Mar 19, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) drives against Dallas Mavericks forward Shawn Marion (0) at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
In the mad frenzy to hash out which NBA franchise will land All-Star Kevin Love, nobody bothered to discuss which destination is best for him.
Pro: LeBron James
Isn’t it obvious? The benefit for Love joining the Cleveland Cavaliers is he gets to play with the best player in the NBA. LeBron James is still in his prime and has a reputation for making his teammates better thanks to a wide array of talents including passing. He would do the same for Love who is one of the best long range shooting big men in the league. In return his elite rebounding ability would also serve to compliment James and their offensive attack.
Con: Zero championship success
With all due respect to the King and his amazing success, it’s important to point out his first attempt at the throne was a failure. James failed to win a title in Cleveland his first time around and the city hasn’t won a pro sports championship of any kind since the 1960s. The Cavs haven’t won one period. That is the same kind of situation Love is trying to get out of in Minnesota, a franchise that has made it out of the first round exactly one time in its history.
Pro: Derrick Rose and Tom Thibodeau
Of the three primary contenders in the NBA trade machine, the Chicago Bulls can offer the most stability. They have one of the best head coaches in the league in Tom Thibodeau, a defensive specialist who would make great use of Love’s offensive talents. There is also the presence of Derrick Rose. While many question his prospects after two successive knee injuries, the former MVP is still only 25-years old and is also a good friend of Love’s. The two work out together often during the off-season. That connection can’t be overstated.
Con: Scheme Fit and Injuries
At the same time those health concerns cannot be ignored. Rose is a risk. Plain and simple. However, he’s not the only one. Fellow All-Star Joakim Noah also has a history of ailments that have forced him to miss significant time. On top of that there is a problem of scheme fit. Based on the most recent rumors regarding trade offers, if the Bulls were to land Love it would be at the expense of Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic. That would give Chicago a problem in that they would have Love, Pau Gasol and Noah on the roster. That would potentially create a problem with the starting lineup and confusion about where everybody fits.
Golden State Warriors
Pro: Stephen Curry and home state
As it stands the Golden State Warriors are on the outside looking in on the Kevin Love trade talks. Most of that is due to their unwillingness to make sharpshooter Klay Thompson available. Still, they are a lingering threat and for Love it’s an attractive destination. It would land him back in California, his home state where he has roots. More importantly it would pair him with one of the best shooters in the world in Stephen Curry. Together with Andre Iguodala it would form a solid trio on a team ready to make a run at the NBA title for the first time since 1975.
Con: Western Conference
The problem is such a move would keep Love in the Western Conference. Anybody with two eyes can see it is the far more stacked conference in the NBA with teams like San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Houston, Memphis, Denver and Golden State all fighting each other for one birth in the Finals. That is a lot to battle through, especially for a player who has never seen playoff action in his entire career.
The reality is each team has their merits for Kevin Love to consider. An honest examination suggests if he wants the best teammate he’ll go to Cleveland. If he wants the best coach and system he’ll go to Chicago. If he wants the most comfort and familiarity, he’ll go to Golden State.