Is Kevin Love the right fit for the Blazers?
On KGW's 3-on-3 Blazers podcast this week, we discuss the loss of Rodney Hood and the trade rumors linking Kevin Love and the Blazers. We also make predictions for the next three games, talk about Jusuf Nurkic's eventual return, answer your questions, and play another rousing game of Rip It!More Blazers coverage at kgw.com/blazers
2. Let’s talk about Kevin Love, who is the potential trade target most often linked to the Blazers. First a question and then a prediction: Should the Blazers trade for Kevin Love? Will the Blazers trade for Kevin Love?
Orlando: Kevin Love is the type of caliber player the Blazers should be seeking. He checks a lot of boxes. He's an all-star talent at a position the Blazers could use depth, he has championship pedigree and he's got multiple years remaining on his contract. My greatest concern would be durability, he's got a history of missing games due to injury and I would be a little concerned about availability over the next couple of seasons. It wouldn't be option No. 1 for me, but I think it could work out well for Portland. Do I think it will happen? It depends how much Cleveland truly wants to blow it up. If reports are true about their asking price, there's no way he ends up in Rip City because I don't believe Neil Olshey wants to part ways with promising young talent.
Nate: The Blazers should not trade for Kevin Love … yet. I think Portland needs to make a move to acquire a top of the line forward in order to be an NBA title contender in the 2020-21 season, which is the franchise’s goal. Adding Love would certainly put the Blazers in a better position to contend over the next year or two. But, with Love’s age and injury concerns, I’m not sure he will be the piece that best gives Portland the opportunity to be a contender. It’s still early in the NBA season and some teams may not yet be willing to part with an asset or two that would better fill Portland’s needs. At the same time, the Blazers can’t let the expiring contracts of Hassan Whiteside and Kent Bazemore go to waste. The type of player the Blazers need won’t be available in free agency, and even if they were, they wouldn’t come to Portland anyways. If at the end of January or early February, Kevin Love is the best option for the Blazers, then yes, they need to acquire him. They’ve got to push their chips all in at some point. Ultimately, I don't think they will on Love.
Jared: Love comes with a lot of risk. He's 31. He's been injured a lot. He's missed an average of 35 games the past three seasons, including 60 games last season. He's going to make about $30 million each of the next three seasons. He's never been much of a defender (though he's better than his reputation; he can be a good team defender). But he also comes with a lot of upside, especially playing with this Portland squad. He's a great volume 3-point shooter. He will space the floor for Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic. He's a great rebounder, which means when he's paired with Nurkic, he'd help the Blazers recapture their rebounding dominance. And he's a good playmaker. When Dame gets trapped, Love would be a great release valve. Taking into consideration all of it, I think Kevin Love would be worth the risk. The Blazers should try to maximize Lillard's prime and I think Love would help in that endeavor. If all it would take is a first-round pick (and the matching salary) to acquire Love, I don't see why the Blazers wouldn't make it happen.