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It Was Time For The Timberwolves To Give Up On Love

Trading Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers could be heart wrenching for Timberwolves fans, but after a decade as a lottery team and nine seasons in a row of failing to win over half of their games, it’s time to admit that Love’s six seasons in Minnesota haven’t turned this team’s fortunes around.

It can be hard to say a guy that puts up 26 points and 12 boards has been a bust, the NBA and their fans are in love with Love around All-Star time, however, the biggest thing Love has been able to do for the Timberwolves is help (barely) to draw fans in opposing teams buildings.

In part because Love has been playing in the Western Conference, he wasn’t even able to enjoy the merger playoff success that Chris Bosh had in Toronto with the Raptors. Bosh was a 24 point 10 rebound All-Star before joining the HEAT in 2010, but as Andrea Bargnani so eloquently pointed out after Bosh left, the team didn’t win with him. Bosh only got to the playoffs twice in seven tries with the Raptors and his team only cracked the .500 mark for wins once. Putting up big statistics is not the same as being a winner in the NBA.

In many ways the Timberwolves had become the Chris Bosh led Raptors and the soon-to-be LeBron James run Cavaliers are probably hoping Love will fill the Bosh role beside James in Cleveland. Bosh’s numbers crashed as the outlet guy for James on offense and he had to play defense at the sacrifice of his rebounding numbers – 24 and 10 turned into 17 and 7, but Bosh went to four NBA Finals in a row. It was worth it.

It won’t be easy, but Love has the talent to sacrifice his own stats to become a key cog on a James led NBA Finals contender. Timberwolves fans just need accept that this was never going to happen in Minnesota and their team needed to get worse to get better.

The Raptors went through their own version of purgatory after Bosh left, however, with the 2014 first overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins coming back in the proposed trade for Love, Minnesota will have a lot more potential to work with than Toronto did in 2010 if they can only accept the fact they just took a big step back this year to move forward a couple of seasons from now.

It was past the time for the Timberwolves to have given up on Love, sometimes love just isn’t enough. The team held out for a great return on the trade of their best asset and if they don’t waste a couple of seasons trying to become a playoff team out of the ashes too quickly, Minnesota could come out of this looking pretty good.

Of course, just after the proposed deal of Love for Wiggins and Anthony Bennett leaks out, there is a follow up rumor that Minnesota wants to flip the Cavaliers 2013 first overall draft pick Bennett to the 76ers for Thaddeus Young.

The implications of the rumor being the Timberwolves move the suspect Bennett for the enticing young veteran from the 76ers to get better right away and the 76ers improve their “Tank.”

The Timberwolves would probably be better off showing a little more patience. It’s been a decade already. What’s another couple of years to do this right?


Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.