Up until now, the reports of Kevin Love wanting out of Minnesota were just that, with zero confirmation behind them coming from the player himself.
That changed a bit on Wednesday, when Love appeared on ESPN’s SportsNation.
Love was (of course) grilled by the panel about whether or not he wants to leave, and his answers didn’t exactly inspire Timberwolves fans into holding out hope that he would be willing to stay.
When asked if the reports were true, Love hesitated before deflecting responsibility.
“Uh, you know, my agent is handling everything at this point,” he said. “I’m hoping that everything works out for all parties involved.”
Translation: Love is already gone.
The Timberwolves have more than half the league ready to trade for Love if the franchise heeds his apparent warning, that he’ll leave at the end of next season in free agency if he isn’t traded sooner. But if he really wants to go, speaking about it publicly — even non-specifically like this — only hurts his chances.
Minnesota obviously would like to get assets in return for its franchise player, but any offers will be diminished if Love continues to force the issue. The Timberwolves could ride out the season with him in place if nothing enticing enough comes along. It would only delay the inevitable, but would keep Love in a purgatory of sorts for a season longer than necessary.