The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports Columns

June 26, 2014

Courrier: Talk of trading Love has become intolerable

By the time you read this, Kevin Love may or may not be a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Frankly, the debate about where Love, who can opt out of his contract in a year, will play next season has become tiresome.

Love is one of the top 10 players in the NBA, perhaps the best rebounder, and likely will be at the top of his game for the next five years. But discussing trade possibilities has already become a crutch for local and national talk shows.

Will Love still be with the Timberwolves when they come to training camp here in late October? Maybe.

Will he play for the Timberwolves next season? Possibly. Will he leave when his contract allows? Probably.

But that discussion already prompts an automatic station switch on the car radio.

Reportedly, Love is unhappy that he’s never gotten to compete in a playoff game. He doesn’t think the current roster will get to the postseason any time soon. He’s still unhappy that he didn’t get a maximum contract when the Timberwolves had the chance to offer one, settling of course for $60 million over four years, with about $16 million headed his way this season.

You know what? Too bad.

Love signed his contract and should be expected to live up to that deal. When his contract allows, after the upcoming season, he can play somewhere else.

He’s trying to force a trade now, but his actions only make it tougher for the team to get what it wants in return.

Frankly, the Timberwolves made a mistake in the last negotiations, not understanding that Love was the franchise’s best player and worthy on the top contract. The organization also erred by giving him an early opt-out clause in that contract. The current administration is now paying for the past administration’s mistake.

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