As the All-Star break commences, the Minnesota Timberwolves will have ample time away from the court to rest and prepare for a crucial stretch of games to end the regular season. With just two games’ difference between them and the fourth seed in the Western Conference standings, the Wolves will have a great chance to enter the postseason with favorable positioning.
In addition, there is growing optimism that Minnesota could actually see Karl-Anthony Towns back on the floor before long. His return to the Timberwolves’ rotation will provide a huge boost to their offensive production and depth. Despite their loss to the Wizards heading into All-Star weekend, the Wolves are in a solid spot to finish the season strong.
With the trade deadline behind them, Minnesota’s roster is mostly finalized for the rest of the season. The only players they can bring in now would be via the buyout market. There are a few viable options that could make sense for the Timberwolves, but there is one player in particular they should be avoiding: Kevin Love.
The Minnesota Timberwolves should avoid signing one former player
The Cleveland Cavaliers officially announced on Saturday that they would be parting ways with Kevin Love via contract buyout. Love spent the better part of the last nine seasons in Cleveland, where he arrived in the summer of 2014 to join forces with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
Of course, long time Minnesota Timberwolves fans are quite aware of Kevin Love’s talent. He spent the first six seasons of his career in the Twin Cities after being traded by Memphis following the 2008 NBA Draft. Love blossomed into an elite offensive player in Minnesota, averaging 26.1 points and 4.4 assists in the 2013-14 season for the Wolves.
His dazzling shooting performances were all over SportsCenter and he was regarded as one of the most exciting players to watch in the early 2010’s. Now, entering the buyout market, it would be easy for Minnesota fans to look back fondly on their memories of Kevin Love in a Timberwolves uniform and want the team to sign him once again. But that would be a mistake.
Kevin Love is not a worthwhile enough contributor for the Timberwolves to consider signing him
As good as Love once was, the current version of who he is as a player pales in comparison to the Kevin Love from a decade ago. This has been the first year since his sophomore season where he is playing primarily off the bench, and he has slowed down considerably.
Even with Karl-Anthony Towns out, Love is not good enough to consider throwing into the starting lineup at any point. He has played a career-low 22.5 minutes per contest in Cleveland this year, and while still a decent three-point shooter, Love is no longer mobile enough to create his own offense consistently.
This would mean his only utility in Minnesota would be as an end of the bench role player. He is not talented enough at this point to be playing over the likes of Kyle Anderson or Taurean Prince. Adding him to the roster for nostalgia purposes would be an emotional move that would ultimately derail the consistency the Timberwolves have been building since the start of January.
It is best for the organization to go with their head over their heart here, and stay as far away from Kevin Love as possible.