Kevin Love (Age: 25)

Games missed last two seasons

75, primarily because of that right shooting hand he broke twice last year.

What he is

A unique player, the likes of which the NBA previously hadn’t seen: Old-fashioned rebounder with a shooting guard’s three-point range. One of the game’s toughest matchups and a fantasy-league delight.

What he isn’t

A superior athlete or low-post player who can’t — at least not yet — consistently create his own shot when the game’s on the line.

The quote

“Creating your own shot on offense for young players, that’s probably the hardest thing to do unless you’re as gifted as Kobe and LeBron at such a young age.” — Hall of Famer Reggie Miller, now a TNT analyst who knew something about creating his own shot when he played.

Ricky Rubio (Age: 23)

Games missed last two seasons

50 because of a March 2012 torn ACL knee injury that caused him to miss the final five weeks of that season and the first six of last year.

What he is

An old-school, pass-first point guard who makes teammates better and has been a winner all his life, until now.

What he isn’t

A reliable shooter but surprisingly, he led the Wolves in preseason three-point shooting percentage — 6-for-11, 54.5 percent — after once again working on that shot all summer.

The quote

“He’s always going to make plays and play hard. It’s really going to come down to him shooting the ball consistently. That’s really what’s going to elevate him to the next level.” — Wolves coach Rick Adelman.

jerry zgoda