Whether he did the right thing or not, Kevin Love hurt the Minnesota Timberwolves by demanding to get traded and getting what he wished for as he becomes a Cleveland Cavaliers player. One swift change of a jersey, and suddenly he isn’t that popular with the people running the franchise, and if you read between the lines there’s quite a lot of hate and animosity.
Love himself isn’t playing that game. He has said only a few things: That he’s happy to be in Cleveland, that he’ll sign a long term deal and that he had a great time in Minnesota, forming great relationships with fans and people in the front office. Glen Taylor, not the most successful of NBA owners, hasn’t gone Dan Glibert on Love, but it doesn’t seem like he wishes his former star player a lot of success.
It’s interesting to see Glibert and LeBron James reunited after the things Glibert wrote and said about his now returning player. It might be something that should give over qualms about joining this team, but it seems that the appearance of James hasn’t hurt anything. The Cavaliers have themselves a pretty deep roster, with three All-Stars and plenty of expectations going into next season.
So while the Cavaliers are bound to offer Kevin Love a five-year deal, as his current one expires at the end of this season if he wants to (option for 2015-2016 season), Glen Taylor is starting to doubt Love’s ability as a player. Someone unaware of history and the situation would think that he’s simply offering his expert advice, but the track record of Taylor tells us that he’s not really an expert, and the way the Timberwolves have handles the Kevin Love situation from way before this season tells us this isn’t exactly objective expert opinion.
According to Taylor, Love is a liability. Love is a bad defensive player, Love is an injury risk, and Love won’t find life too pleasing in Cleveland. We’re not talking about a downgrade in nightlife. Both Minneapolis and Cleveland aren’t exactly prime destinations for NBA free agents, but about Love being the one who’ll be blamed when things go wrong, but not the one who’ll be praised if things go well.
This is just a case of sour grapes. The Timberwolves didn’t want to trade Kevin Love, but couldn’t afford to let him walk for nothing in next year’s free agency. After all the teams that made the offers, they’re in pretty good shape heading into next season. Maybe not a playoff team, but a lot of young talent that could be a very solid foundation to rely on, even if the Love-Rubio-Derrick Williams (remember him?!) era didn’t turn out quite the way they expected it to.