Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio stand on the court during the fourth quarter in a game against Utah (Ann Heisenfelt/AP)
While the Minnesota Timberwolves continue to engage in trade talks for power forward Kevin Love, point guard Ricky Rubio has a contingency plan: call Love and get him to stay put.
In an interview with NBA.com, Rubio said that while he doesn't want to convince Love to stay in Minnesota if he has no desire to, he would like him to stick around. "I want him to stay and I’m going to tell him what I think, which is we’ve been improving every year and he’s a great player, he helps us a lot," he said. "I think we need to make the next step"
Rubio added that most of the Love trade speculation he's heard has been from the media, and not his teammate. He also reiterated that if Love does end up leaving the team, he doesn't plan on following suit. “I like Minnesota," he said. "But I want to win too."
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Love is reportedly asking for a trade due to the team's lack of success. In his six seasons with the organization, the T-Wolves have gone 153-323. In an interview with KFAN 100.3 in Minneapolis-St. Paul on Saturday
, new coach Flip Saunders said that Love has no reason to be frustrated. On Thursday, sources told ESPN's Marc Stein
that Saunders' return to the bench won't have an impact on Love opting out of his contract in 2015 to become an unrestricted free agent.