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NBA Rumors 2014: Kevin Love trade talks have been singularly with Cleveland Cavaliers

Trade rumors and a rant

"Gimme a dolla!"
"Gimme a dolla!"
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

I guess this is news + a rant. Lately I've been striking out with my rants, and people have not felt them. And I appreciate that. Don't come here to agree with me. If I just wanted to hear how smart I think I am I would just start recording my shower time arguments that I have against my imaginary opponents. So please, disagree with me. But in lieu of this current news I felt a rant coming on. So first, what's up?

And here is an excerpt from the Stein + Windhorst post at ESPN:

The Minnesota Timberwolves presently are engaged in serious Kevin Love trade talks with no teams other than the Cleveland Cavaliers, which only adds to the growing belief around the league that Love teaming up with LeBron James is inevitable, according to sources briefed on the situation.

After reported last week that the Cavaliers remain the front-runners to acquire Love in a trade co-headlined by No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins, sources this week have described the Cavs as the only team currently in contention for Love. Sources say the Chicago Bulls are increasingly pessimistic about their chances of trumping Cleveland's offer, while the Golden State Warriors remain unwilling to bend on their longstanding refusal to surrender Klay Thompson in a deal for Love.

Wiggins is not eligible to be dealt until Aug. 23 after signing his first contract Thursday, but numerous league insiders -- some of whom are gathered in Las Vegas for this week's Team USA training camp -- have begun to describe a Love-to-Cleveland trade as a "when" transaction as opposed to an "if."

With three weeks to go until Wiggins is eligible to be swapped for Love, one source said Wednesday that James himself already is "looking forward" to the prospect of welcoming the All-Star power forward as his newest teammate.

Yet league officials are adamant that there can be no acknowledgement of a trade, from either the Wolves or the Cavaliers, until the 30 days pass from Wiggins' signing. Sources say that furthermore, the teams continue to discuss potential trade constructions, such as bringing in a third team or adding players beyond the widely reported principals.

The expectation remains that the Wolves will emerge from this saga with no less than Wiggins, 2013 No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett and a future first-round pick from the Cavs in exchange for Love before August is out.

- Stein, Windhorst, ESPN, 2014


No doubt the signing of Mo Williams also adds some much needed "eeeeeh, I guess we'll take him," power to get a potential trade done (but he can't be part of a deal for a while, iirc). But this is a messed up situation. Either it's the beginning of the end for small market teams being able to dictate their own futures; the starters pistol to the next lockout; or just more indication that the Minnesota Timberwolves are awful. At everything.

In the last Lockout I was on the side of the players. Most people who read what it was about should have been as well. The last two lockouts have been about the owners side making life harder for the players -- but they have the better PR people and were able to make it seem like the players were greedy. In each of the last two lockouts the owners a) locked the players out, and b) the lockout was resolved with the players relinquishing more and more of their own power.

I feel like it's high time that professional sports begins to treat the agents of this form of entertainment as more than just replaceable parts. We need to look at what makes them tick, and make them happy. Make them better educated about the risks, and so forth. I think sports need to be safer for the athletes -- from better testing for traumatic brain injury (okay in the NFL and NHL, but virtually untested for in the NBA) all the way to the removal of on court camera men and their equipment.

Taking care of the athletes means also making their work life more fun as well.

But there is a limit. I think super teams always existed -- you just need to look back at how the Boston Celtics got all those rings, Red used to make up rules that suited him so he got the best talent. But the super teams of old were made by General Managers, and that made it okay. Today the players are exerting a little bit of what little executive control they have over their careers -- and people are getting mad. Free Agency exists for a reason. And I think that is fair. But strong arming your team to cave in and trade you to where you want to be is flat out wrong.

It was wrong for Kobe Bryant years ago. It was wrong for Steve Francis years ago. And those were two draft picks. It's somehow WORSE for Kevin Love, I feel. The T-Wolves did everything to keep him happy. They got rid of Big Al Jefferson to make more space inside and make him the star. They added guards Ricky Rubio and Kevin Martin. They made solid draft moves to fill out the roster. But this guy has been nothing but a head case and wants out.

What is the cherry on top here is that the T-wolves have caved. They're talking only to the one team that he wants to go to. They should instead be looking to send him somewhere he doesn't want to be. Work with a player. Get him out of town. But don't bend over backwards to let him and his people walk all over you.

Love is allowed to want to play where he wants to play. And hey, after this season he'll be a free agent. But cool your jets, boy. You're not a free agent just yet. You signed a contract. Honor it.

I dislike how the NBA players and their foolish, headless association have bungled things for themselves over the last few lockouts. But I absolutely detest players acting like Kevin Love. It sets the movement back by having this guy act all Hollywood and force his team to trade away the guy they built their franchise around.

Could this happen to other smaller market teams? Maybe, maybe not. But Sports Illustrated's Rob Mahoney broke it all down, over the last few "smaller market" teams who were forced into doing it:

You should check it out, the diagrams are helpful and telling. This is a no-win long term or short term situation for the majority of small market teams. As a fan of a small market team I don't want to be a two time loser, I lose by supporting the players and their rights; and I also lose because I support a small market team in the owners corner.

But the real loser here is Kevin Love. You are a bum.