Hate It Or Kevin Love It


I hate to be late on things. I make sure to always arrive ahead of time regardless of where I’m going and I love to spot things before everyone else starts paying attention. Mind you, Kevin Love was thrust into the spotlight (admit it, the only way you thought you would hear about the exploits of a Timberwolves player this year was if they made a sex tape or got caught smuggling drugs into the country) this past week when he registered an improbable 31 point and 31 rebound performance. I had been planning on writing about him to shed some details about his game and underrated rebounding prowess but Love put himself on the map before I had the chance to warn you. Although I have not yet had the chance to write about Love, it’s not too late.

Some people seem to think that the former Bruins star career night was an isolated great performance in what is a rather unremarkable season of play. And yet, nothing could be further from the truth.  Have a look at his performances in every game so far this season:

OPP
MIN
PTS
RBS
AST
SAC
24
11
10
2
MIL
27
17
16
1
at MEM
25
14
13
1
atMIA
26
20
6
1
at ORL
31
22
9
0
ATL
27
18
12
2
at HOU
30
16
16
1
at LAL
38
23
24
5
at SAC
28
8
9
0
NYK
41
31
31
5
at ATL
41
22
17
0
AVERAGES
30.7
18.4
14.8
1.6

Although the 30-30 game clearly helped boost Love’s averages, we can see that he’s been extremely productive this season despite averaging a mere 30.7 minutes per game.

And if there’s one thing we know, it’s that you can never have enough quality big men (well unless you are the Minnesota Timberwolves and you like to trade quality big men like Al Jefferson for the immortal Kosta Koufos and two future first round picks after having just averaged 17.1 points per game and 9.3 rebounds per game on 49.8% field goal shooting) in the NBA.  Look at the combination of big men from the past five NBA champions:
  • ·      2010 Los Angeles Lakers – Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.
  • ·      2009 Los Angeles Lakers: Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.
  • ·      2008 Boston Celtics: Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis and P.J. Brown.
  • ·      2007 San Antonio Spurs: Tim Duncan and Robert Horry.
  • ·      2006 Miami Heat : Shaquille O’Neal, Antoine Walker and Udonis Haslem.

 Needless to say, if you want your favorite team to have a shot at a championship, it starts with having good big guys on your team. Why do I bring this up? Well because it seems as though Love’s days in Minnesota are numbered. Currently he is at odds with his head coach over his playing time and his incompetent general manager has done a less than stellar job in assembling his team.  Sam Amick of NBA Fanhouse perfectly illustrated Kahn’s deficiencies when he got him to talk about his faith in Darko Milicic: “[…] New York didn't play him, for whatever reason, and even when he came to us, while we liked what he saw, he was really -- and he'd be the first to acknowledge this -- terribly out of shape, and he got in better shape this summer. But he's still not in peak condition. And of course because of all the pressures and expectations that he has been carrying around since he's been 17 years old, it's obvious that he still is dealing with some confidence issues.”

Just so we’re clear; Milicic did not care enough to get in shape in a contract year and also struggled with confidence problems, and yet Kahn “rewarded” him with a four year $20 million contract. Given those facts, I think that Love can be had for the right offer…and by right offer; I think you can literally steal the former UCLA player with a decent player and first round draft pick. Kahn has shown a strong affinity for accumulating draft picks and acquiring redundant players. But for argument’s sake, which contenders could offer Kahn something to consider? Glad you asked:

  • ·      Atlanta could potentially trade Jamal Crawford’s $10.8 million expiring contract and 2011 first round pick for Kevin Love.
  • ·      Orlando could offer Vince Carter’s $17.5 million expiring contract and their 2011 first round pick for Kevin Love and Martell Webster.
  • ·      Oklahoma City could give up Nick Collison’s $6.8 million expiring contract, Cole Aldrich and a first round pick for Kevin Love.
  • ·      Portland could dangle Greg Oden and a 2011 first round draft pick (they own their own draft pick and also the New Orleans Hornets’ pick) for Kevin Love (Kahn has already displayed a willingness to take a chance on potential; and we can all agree that although injury prone, Oden is perhaps three times the player that Darko Milicic is).
  • ·      San Antonio trades George Hill, Antonio McDyess and a 2011 first round pick for Kevin Love.

There are more possible combinations and you can try finding them with the ESPN NBA trade machine, but so far the Atlanta and San Antonio trades seem like the most intriguing. Granted, these transactions would involve David Kahn getting fleeced, but that’s not exactly improbable either. Let’s hope a contender makes an attractive proposition for Kevin Love’s services that lead to him playing in a variety of games that matter, because he is too good to play for a bottom feeder.  

Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can contact me by email at Shyne@Sbgorillas.com. You can also find me on Twitter with the handle name ShyneIV.

2 Comments:

Anonymous said...

It is about time that someone spoke up on Love's behalf. Both of the coaches that Love has had to play for were not rocket scientists or even good coaches. They are the joke of the NBA. They don't know how to use players and on top of everything else, they are not really all that nice. We all shuttered when Love was picked by Minnesota in the draft and we have been proven correct. It is time to trade Love to any team because the Timberwolves suck and always will as long as they keep moronic coaches like McHale and/or Rambus.

Shyne said...

I totally agree with you, Kevin Love is trapped on a bad team that's wasting his talents. I'd love to see him play for contender given his set of skills (rebounding and shooting) but for the time being he seems to be stuck in Minnesota. It's only a matter of time though before Kahn gets roped into a bad trade......

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