And we do believe that part of the reason Love wants out now is that he sees there is little hope in winning in any significant way with a roster that Saunders had a hand in assembling. Re-signing Nikola Pekovic and Chase Budinger ... bringing in Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer ... drafting Gorgui Dieng and Shabazz Muhammad .... that's a mixed bag right now. But it's a unchanging bag. The Wolves' roster, short of pulling off some sort of miracle trade while still keeping Love, doesn't figure to be a whole lot different than it was a year ago, when the team improved to 40 wins but still fell way short in the West. Saunders' moves left little room for flexibility, and when the assembled pieces weren't enough, that might have been the final Love straw.
It's fair to critique all that has happened. It's fair to lament draft choices during the David Kahn Era. It's fair to note that the Wolves wouldn't be in this position with Love had they just given him a five-year max deal. It's even natural to wonder how things might have played out differently these past few years with a coach other than Rick Adelman.
The ultimate story, though, is that what's done is done. The Wolves can't undo the past. If they could, they would be very busy. But they cannot. Every move from this point forward is a new opportunity to become unbound from the past. A Love trade, done the right way, would give them a chance for a revamped roster and a fresh start. Saunders' perspective as coach gives young players -- and yes, this still includes Ricky Rubio -- a chance to become the identity of this team.
The Wolves have started over so many times that we've lost count. But now more than ever it's critical that they don't dwell on the past.