Kevin Love isn't messing around anymore.
During a brief question-and-answer session with The Big Lead's Jason McIntyre (h/t Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin), Love wouldn't subscribe to the idea that being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers is a ridiculous notion.
"I don’t think the Cleveland [trade rumors] are outlandish at all," he said. "They have a great young foundation."
This comes after ESPNBoston.com's Jackie MacMullan reported that Love had no interest in joining the Cavs, whom she acknowledged would trade for him if given the opportunity.
Before commenting on Love's flattering sentiments or ordering your No. 42 Cavs jersey, understand his puffery for teams that aren't the Minnesota Timberwolves is rapidly becoming a trend.
"I think any time you have Phil Jackson involved in any organization, you're going to definitely look at it and it's definitely intriguing," Love told ESPN.com about rumors concerning his interest in joining the New York Knicks. "The Knicks are definitely a place where anybody would like to go."
That makes two teams.
Count his weekend getaway to Beantown and abbreviated powwow with Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, and that makes three.
Welcome to the end of Love's radio silence.
Privately conveying his displeasure didn't work. Appearing on KFAN 100.3 (h/t Pro Basketball Talk), Timberwolves president and coach Flip Saunders was steadfast in his refusal to bend to Love's purported unhappiness. The Timberwolves don't appear hell-bent on meeting Love's apparent "You don't have to trade me (wink, wink)" request in haste.
Rumors are being churned out at an alarming rate, but the indirect approach hasn't worked for Love. It's time for him to go semi-public with his intentions, and that's just what he's doing.
Showering praise upon potential landing spots isn't accidental. Love isn't making these remarks about the Knicks and Cavs unsolicited, but he's not skirting the subject either.
What he said about Cleveland is less about his burning desire to team up with Kyrie Irving and more about trying to checkmate the Timberwolves. The more candid he is, the more pressure it puts on Saunders to make a move, as Bleacher Report's Jim Cavan explained:
The Minnesota Timberwolves, meanwhile, have a tough strategic decision ahead of them: Do everything in their power—through the draft and savvy trades—to convince Love you're serious about taking the next step, or cut your losses completely and deal him for whatever picks and parts you can get.
Regardless of what the Timberwolves choose to do, they must do it soon.
Trade him or make it clear that's not going to happen. Whatever.
Just make a decision before Love the chatterbox does some serious damage.
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