OAKLAND -- His name was never uttered officially and certainly not by the Warriors on this night.
That would be tampering! Kevin who?
Yet ... the shadow of Kevin Love hovered over all Warriors thinking and analysis during the NBA draft on Thursday.
And maybe the Warriors crept a little closer to Love by staying patient, sticking to their plotted course and waiting another day ...
All this on a night when the Warriors had no draft picks and made no trades but stayed in the thick of the NBA chatter.
They didn't trade for Love on Thursday, but that doesn't mean they won't at some point.
They just didn't push for it on this day, and that might be the most telling thing, because the Warriors are not always so circumspect in the hunt for a big deal.
They sat back. They assessed. They watched.
"It was a pretty quiet day today," general manager Bob Myers said late Thursday. "It was just one of those things where we didn't feel like we wanted to be too aggressive in our pursuit of anything and not much came our way."
Then a pause and a chuckle:
"We're pretty good at making your guys' lives exciting," Myers said, "but we couldn't do it for you tonight."
One early sign of the nothingness to come was new coach Steve Kerr wandering out to the media area early in the first round looking decidedly less than urgent.
I asked Kerr if the Warriors might be on the verge of anything and he smiled and said no, nothing was happening that he could tell.
Key example: Klay Thompson, the other key name in all this Love talk, remained a Warrior through the draft.
The Timberwolves want Thompson in any Love transaction and he's a player the Warriors have been determined to keep.
If anything can be solidly concluded after Thursday, it's that the Warriors showed something by refusing to toss Thompson into any Love offer through the draft night adrenaline rush.
Which it makes more likely that Thompson will never be included in any offer for Love ... and that's very interesting to see.
"Clearly, as evidenced by the draft, by not doing anything during the draft, I think it does show faith in the current construction of our roster," Myers said.
"(But) we're always examining every possible way to get better as a team."
All of this maybe qualifies as a little bit of disappointing news for the Warriors, since you would imagine that landing Love is a huge priority this offseason.
If they can acquire Love for their presumed offer of David Lee and Harrison Barnes, that would be an enormous lift for this franchise.
Any day that passes without that deal happening is a day that risks the Warriors losing out on Love entirely.
But the inaction on Thursday was also a larger bit of heartening news for the Warriors, since they remain a live option, while several of their rivals may have fallen off.
Basically, the Warriors got through the night without surrendering Thompson and also without anybody else getting Love.
And now they might be in a better position than ever.
Why? Because the other top suitors had high draft picks to offer and the Warriors didn't.
After Thursday, those picks have come and gone ... and the Warriors are still standing and ready to negotiate.
"I think you're always exploring everything," Myers said. "It never really stops no matter where you are in the season.
"In this moment in time a major thing is unlikely. But things are always ongoing."
Of course, Minnesota assuredly has other strong offers for Love and probably will continue to receive new offers into the coming weeks.
Nothing happened to change any of that on Thursday. But the Warriors stayed patient and stayed in the hunt.
Eventually, Kevin Love will be traded. The Warriors really might be the last team standing when it happens, and that apparently is the plan they're sticking to.
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