The Brooklyn Nets are looking to add some depth in their frontcourt and one name recently floated is Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love.
Love, who is a five-time All-Star, won an NBA title alongside Brooklyn guard Kyrie Irving in 2016. He was also teammates with Nets stars James Harden and Kevin Durant on Team USA when they won an Olympic gold medal in 2012.
He might make sense if you are building a roster for your fantasy basketball team. But in real life, it is hard to imagine any scenario where Love ends up on the Nets through trade. Maybe if the Cavs buy him out and he becomes a free agent, but a swap is incredibly unlikely.
Within the constraints of the collective bargaining agreement, the Nets need to match Love’s salary ($31.2 million) to acquire him from Cleveland. They also cannot trade Joe Harris until March 3, 2021 based on the contract that he signed this offseason. They’re also not going to trade any one of their core pieces in Durant, Irving or Harden.
I’ll just say the Nets probably are interested in Kevin Love.
But financially it’s very hard to make it work.
They can absorb McGee with their new extension instead if they really wanted to.
— Evan Dammarell (@AmNotEvan) January 25, 2021
That means that in order to bring Love to Brooklyn, they would need to send a package that included DeAndre Jordan (who is incredibly close with Irving and Durant, plays the position that Brooklyn desperately needs right now), Spencer Dinwiddie (who is out for the season, which may hurt his value), Landry Shamet as well as either Bruce Brown or Nic Claxton.
That would give them 10 players, after the recent addition of Norvel Pelle, on their roster. They would then have two weeks to sign four more players, and while there are some free agents who could fit in their rotation, such a transaction would make a roster that lacks depth and familiarity with one another even thinner.
Even if they decided that such a drastic reshuffling of the deck would be worth it, this a team in win-now mode. Love is currently dealing with a calf strain and has played just two games so far this season.
Steve Nash laments Nets' subpar defense: "We're not a defensive roster." https://t.co/oTxaRM3733
— USA TODAY NBA (@usatodaynba) January 23, 2021
Ultimately, Brooklyn needs a defensive specialist who can help with their rim protection. That is where the Nets have struggled the most since acquiring Harden in their recent blockbuster deal, which caused head coach Steve Nash to say that they don’t have a “defensive roster” right now.
Love, who has recorded at least 0.6 blocks per game just one time in his NBA career and that was his rookie year in 2008-09, is simply not that guy.
Due to the injury that Dinwiddie suffered earlier this season, Brooklyn will receive a disabled player exception worth $5.7 million. The Nets could use that as part of a package to land veteran big men like JaVale McGee, Ed Davis, Nerlens Noel or Bismack Biyombo.
Don’t be surprised if one of the names mentioned above ends up on the Nets as they continue to build out their championship-contending roster. But don’t take the thought of Love in Brooklyn too seriously, either, as such a trade is nearly impossible to configure.
Basketball, DunkWire, NBA, Nets, Top, Bismack Biyombo, Bruce Brown, DeAndre Jordan, Ed Davis, James Harden, JaVale McGee, Joe Harris, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Landry Shamet, Nerlens Noel, Nic Claxton, Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers