NBA Rumors: If Kevin Love Leaves Timberwolves, Will Ricky Rubio Follow Suit?

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Every day, a new team surfaces in the Kevin Love sweepstakes. One thing that seems inevitable is that the All-Star power forward will flee from Minnesota the first opportunity he has to do so.

But if Love gets his wish and is traded away, and subsequently leaves the Timberwolves in another rebuilding mode, where does that leave Ricky Rubio?

Rubio said he is going to try and convince Love to remain with him in Minnesota. Good luck, Rick.

If Love doesn’t get dealt this summer or by next February’s NBA trading deadline, he’ll likely just walk when he hits free agency in 2015. And if and when that’s the case, Rubio told NBA.com that he may have to take a similar approach to try and force a trade, as he doesn’t want to undergo yet another rebuilding season in the Twin Cities.

“No,” Rubio told NBA.com when asked if Love’s departure would prompt him to want to leave. “I like Minnesota. But I want to win too. Of course when a big guy like him leaves you’re thinking about what’s going to be happening with the team. Are we going to lose a lot? Before I came to Minnesota, the season before they won like 17 games. I was a little scared when I went there. I’m coming from Europe, where I was playing in Barcelona. I think we lost six games or seven games in two seasons and every loss was a disaster. I don’t want to go through a process like every win is something special.

“If he leaves, it’s going to be painful because he’s a main guy. But it depends what we get back for him. We’ll see what we can do. I don’t think going through a rebuild year is going to help us because we’ve been improving every year and now we’re so close to making the playoffs that it doesn’t make sense to rebuild it again. It’s not continuing what we were doing.”

In other words, Rubio is being politically correct. He wants Love to stay because that’s obviously the Wolves’ best shot at winning. If and when Love gets his ticket punched out of town, he’s hopeful the team lands veteran talent that could possibly help them to contend.

But if the Wolves just get a couple of expiring contracts or players that aren’t difference-makers, Rubio doesn’t want to stick around just be loyal on a non-competitive team. Can you blame him?

There will also be a market for Rubio, a pass-first point guard that can instantly improve an offense, especially one where there’s talented scorers like Love.

Rubio could also consider moving to back to Spain in 2015 when he becomes a restricted free agent. That, or he could stick around in Minnesota and hope the organization overpays him to stay.

Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.
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