More Lakers Trade Rumors! We knew that Kevin Love would make his way into the news before the trade deadline and it has finally happened.
Sources: Lakers, Mavs maneuvering for Kevin Love. http://t.co/kBZuCskkDy
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) February 18, 2014
Love, who will be a free agent in 2015, is being pursued by both the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks. While the Minnesota Timberwolves aren’t interested in making a deal involving Love right now, that could soon change. It’s well known that Love and his agent Jeff Schwartz are angling towards getting Love to Los Angeles, or another major market, when he hits free agency. The Timberwolves aren’t going anywhere with Love and he’s probably not going to re-sign with them. Why wait? If teams are offering you a way into the 2014 lottery why not take a look at a deal?
In order for the Lakers to acquire Love they are going to have to ship out Pau Gasol’s expiring contract and an unprotected first round pick in the 2014 draft. The Lakers could also play the waiting game, make a selection in the 2014 lottery, and hope that Love comes their way in 2015. If the Lakers are confident that Love is coming to L.A. in 2015 then why would they sacrifice their 2014 pick?
The smart move for the Lakers would be to keep their 2014 lottery pick and attempt to trade Gasol away in order to acquire another first round pick in the 2014 draft. The Lakers will have the requisite cap space to grab Love in 2015. What would you rather have: Kevin Love and two first round picks from the 2014 draft or just Kevin Love? The answer is obvious.
Of course, there is a risk to the first strategy. What happens if Love is traded to Dallas, or Golden State, or even Phoenix and he likes it? What happens if he gets traded and then signs a contract extension with one of those teams? That’s the risk the Lakers run by NOT acquiring Kevin Love if they have the opportunity to do so.
It seems clear that Kevin Love would love the chance to play for the Lakers. However, that doesn’t fully guarantee that he WILL play for the Lakers. It’s a risky game either way you play it. Hopefully Mitch Kupchak makes the right decision, whatever that is. Just don’t let Jimmy Buss call the shots. The Lakers would probably end up with Emeka Okafor and no first round picks. You think I’m joking.