Milk, butter, mayonnaise, ranch dressing and Kevin Love's tenure with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
What do they all have in common?
One year away from free agency, Love has made it clear he has no intention of remaining in Minnesota beyond next season, according to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. Six consecutive years of playoff-less basketball has been too much. He wants out and, after years of restraint, the Timberwolves must take action.
"For the first time, [Flip Saunders] sounds like looking at deals for [Love] is an option," one rival executive told Wojnarowski.
Quite predictably, Love's purported availability has already sparked a feeding frenzy. According to Wojnarowski and ESPN.com's Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne, the Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns are all expected to enter negotiations. Other suitors are bound to emerge too. Superstars like Love don't become available often, after all.
The problem for everyone involved—Love, the Timberwolves, prospective suitors, etc.—is finding the right fit. Love won't provide assurances that he'll re-sign with just any team. Clubs that don't make his preferred destination list won't fork over valuable assets in exchange for a possible rental. That puts the Timberwolves in a bind.
Moving Love demands they find a team playing in a market their star likes that also offers the right combination of assets in return. Given the alternative—losing him for a nothing—it's a necessary undertaking.
One that, officially or unofficially, must begin now.