It’s not often a team gets better by trading its best player, which probably is why Saunders downplays the notion that he’s about to trade Love any second now. But does he think he can still bring Love back into his team’s locker room and expect him to be content, happy and productive next season?
“I know he’ll be productive,” Saunders said. “Whether he’s content and happy, that just depends. … My only comment to Kevin has always been, ‘You’re under contract, we expect you to be here. If anything changes and I want to trade you, we’ll trade you.’ We haven’t gotten to a point of saying, ‘Where is your head? Where are you really at?’ ”
“I’m going to say this: The one thing I hear Kevin say is he wants is to win. You know what? I want to win. I want to win as badly as he does.”
From his experience, Karl said he would tell the Wolves, if asked, to find a good trade plan they like and “go for it” without waiting for the perfect one. He considers a deal in which the Wolves could get Klay Thompson and David Lee back such a plan and said it’s possible to “retool” a team without rebuilding.
His Nuggets won 50 games — and played better — the season Anthony was traded and won 57 games the next season without him.
“It goes back to the saying a good plan aggressively executed is better than the attempt of a perfect plan that creates procrastination and frustration,” Karl said. “I think Kevin Love will come in and he’ll play. It’s what happens around the games, around the practices, around the team that will be very different. I’m not saying it was the worst moment of my career — it’s not as ugly as some losing and some firings have been — but the daily tedious nature of it was so unhappy.”