The Los Angeles Lakers are still looking to add players to what seems like the oldest super team in NBA history.
After adding Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony to a team that already has LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers also signed Dwight Howard. Again. The 2020 NBA champions also signed Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington, Kendrick Nunn, and Malik Monk.
And, the 17-time NBA champions are also looking to add Rajon Rondo and Deandre Jordan should both agree to buyout deals with their current teams.
And then, there’s the possibility that another former teammate of LeBron James might join the Purple and Gold for a possible final run at a championship.
The Effect Of The Chicago-Cleveland-Portland Deal
On Friday, the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Portland Trail Blazers completed a three-team trade. Lauri Markkanen is bound for Cleveland, while Larry Nance Jr. is now a Blazer, and Derrick Jones Jr. is a Bull.
This trade made some ask the difficult question: Is this a sign that Kevin Love’s stint in Cleveland is over?
Kevin Love has been with the Cavaliers for seven seasons. He helped LeBron James win the 2016 NBA championship after erasing a 3-1 Finals deficit. Since then, his numbers are on a free fall. Love only played 25 games during the 2020-2021 season, where he averaged 12 points and seven rebounds.
And with Markkanen inking a four-year deal with the Cavs plus the arrival of the third pick in the 2021 NBA Draft in Evan Mobey, Love could drop out of the Cavs’ rotation as the Cavs’ front line is already loaded.
Love Is Better Than The Drummond Experiment
A buyout deal would allow Kevin Love to play elsewhere. That’s assuming he wants out of Cleveland, and that’s assuming that the Cavs would offer a buyout. However, the possibility of a buyout is still farfetched for now.
However, if the basketball gods smile upon the Lakers and a buyout deal happens between Kevin Love and Cleveland, there are many reasons why a Kevin Love to the Lakers scenario is better than the Andre Drummond experiment. Andre Drummond and the Cavs agreed to a buyout deal last season before Drummond joined the Lakers. Unfortunately, his stint didn’t produce wonders. He didn’t fit enough alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Drummond averaged 11 points and ten rebounds during the final stretch of the 2020-2021 season.
In the 2021 playoffs, Drummond averaged 11 rebounds and nine points.
On the other hand, Kevin Love and LeBron James are close friends. So is Love and Russell Westbrook. He also played for Team USA during the 2012 Olympics, where he won a gold medal alongside Carmelo Anthony, Anthony Davis, Westbrook, and James. In other words, this familiarity with one another could help Love and the Lakers.
But more than the familiarity with his friends, Kevin Love’s three-point shooting is something that would be a big boost for the Lakers. In his four playoff runs with the Cavs, Kevin Love shot 40% from the three-point line.
Will It Happen?
That’s the question everyone is asking.
Many believe that the Cavaliers will keep Kevin Love at least until the next trade deadline. While it’s illogical for some to keep a 32-year old as a role player whom the team will pay 60 million dollars in the final two years of his current contract, Kevin Love has the veteran experience that is useful in mentoring these young Cavs.
Without a doubt, Kevin Love wants another ring before calling it a career. And if we’re honest about it, it’s not going to happen in Cleveland. If Love wants another shot at a championship, doing it with the man he won one with is the most logical thing to do.
It now boils to how Love and the Cavs will move forward before the 2021-2022 season.