At the moment, Kevin Love is the hottest name in what remains of the NBA off-season. A trade that three teams or more want to make happen, but the Minnesota Timberwolves refuse to the offers from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls and the Golden State Warriors. It’s quite surprising in a way it has gotten to this.
In other words, shouldn’t have become this important = no one expected him to be this good.
One might say that Kevin Love let all the attention over the last few years go to his head. But that would be ignoring the terrible decision making of the Timberwolves’ ownership over the years. There’s a reason Kevin Garnett couldn’t wait to get out of there, as a team with a top 5 player couldn’t make it into the playoffs for three consecutive seasons. Maybe it says something about how good or not Garnett was from a certain point.
There are objective disadvantages: Minnesota isn’t a place free agents want to come and play in, never has and never been. For one period of time, from the late 90’s until 2004, things worked. Garnett developed into the stud he was projected to coming out of high school, and the team built around him kept making the playoffs, only to fail in the first round time after time except for one season, when they had home court advantage throughout the western conference playoffs, losing in the conference finals to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kevin Love, a fifth overall selection in 2008, was going to be good. But this good? At 25, he’s probably the most reliable double double machine who puts up 25 points plus each night. He has the sharpshooter numbers as a power forward, and can score from almost anywhere on the floor. He’s a guy to build a team around and also put the ball in his hands because of his vision and passing ability. A franchise player.
But a franchise player for a championship team? Probably not. Not when his defense is one huge gaping hole in the paint. Not when his decision making in crunch time can be so frustrating. He has had some big moments with some clutch shots, but he also tends to do wrong things at the wrong time, sometimes taking a bit too much on himself. And he feels that he’s bigger than the team he’s on right now.
Kevin Love wants to play for the Cavs because he knows that he doesn’t have to be first or even second fiddle there. His numbers will be hurt, but Love doesn’t seem to be someone who cares too much about those. They’ll come anyway, as in a fantasy future both Kyrie Irving and LeBron James will learn to make concessions and give up some of their shots in order to make Love happy.
But is Love worth gutting a team’s depth for? Is he a piece that immediately elevates a team to championship status? Not in this scenario. Not with what the Cavs will be giving up for him, or the Chicago Bulls. Not with what is else out there to replace the guys they send away with. A very good player, and All-Star and after four-five more years of what we’ve seen from him since 2011 it’ll be a Hall of Fame case as well. But in the current state of affairs and situation of the teams looking to trade for him, giving up so much for Kevin Love just doesn’t make sense.