But in a recent interview, Love said he enjoys playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves and compared his team favorably to the Lakers.
"People think it's so far-fetched that I would stay in Minnesota," Love told GQ. "And I'm not s------- on the Lakers, but we have the better team, the better foundation. I'm having fun."
The Lakers and Dallas Mavericks reportedly were attempting to complete trades this week for Love, who can become an unrestricted free agent after the 2014-15 season if he declines a player option on his contract with Minnesota.
Wolves president Flip Saunders took to Twitter on Wednesday night to deny a report that Love had informed the team he would indeed opt out after next season.
Rumors of Love telling me he's opting out & wants 2 b traded r false. Last convo I had w/ him was him telling me how bad my sports coat was.- Flip Saunders (@Flip_Saunders) February 20, 2014
Los Angeles entered Wednesday with an 18-35 record, tied for the worst mark in the Western Conference. But the Lakers could create significant salary-cap space in time for the summer of 2015, as Kobe Bryant is the team's only high-profile player under contract beyond the 2014-15 season.
Love, who was born in Santa Monica, Calif., and played at UCLA, repeatedly has been linked to the Lakers. The three-time All-Star has emerged as one of the NBA's top forwards, averaging a double-double in each of the past five seasons.
The Timberwolves (25-28) are six games outside of a playoff spot and in danger of missing the postseason for the 10th consecutive season.
But the 25-year-old Love headlines a talented, young roster that also features 23-year-old point guard Ricky Rubio, 28-year-old center Nikola Pekovic and 27-year-old forward Corey Brewer. The 6-foot-10 Love is averaging 25.8 points and 13.2 rebounds this season, ranking in the top four in the NBA in each category.