It's time for Kevin Love to go. He is a star player that has been put in a poor situation, was knocked around by management and deserves better. For the Wolves organization, it's time to turn the page, suck up the loss of another franchise player and move on..
Hanging on to Love is a losing cause at this point. Yes, there's new management; yes, the team is spending money; and yes, they did improve last year, but the damage has been done, and both Love and the Wolves could benefit from a breakup.
The best move for Minnesota right now is to trade Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers. They own the No. 1 pick (somehow), and Minnesota could use another star to latch onto. In the past, it was not the cold weather or the size of the Twin Cities that put off Love, it was the mismanagement of the team and his mistreatment that upset him.
Dec. 11, 2012 was the day that the handwriting was placed on the wall. Love told esteemed NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski in a Yahoo! Sports Article that he was fed up with owner Glen Taylor, then-GM David Kahn and his less-than-max contract. While Taylor and Love seem to have made up, and Flip Saunders has replaced Kahn, the organization still put guys like Darko Milicic and Michael Beasley around Love and drafted Jonny Flynn and Wesley Johnson instead of Steph Curry and Paul George early in his career. That combined with the fact that he did not get a max contract seem to have caused irreversible harm to the organization's relationship with Love.
Like the Target Center itself, the Wolves need to be refurbished. It's time to send Love on his way, acquire the No. 1 overall pick Minnesota has somehow missed out on in 10 consecutive lottery appearances and build around a new superstar: Andrew Wiggins.
It is in Minnesota that Wiggins, a Canadian, can become Maple Jordan. Instead of putting him on a team with bare cupboards or where he is not a fit, he will be put into a situation where there is a need at small forward and veteran players around him that will take pressure off the 19-year-old Kansas University star.
Here is how this will work: Using a trade suggested by Rob Mahoney of SI.com, Minnesota will deal Kevin Love, J.J. Barea and Alexey Shved for Anderson Varejao, Dion Waiters, Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson and the No. 1 overall pick. This unloads Love, who could leave as a free agent for nothing, Barea, who became notorious for pouting at the end of the bench and drawing technical fouls at the end of games last year, and Shved, who is a talented player that probably could use a change of scenery after spending most of last year on the bench.
In turn, the Wolves get a franchise player in Wiggins when they draft him No. 1 overall, a veteran defender in Varejao who could be waived if it doesn't work out, former No. 1 overall pick Bennett for value, a rotation piece in Thompson and Waiters, who was a No. 4 overall selection in 2012.
For the Cavaliers, they get a great package to offer LeBron James should he choose to leave Miami. Instead of playing with the suddenly aging Dwyane Wade and sometimes disappearing Chris Bosh, he'll get to play with Wes and Uncle Drew. This will keep Kyrie Irving in Cleveland, woo LeBron back home and give another hapless franchise a chance to compete in the easier Eastern Conference.
It's a win-win for both teams and, more importantly for the Wolves; a chance to start over once their new arena is ready. It's a much better solution than hoping Love stays around and seeing him leave for nothing or less value, which would make the team to wonder why they didn't trade him for the No. 1 overall pick when they had the chance.
Tom Schreier can be heard on The Michael Knight Show from 2-3:00 on weekdays. He has written for Bleacher Report and the Yahoo Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @tschreier3.