With the February 19th NBA trade deadline starting to loom large, this is the time of year when swap talks really heat up, and though Carmelo Anthony is the biggest name in trade rumors, other studs such as Kevin Love have become topics of speculation.
The Minnesota Timberwolves' power forward has taken the league by storm, posting 21.2 points, 15.7 rebounds, top five PER, 33 double-doubles, and five ridiculous 20-20 outings, not to mention the NBA's first 30 point, 30 rebound game in 28 years!
Unfortunately, he's doing all this for the 9-29 T-Wolves.
Love is redefining the term bottom feeder, gobbling up boards for a hopeless cellar dweller.
In the song "Guns & Roses," Jay-Z raps, "Even a garbage can gets a steak." Love proves that a garbage man can eat steak every night, but he might as well be living in the street.
Due to his consistent exploits, Love has managed to escape the obscurity of the Twin Cities and now boasts fans around the country, especially in NBA front offices everywhere. Who wouldn't like a hard-working, self-effacing, always-hustling, team-oriented rebound machine?
Ergo, Love's name has surfaced as a player who could possibly turn a playoff team into a legitimate contender, a guy who could be the final piece to the puzzle.
Minnesota would be crazy to trade him. Although they have been in rebuilding mode ever since Kevin Garnett left in 2007, they haven't been able to construct a basic foundation. Kevin Love is an essential building block, even a cornerstone, for a potentially glorious future.
The Timberwolves should try to retain him at any cost and do all they can to prompt him to sign an extension.
However, Minnesota's General Manager David Kahn has repeatedly demonstrated questionable judgment. He selected three point guards in the first 18 picks of the 2009 draft and gave the inimitable Darko Milicic a $20 million deal.
Who knows what he might do next? Let's also remind ourselves that Love might want out of the Frigid North.
If the Love don't fit, teams will be fighting to grab him as tenaciously as he battles for each missed shot. Here are his best options...
(Disclaimer: These trades are primarily beneficial for Love and his potential destinations. The other teams would almost surely need to throw in a draft pick or two. Again, Minnesota would be crazy to make some of these moves.)