Trade rumors involving Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love are swirling, but his place on his own team was a topic of conversation for teammate Ricky Rubio, who wondered to BasketAmericano.com earlier this month if Love could be a more vocal leader.
All you need is Love
He is a special player, his numbers are incredible but maybe our leader must be other (...) He is our leader in points and other things, but in voice he is not the player he can be or wants to be. There are different types of leaders. Perhaps he shouldn't have been our leader, perhaps Kevin Martin could have been our leader because he had a bit more experience, perhaps I could take a step forward to be the definitive leader.
Contextually it's hard to understand how harsh Rubio's criticism is, if it's that harsh at all. What is clear is that Rubio does take some initiative here, adding his own leadership can develop.
Rubio's comments don't change the fact that the Timberwolves are in a tough spot. They must begin fielding trade proposals for other teams if they want to avoid Love leaving as an unrestricted free agent after the 2014-15 season. Love averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game in 2013-14 and played 77 games in his sixth NBA season and sixth without a playoff berth.