It was contrived. It was in front of a national radio audience. It was cheesy.

But for a fan base yearning for any positive inkling to cling to, it sounded great.

In case you missed it:

Flip Saunders calls into ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike," which Minnesota Timberwolves all-star forward Kevin Love co-hosted Thursday morning.

Love, who at 24 appears to have his pick of media affiliates available when he retires from hoops, pops the first question.

"There's been a lot of speculation out there, and just so we're clear: I am not getting traded."

Saunders responds flatly, with that hint of dry sarcasm he tends to emit: "You are not getting traded."

Love: "Thank you."

Flip, the mock seriousness and concern out in full force now: "Does that make you feel better?"

Love, Saunders, and show hosts Mike Golic and fill-in Ryan Ruocco, all bust out in laughter.

This was no earth-shattering, news-breaking radio moment. Rumors of a Love trade to Cleveland for the NBA Draft's No. 1 overall pick or any other Love smatterings are nothing more than a ridiculous web of Internet gossip, Saunders has said repeatedly.

But what the first of Love's three Thursday radio appearances did provide, albeit superficial, was a small window into a relationship that could make or break the franchise's future.

Saunders and Love have communicated regularly since the former was hired to replace team president David Kahn, with whom Love allegedly had a broken go-between. Both sides maintain the new team foundation-personnel leader connection's in great shape.

Each used a connotation of the word "energy" when describing his offseason."There's nothing holding me back right now," said Love, who missed 64 games last season with a hand injury, in an interview with KFAN 100.3 in Minneapolis.

"The biggest thing is the energy I feel toward getting my body right, finally getting healthy. … After last season a lot of things have been put in perspective on and off the court. I need to stay humble and do the right things."

Saunders, too, said he feels refreshed following a year-and-a-half away from a team's office, most of it spent as one of Golic's colleagues at ESPN.