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Why It's Officially Time to Retire Kevin Love Trade Rumors for Good

Dec 29, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) against the Phoenix Suns at the Target Center. The Timberwolves defeated the Suns 111-107. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport
Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistDecember 25, 2016

Apparently the Cleveland Cavaliers would trade their No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft for Kevin Love, at least according to sources that we'll get to later. 

Okay.

I'm not so sure we needed sources for that one. Why exactly wouldn't the Cavs be interested in doing that? I'd be much more intrigued if the rumor was coming from the other direction and saying that the Minnesota Timberwolves were interested in trading Kevin Love for the No. 1 pick. 

My anonymous sources tell me that Cleveland would swap the top overall selection for LeBron James. Hell, they'd probably move it for Kevin Durant too, although my sources haven't confirmed that one yet.

I mean, if you're going to go big, why not go really big

Joe Kotoch of SheridanHoops.com was the source for the original Love rumor, and his report is rather bogus. And I may be acting a bit too kind by using that adjective and not an even more pejorative one. 

Let's take a look at two quotes from his article: 

And if the Timberwolves are willing to surrender Kevin Love, the No. 1 pick is available to them, sources tell SheridanHoops.com.

Obviously. Who wouldn't want to give up drafting a beanpole-thin center with one functioning ACL for a power forward that stands head and shoulders above the rest of the players at his position? 

Also, the Wolves are stacked with picks, holding No. 9, 26, 52 and 59, but they do not have a first-rounder next year in the loaded 2014 draft.  Would an offer of Love and a ’14 No. 1 pick, along with picks 9 and 26, in exchange for Cleveland’s No. 1 constitute overpaying? Depends on how new GM Flip Saunders feels about Noel, the kid from Kentucky with the torn ACL who may become the first overall No. 1 draft pick to walk to the podium using crutches to shake commissioner David Stern’s hand.

I'm pretty sure I know how Saunders is going to feel about this one. 

Plus, the second quote is filled with all sorts of problems. Apparently giving up Love isn't enough, so Minnesota would need to trade away two first-round draft picks and a 2014 first-rounder. But it doesn't have a first-round pick in the "loaded 2014 draft." So...they're giving up nothing in 2014? 

Color me confused. Well, color me even more confused than I was after the first quote I provided here. 

I'll go ahead and answer Kotoch's question for him. Yes. Yes, it would constitute overpaying. It would also justify immediate termination and a subsequent ban from ever discussing basketball again for everyone involved in making the deal. 

Unfortunately, this is just the latest in a long line of nonsensical Kevin Love rumors. From the sound of things, you'd think he was constantly griping and demanding trades. While he's occasionally voiced some displeasure, nothing could be further from the truth. 

Kotoch wondered how Flip Saunders felt, so let's actually turn to Saunders for the answer.

Sure doesn't sound to me like the newly hired general manager is ready to part ways with his star forward.  

The speculation that Love wanted out of Minnesota all began when he signed a contract back in January of 2012. And it's been nothing more than speculation. 

Love signed on with the Wolves for four years and $62 million, but his contract includes an opt-out clause after the third year. He and David Kahn couldn't agree on a five-year extension, so Love wanted to make sure he had an out in case things weren't going well. 

Kahn has been replaced by Saunders, though, so tension no longer exists between Love and the management. 

Sure, there was tension in the past, most notably when he dropped this nugget into the awaiting clutches of Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski

"I don't know who labels people stars, but even [T'wolves owner] Glen Taylor said: I don't think Kevin Love is a star, because he hasn't led us to the playoffs," Love told Yahoo! Sports. "I mean, it's not like I had much support out there.

"That's a tough pill to swallow."

No, Kevin Love isn't over Taylor and GM David Kahn refusing him what he had earned. He isn't over Kahn marching into the trainer's room after a loss and thrusting a contract offer sheet into his hands. Where else does it work that way in the NBA? "I'm not the one to always follow professional protocol – but I do know what it is, even at 24 years old," Love says.

But since then, Minnesota has made a number of great moves and quickly become a true playoff contender. Injuries prevented them from competing for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference during the 2012-13 season, but they'll be right in the thick of it in 2013-14. 

And that's what Love wants. He deserves the opportunity to play for a playoff team, and he doesn't need a trade to experience that feeling. 

Bill Simmons doesn't believe that he'll remain put, though: 

If we're measuring players by trade value, we're really measuring them by the probability that they'd ever be traded. And Kevin Love WILL be traded. It's inevitable. It might happen this summer, it might happen during next season, but it's going to happen.

The section on Love in Simmons' trade-value article is, unsurprisingly, well-written and entertaining. It's also curiously devoid of any factual merit. As is the case with everything surrounding Love, it's pure speculation. 

Until an actual source reports an actual rumor, can we just put this issue to bed? It's tough to say it any better than Sam Amico did in this tweet: 

Let's take the exec's advice and stop asking about Love trades. 

For now, we're retiring the rumors. 

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