Need some silver lining to another disappointing season from the Minnesota Timberwolves? Look no further than star power forward Kevin Love. He's proved to be historically versatile, according to Timberwolves.com's Mark Remme:
That's a lot of everything.
Love will be the first player since the NBA/ABA merger to average 26/12/4 in a season.— Jim Petersen (@JimPeteHoops) April 17, 2014
And it's a testament to his inside-outside ability, which is rarely matched in a league where rebounders and three-point shooters usually don't come in the same package.
Love's achievement comes on the heels of setting Minnesota's new mark for most points in a season. Bleacher Report staff wrote:
[Kevin] Garnett, widely acknowledged as the best player in franchise history, played all 82 games during his record-setting season, averaging 24.2 points per contest. Love, a clear choice as the second-best player in franchise history, needed just 76 games to break Garnett's record, as the former UCLA Bruin is averaging 26.2 points per game.
The 25-year-old has been busy this season, thanks in large part to his sustained health. Love played in just 18 games during the 2012-13 season.
Now the questions will turn to where he plays next. Fox Sports' Phil Ervin contends that, "This Love story is not over," noting that, "Minnesota has an offseason to build, persuade and maneuver in ways that sell Love on staying."
That's if the Wolves don't give up and trade him first, ensuring they don't lose him for nothing via free agency in 2015.
ESPN.com's Marc Stein noted such a possibility back in March:
The suggestion is already in circulation that the Lakers will attempt to use their forthcoming high lottery pick in June to assemble the sort of trade package that finally convinces the Wolves to part with Love and end the uncertainty that hangs over this franchise even before the 25-year-old enters the final year of his contract. Yet there is just as much defiance emanating from Minnesota, as we speak, about the Wolves' ability to keep Love in town.
Much will depend on just how defiant Minnesota's front office is. And it will also depend on just how much (and openly) Love wants out. Per Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles, he's reportedly intrigued with the notion of playing in a bigger market, and cities like Chicago and New York have been added to Los Angeles as potential destinations.
Whatever Love decides to do, Timberwolves fans can't help but appreciate what he's done so far. The big man has averaged 26.2 points and 12.5 rebounds in a season to remember.