Executives Reportedly Think Kevin Love Wants to Play for the Lakers

by January 10, 2014

Kevin Love is one very unhappy camper in Minnesota. Despite his own spectacular play, he hasn’t made the Playoffs with the Timberwolves, and as his sixth season spirals down the drain, there’s growing speculation that Love will look elsewhere — Hollywood, for instance — when he gets a chance to bolt (the star forward is in the second of a four-year contract.) Per CBS Sports:

When time came to sign Love to an extension during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, (former GM David Kahn) declined to give Love a five-year, 30 percent max deal under the newly minted Derrick Rose rule. Love had to settle for a four-year deal in which he demanded — and received — a player option after the third season.

That opt-out is coming in July 2015 and will be a guiding force in every decision that the new GM, (Flip) Saunders, makes between now and then. Essentially, Saunders will be faced with the same predicament that encumbered Masai Ujiri in Denver with Anthony; Otis Smith in Orlando with Howard; Kevin O’Connor in Utah with Williams; and, once upon a time, Danny Ferry in Cleveland with James.

There’s no clear answer, and no guarantees that one strategy will work better than the other. It’s worth noting, of course, that Love shares the same wanderlust for a bigger market that led to (Deron) Williams’ departure from Utah. He also shares the same agent, New York-based Jeff Schwartz.

“They should trade him,” one Eastern Conference executive said. “No one thinks he’s staying. Everyone knows he wants to go to the Lakers.”