Frustration is beginning to boil over for Minnesota Timberwolves star power forward Kevin Love, and at least one NBA executive believes the Wolves should get a move on trading Love because he won't stay in Minnesota long term, according to CBS Sports' Ken Berger.
The executive, who works for an Eastern Conference team, went a step further, saying it's a well-known fact Love wants to play for the Los Angeles Lakers:
"They should trade him," one Eastern Conference executive said. "No one thinks he's staying. Everyone knows he wants to go to the Lakers."
This report comes on the heels of Love calling out two teammates for not joining the team during timeouts late in the Wolves' latest meltdown, a 104-103 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. The criticism was likely directed at J.J. Barea and Dante Cunningham.
Minnesota entered the year with postseason expectations, but they sit at just 17-18 despite a statistical profile of a team that should be much better. Arguably the biggest issue is a failure to win close games, as the Wolves are an embarrassing 0-10 in games decided by four points or less.
Love has never made the playoffs in his career, and if things don't improve, there's little reason to expect him to stick around. The 25-year-old can opt out of his contract in 2015, which is only the case because the previous regime in Minnesota refused to give him a five-year, maximum contract extension. Instead, Love settled on a four-year deal with an opt-out clause after the third year.
Considering Love played college ball at UCLA and does his offseason training in Los Angeles, his interest in the Lakers makes plenty of sense. However, a trade to the Lakers doesn't seem all that likely given the lack of assets to offer Minnesota. The Lakers could make a run at Love in the summer of 2015, but if the Wolves trade the big man to a better situation, perhaps he decides to re-up with that team instead. There's also always the chance Love and the Wolves get things together, which could convince him to stay in Minnesota.