AGE: 27 SIZE: 6-foot-10, 251 pounds
LAST YEAR’S STATS: 16.0 points; 9.9 rebounds; 2.4 assists; .5 blocks
REMAINING CONTRACT: 4 years, $93.5 million ($23.4 million/year average)
Kevin Love isn’t exactly the most-popular player in the NBA right now, and that’s a good thing.
If the Nuggets were to bring Love into the fold, it would immediately improve the franchise. Remember, this is a guy who averaged 26 points and 12 rebounds twice. 26 and 12! I don’t care who you are, nobody lucks into those numbers once, let alone twice.
Love is a great player, but Love is not a great role player, and that’s why he needs out of Cleveland.
Not only is he the third fiddle, but it’s as if the first and second fiddle stole his strings and replaced them with a couple pairs of shoelaces; it doesn’t work. In Cleveland, Love has been relegated to a spot-up shooter, which has muted nearly every one of his elite talents.
Whereas Love used to run the Timberwolves offense out of the high post, he hardly even puts his toes inside the paint as a Cavalier. Whereas Love used to be one of the game’s best offensive rebounders, averaging as much as 4.5 a game, he hasn’t averaged more than two per game in Cleveland because he’s told to stand 30 feet away from the basket at all times.
And don’t give me the excuse of, “Oh well he sucked in Minnesota, too. He couldn’t even lead the Timberwolves to the playoffs.”
During his final year in Minnesota, the Timberwolves starting lineup was the best (the best!) five-man lineup in all of basketball, averaging 50 points per game and posting a plus/minus of 5.3 (second to the Warriors starting lineup, which had a plus/minus of 5.8). They didn’t make the playoffs because their bench was abysmal, and the moment you took Love off the court, the entire team collapsed.
I have no doubt that if you get Love back onto a team where he is the No. 1 option and allowed to be exactly what he needs to be, he’ll be back to his All Pro self in no time. And if there was ever a time to trade for him, it would be right now, while his trade value is at its all-time lowest.
What would it take?: The 7th pick, 19th pick and …