Apr 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Boris Diaw (33) dribbles against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Most of the arguing going around Kevin Love of late is about his trade appeal, but what about his free agency prospects? Are the San Antonio Spurs a player?
For: Love joins a winner and team gets heir to Tim Duncan
The entire basis of Kevin Love wanting to get out of Minnesota is because he’s desperate to win. Ever since he joined the NBA he has not experienced playoff basketball. The easiest way to do that is to seek out a perennial winner and hope joining them does the job. There is no question the San Antonio Spurs would apply. If Love somehow doesn’t get traded by next February, then the world champs instantly become serious contenders for him given their financial flexibility in free agency. At age 25 he is one of the best power forwards in the game today, averaging 26 points and 12 rebounds per game. Adding him would assure the Spurs of an heir to future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan, who at age 38 is nearing the end of a stellar career.
Against: Salary cap may be crippled with him and Kawhi Leonard
At the same time any venture into free agency is fraught with risks. While Kevin Love represents easily the best talent available come next summer, the truth is the San Antonio Spurs might not like what he asks for. Over the past ten years the team has enjoyed the great fortune of fielding a group of unselfish stars like Duncan, who regularly take less money for the good of the team. That is a big secret to their success. Yet not every player is like that. More than a few would seek out a maximum contract if able, and Love would most definitely be worth that if he hits the market. On top of that the Spurs have a pending contract dispute on the way with Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, who will also be within his rights to demand maximum cash. Putting those two together would be a potent combination in the long-term, but also raises the risk of crippling the salary cap.
In all likelihood Kevin Love would not regret joining the San Antonio Spurs, but a lot of things have to happen for it to become reality.