x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Love for the Minnesota Timberwolves is only conditional

The two-time NBA All-Star is reportedly unhappy at his franchise and is unlikely to stay if they do not make it to the NBA play-offs.

Kevin Love is not completely happy with the deal he has signed. David Sherman / Getty Images
Kevin Love is not completely happy with the deal he has signed. David Sherman / Getty Images

Being Kevin Love seems like it ought to be pretty sweet. The Minnesota Timberwolves forward is 24, a two-time NBA All-Star, a gold medal winner at the 2012 Olympics and has a US$62 million (Dh227.7m) contract.

Alas, he is unhappy. Though young, he has the impatience of a veteran nearing the end of his career without having won a title. He does not like the direction of the club, which seems to be in perpetual rebuilding mode.

He is a supporter of the Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman and enjoys playing with the Spanish guard Ricky Rubio but, he said: "You walk into the locker room every year, and it's completely turned over. There's new guys everywhere. And then it happens again and again. You start to wonder: is there really a plan here?"

The $62m deal was a sort of capitulation when he signed it. He had become one of the league's best players, a scoring and rebounding machine, and thought he deserved the maximum five-year, $80m contract extension.

Love hedged his bets by insisting on an opt-out clause after three seasons, and at that point he could be gone.

Convincing him to stay is fairly simple: the T-Wolves need to make the play-offs a couple of times.

"I haven't been in the play-offs yet," Love said. "If I haven't been to the play-offs or it's been one play-off berth, it's going to be tough to say: 'Oh, well, I'm going to stay here'."

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