Just when you thought this match was too well-made not to be preordained, the Minnesota Timberwolves' All-Star forward had this to say to GQ's Steve Marsh: “People think it's so far-fetched that I would stay in Minnesota. And I'm not s------g on the Lakers, but we have the better team, the better foundation. I'm having fun.”
There are times when it seems like the Wolves are more about having fun than winning games, but that's neither here nor there. Love has a point—for now, anyway.
The Lakers' discombobulated season hasn't done them any favors in luring Love or, for that matter, any other big names. Barring a trade, Los Angeles wouldn't be able to acquire Love until 2016, when his deal with Minnesota runs out.
Kitschy as it may be to imagine a Spanish contingent of Pau Gasol and Ricky Rubio, there's no chance the Timberwolves agree to a Love-Gasol swap. With the 25-year-old currently averaging nearly 26 points and over 13 rebounds per contest, it's pretty hard to imagine any deal that would legitimately pique Minnesota's interest.
Any hope the Lakers had of landing Love was predicated on his presumed disaffection with the Wolves. Back in July 2012, he told Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears, "My patience is not high. Would yours be, especially when I'm a big proponent of greatness surrounding itself with greatness? All these [Team USA] guys seem to have great players around them."
In the time since, Love has either undergone a radical attitude adjustment or determined that Minnesota's roster-building is finally on the right track. And if you're the cynical type, this might just be the result of handlers training the young star to say the right thing.
Either way, things can change fast—and they can certainly change by 2016.
Having fun is one thing, but if Minnesota still isn't winning by the time Love approaches free agency, a return to his college stomping grounds may look better and better. It won't take the Lakers long to save their sinking ship, and Love could well be a big part of that turnaround.
For now, though, Lakers fans will have to fall in love with blockbuster rumors of a different sort.