Reusse: Hold out for difference-maker for Love

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 26, 2014 - 2:04 PM
hide

Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42)

The Timberwolves do not have to trade Kevin Love in conjunction with Thursday’s NBA draft. Flip Saunders, the basketball boss and coach, can wait awhile. He might even want to hang loose until Carmelo Anthony finds a landing spot, thus putting the losers in a Carmelo sweepstakes more in the market for Love.

Worse comes to worst, Saunders could wait until the trading deadline in February to move Love … dangerous, but doable, I suppose.

What can’t happen is this:

The Timberwolves can’t put any stock in it if Love’s rhetoric were to include encouragement about re-signing with the team. If Love gets to training camp and says there’s a possibility he would return to the Timberwolves, everyone has to understand these words would be intended to keep Minnesota fans from completely turning on him and would have no basis in reality.

If Saunders and owner Glen Taylor were to allow themselves to be duped by some phony vacillation from Love, and then he walks as a free agent in the summer of 2015, this would be my proposal:

Immediately stop the $100 million remodeling of Target Center scheduled to start after next season. Turn it into a jail, or the ultimate brewhouse, or just board it up, but forget the idea of spending any money to spiff up the home of Minnesota’s NBA franchise.

Honest to Joe Smith, if the Timberwolves can’t work out a reasonable trade for a 25-year-old who is among the top 10 players in the league, there would be no reason to continue with men’s pro basketball in Minneapolis.

Heck, the city could spend $10 million to remodel the Armory as a retro home for the Lynx, and toss the other $90 million into a soccer stadium near the Farmers Market, and we all would be better off than having to put up with any more of this woebegone NBA franchise.

Taylor could sell to interests from Seattle or Kansas City next summer for mucho millions, and we could look back on the Timberwolves as Minnesota’s 26-year sports nightmare.

OK, I’m getting carried away here, but after a quarter-century of screwups, that would be the abyss: letting Love walk.

The obvious comparison in any Love trade will be to Kevin McHale’s trade of Kevin Garnett to Boston on July 31, 2007, five weeks after the draft.

The advantage in trading Love is that he turns 26 in September and Garnett was 31 in the summer of ’07. The disadvantage is that Garnett agreed to a three-year contract extension with Boston to accommodate the trade. Love is unlikely to offer a guarantee on his future to any team that lands him in a trade.

The Garnett trade long has been bad-mouthed in these parts, but one factor that gets overlooked: McHale did get Al Jefferson, an excellent, 23-year-old center that Boston did not want to include in that trade package.

It long has been my contention that teams — when trading a star — get too hung up on getting a return in numbers rather than one young player with a big chance to become a difference-maker.

Amid Love’s litany of sideways complaints, the one making the most sense was that the Timberwolves never gave themselves a legitimate chance to find out if the combination of Jefferson at center and Love at power forward could turn into something special.

On the disaster meter, David Kahn trading Jefferson to Utah in the summer of 2010 rated much higher than McHale’s original trade for Garnett. Jefferson is not yet 30 and averaged 21.8 points in Charlotte last season.

The Twins’ trade of Johan Santana before the 2008 season gets worked over constantly. There’s still a myth out there that the Twins could have had both pitcher Jon Lester and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury from Boston for Santana.

Not true, but the Twins could have had one and made it simple: Give us Ellsbury (a cinch difference-maker), here’s Santana, thank you.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 129 FINAL
Sacramento 135
Minnesota 97 FINAL
Golden State 110
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Tennessee 67
Kennesaw St 45 FINAL
Illinois 93
Colorado State 58 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
Portland 61 FINAL
San Diego 58
Wayland Baptist 63 FINAL
Utah State 75
Bristol University 59 FINAL
Weber State 109
Sacramento St 74 FINAL
Utah Valley U 49
Southern Utah 45 FINAL
UNLV 79
SD Christian 50 FINAL
San Diego St 72
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close