The NBA, players, coaches and fans alike knew that the Minnesota Timberwolves had to trade power forward Kevin Love.
The franchise’s face played in Minnesota for six seasons without reaching the postseason once. He did not see eye to eye with former team president David Kahn over an extension and spent most of last season putting up his best numbers individually as an NBA player, while occasionally having run-ins with his teammates in a locker room that was highly fractured.
Love wanted to leave Minnesota, the fans wanted him out and a seventh season for the two just seemed out of the question.
The Wolves did not have much leverage, but management had to convince teams that were ready to take advantage of the situation, that the Timberwolves really did not have to trade away Love.
On Saturday, a summer long saga came to its conclusion when the Wolves sent Love to Cleveland. Other players and other teams were involved in the trade, but Love was the featured star.
Minnesota however was lucky to land the two last No. 1 picks overall in the draft and a talented forward who is just 26 and averaged nearly 18 points a game last season, for a superstar who already had one of his feet out the door.
When Flip Saunders took Kahn’s place last summer, his priority was trying to persuade Love to stay with the club.
That did not pan out and as early as the day the season ended for Minnesota, they were taking bids from other teams, while trying to convince them they did not have to trade Love.
The Timberwolves were near a deal with Golden State at the time of the draft, but the Warriors decision not to include Klay Thompson in the deal broke it.
The Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics all made offers, but none was worthwhile to Saunders of the rest of the front office.
By waiting and holding out, the Wolves were able to get a deal they were comfortable with and one they felt was worth the wait.
Once LeBron James decided to play in Cleveland, the whole dynamics changed as the Cavaliers approached the Timberwolves with quite a bit to offer.
At first, Cleveland refused to offer Wiggins, who was the player most important to Minnesota. Minnesota waited for James to push the Cavs to make something happen.
Once the particulars were worked out and the three teams involved received whom they were hoping for, the deal was agreed to.
The Timberwolves quickly turned the page on the Love era as soon as the trade was completed last weekend and have already moved on, as has the man who wanted out, Kevin Love.
The pressure now starts to build for Cleveland to see if they can mesh LeBron and Love together to form a team that wins the NBA championship.