Following yet another close game loss to the Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves’ star power forward Kevin Love shared a few negative words regarding the lack of professionalism and comradeship by fellow teammates J.J. Barea and Dante Cunningham. Love was reportedly upset with the two role players for sulking on the bench and not standing with the rest of the team during a crucial timeout in the final minutes of the heated match up. With trouble beginning to present itself between players inside the locker room, it seems as though the Timberwolves have more to worry about than just their mediocre record.
It has been well documented that Love has had his ups and downs with the Timberwolves management ever since his rookie season. However, the league’s second leading scorer is now beginning to show signs of displeasure with his teammates. After a 1 point loss to the Suns, a game in which the Timberwolves should have claimed victory, Love expressed his frustrations towards Barea and Cunningham for mentally checking out of the game early. The feud between Love and Barea comes as no surprise as the two have squared off during timeouts in the past. Love, however, has never discussed the turmoil with the press. Now that the problems between players have become news worthy, it is only natural to wonder how this will affect Love’s soon to be free agent status.
Luckily for Minnesota, Love is under contract though the 2015-16 season. However, based on past frustrations with the team and now ill relationships with teammates, it would not be a surprise to anyone if Love would decide to leave the twin cities for a more championship ready team. Although losing Love would be a massive payroll relief for the team, the Timberwolves would not dare risk losing one of the league’s brightest stars to free agency in return for literally nothing. With that being said, the Timberwolves have one of two options: bring in more championship level talent or trade the best power forward in the league. The problem with the former is that the Timberwolves do not have much in terms of trade value other than key players such as Nikola Pekovic and Ricky Rubio. The problem with the latter is that most players worthy of having a championship team built around them are currently signed with contending teams. Either way, the Timberwolves find themselves in a rather precarious situation.
Inconsistent play on the court has been a large problem for the Timberwolves this season, and now it seems as though inconsistencies between players is becoming an even larger issue. Hopefully Love’s recent actions have sparked a fire in the Minnesota locker room so that the team can progress through the second half of this years season. If not, then the coaches, general manager, and owner have some very important questions to answer.
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