Bill Simmons says Kevin Love has already decided to dump Minnesota
|Will K-Love give us one more chance to make him happy?|
THE BACKSTORY: Kevin Love blasts T-Wolves management in interview
That's because our beloved K-Love already has his mind made up to move on as soon as possible, at least according to what Grantland editor Bill Simmons is hearing.
In a podcast recorded earlier this week, Simmons, ESPN basketball reporter Chad Ford, and Grantland NBA writer Zach Lowe spent a good bit of time talking about K-Love and his alleged desire to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.
"I'm sure you're hearing the same stuff -- everybody in the league thinks Kevin Love is out of there... in July 2015" Simmons told Ford, referring to the month Love can opt out of his contract, a sub-maximum deal that many NBA observers (and possibly Love himself) viewed as a bit of a slap to Kevin's face when he signed it back in January 2012.
"He is out of there," Ford replied.
"Everybody thinks he's going to the Lakers," Simmons continued. "People are talking about it like it's a done deal already... Minnesota has no chance to keep him."
Later in the show, Lowe echoed what Simmons and Ford said, but added that Minnesota fans shouldn't take it personally.
"I think more than anything else these guys wanna win, that's the bottom line," Lowe said. "If Minnesota was a 50 win team with a bright future Kevin Love is staying there, but they're not."
Fuel was added to the Love-is-leaving fire yesterday by NBA pundit Peter Vescey:
Wolves fans' nightmare has come true, earlier than scheduled. We knew Love'd split ASA eligible '14-15. But now he's forcing premature exit-- Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) February 20, 2014
But Flip Saunders quickly took to Twitter to dispel Vecsey's "report":
Prior 2 AS break, KL alerted Flip he'll exercise summer '15 out & sign elsewhere. Expect him 2B moved B4 deadline or off season-- Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) February 20, 2014
Love wasn't traded today. In fact, during a media availability just before the trading deadline came and went, he tried to dispel some of the rumors:
Rumors of Love telling me he's opting out & wants 2 b traded r false. Last convo I had w/ him was him telling me how bad my sports coat was.-- Flip Saunders (@Flip_Saunders) February 20, 2014
Love on yesterday's report: "We laughed about it today. (...) The last couple years I just can't believe some of the stuff that's come out."-- Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) February 20, 2014
Love on Flip's sport coat: "Anyone who saw him last night knows it was pretty bad."-- Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) February 20, 2014
Love: "I just said I'm done talking about it and then Peter Vecsey, who I don't think I've ever talked to, comes out with a story."-- Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) February 20, 2014
Love: "(Flip and I were) laughing about it this morning, but the worst part is that it takes away from the team."-- Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) February 20, 2014
But before you dismiss Simmons's comments, keep in mind that he and Love have been tight for years. Simmons, in fact, did a lengthy interview with Love for one of his podcasts a few years ago. So it seems unlikely someone who knows Kevin personally and has as much access as the so-called "Sports Guy" would just make something up and report it.
KLove: "Our foundation, our team is better than a lot of the teams that you guys, Peter Vescey and whoever the hell else says I'm going to."-- Andy Greder (@twolvesnow) February 20, 2014
Nonetheless, judging by what he said today, Timberwolves fans should at least put on their best shirt and suck it in in a last-ditch effort to please Kevin. Because while his patience may be wearing thin, it sounds like the situation hasn't quite reached the point where we should reactivate our OKCupid profiles and begin the search for new love.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.