Dwight Howard and his scoring ability for a big man is outstanding. I would love to see Kevin Love play for a team like Oklahoma City Thunder or the Indiana Pacers. He would fit great anywhere on any team in the NBA because he is an immediate impact guy but I believe he would take those teams over the hump to a possible championship.

  13. L.A. Clippers RULE says:

    I think Love should stay in Minnesota for next year. If they don’t make the playoffs leave to somewhere like New York where they can give him money and a playoffs chance

  14. warriors! says:

    Love and the splash brothers thats like the big 3

  15. warriors says:

    Love should come to warriors, we will deffinately go all the way

  16. Unkle Daddy says:

    If Love is 100% ready to leave, then I say let them know so they can start the shopping process. If not, then give them another year to bring in some players, see if you make the playoffs. If not, roll out to San Antonio.

  17. Shawn Kemp no. 1 says:

    Rubio is right, Love should stay. He should go.

  18. Go BULLS says:

    Bulls will win the finals next year if love or melo come

  19. OKC says:

    Kevin Love to Cleveland for #1 pick and Tristan Thompson?

  20. edge says:

    best for Timberwolves to hire Jerry Sloan, he can apply what he did with Karl Malone and John Stockton to Love and Rubio, that will be awesome…

  21. Kimmy says:

    Ricky Rubio is one of the reasons why Kevin Love wants to leave Minnesota. He can’t count on him. So there is nothing he can say that would get him to stay except maybe that he is leaving himself. Rubio seems like a nice guy, just being diplomatic with the media.

    • Iago says:

      I like Rubio more as a person than as a player (as you say: nice guy) but even though I 100% agree that he has not deliveded so far (not as much as he could have done) I wouldn’t say he can’t be counted on. He’s significally better in those minutes when the game is on the line. I blame Wolve’s underachievement this season entirely on injuries, and even with all of those they almost made the playoffs. If they could somehow keep their current roster i’m confident they would be a solid 6th seed in the west.