There were rumors all last season about whether Love would seek a trade, something that Rubio said had a negative effect on the team.
“Of course we had a lot going on last year and the media was talking, they were wondering if Kevin wanted to be here, blah, blah, blah, and that hurt the team and hurt himself,” Rubio said. “Now that he’s not here, the media’s not going to talk about that anymore. I think that’s going to be good for him and for us.”
Minnesota finished 40-42 last season, missing the playoffs and coming in third in the Northwest Division.
Rubio said the team needs to step up in 2014-15, and that he especially needs to be more vocal and more of a leader to guide the younger players.
The Timberwolves open the preseason on Oct. 7. Their first regular-season game is on Oct. 29 at the Memphis Grizzlies.
Rubio, 23, averaged 9.5 points, 8.6 assists and 4.2 rebounds last season.
- Molly Geary