So, About Those Kevin Love Rumors…

Darius Soriano —  May 18, 2014

If you have followed me, or this site, for any period of time you know that I am not the biggest fan of the rumor mill. It’s not that potential deals aren’t exciting, but more about the fact that once pandora’s box is opened with the thought of the Lakers making a major deal, fans start to ignore some basic truths about how deals are made and let their imaginations run wild about making the best deal for the Lakers while ignoring that the other team actually has to accept this fictional proposition.

I bring all this up to set the stage for the latest rumor making the rounds. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, quoting another NBA executive, the Minnesota Timberwolves will consider trading all-star big man Kevin Love:

The Wolves are under pressure to start considering trade scenarios for Love, who’s anxious to exercise his early termination option (ETO) in the summer of 2015 and leave as a free agent, league sources said.

“For the first time, [Saunders] sounds like looking at deals for [Love] is an option,” one rival executive told Yahoo Sports.

But that’s not all. With Love potentially available via trade, teams will be lining up the acquire the veteran. Including the Lakers:

The Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns are among many teams determined to make hard runs at trades for Love, league sources said. Boston and Los Angeles plan to make high-lottery picks in the 2014 NBA draft available in offers for Love, sources said.

No team is likely to trade for Love without an assurance that he’ll commit to a five-year, $100 million maximum contract extension. Despite a belief that Love prefers Los Angeles or New York as a potential destination, he’s open to deals in other markets where he can be part of an immediate contender, sources said.

It would be no surprise that the Lakers would want Love. Not only is he one of the top 10 to 15 players in the league, but he’s a local kid who attended UCLA and, as reported above, has expressed some interest in being a Laker. Put it all together and you have the ingredients for a deal, right? Well, not so fast…

The report above mentions that the Lakers would be willing to part with their lottery pick in the upcoming draft as a key piece to facilitating the trade. Only problem is, it’s really not that simple. On twitter I posed this question to the great Larry Coon:

Coon’s answer, spanning several tweets, in summary:

They can’t. (The Lakers) won’t have cap space until July 1st, and can’t absorb Love’s salary without similar salary going out. Also, Stepien Rule is in play. Best they could do would be to agree to terms of a deal at the draft, Lakers select a player of the Wolves’ choosing, and they complete a deal in July.

Let’s tackle this piece by piece:

  • As it stands today, and what will also be true on draft day, the Lakers do not have any cap space to simply trade their draft pick for Kevin Love. Instead, what they would need to do is trade a player (or players) who are under contract (and, presumably the lottery pick they are reportedly willing to include) for Kevin Love. This is necessary due to the salary cap rules that govern trades. When the Lakers make their pick at next month’s draft, they will only have 3 players under contract — Kobe, Nash, and Robert Sacre — and none of those players are a match in salary to do a simple trade with the Wolves.
  • Because of the Stepien Rule — named after former Cavs owner Ted Stepien — the Lakers cannot simply trade the “pick” to the Wolves in any trade. Because the Lakers traded last year’s pick, they must actually make a selection in this year’s draft. They would be able to trade the player they drafted, however. This is why Coon mentions that the Lakers would essentially be making a selection for the Wolves (in this scenario).
  • Any deal with the Wolves would need to be consummated in July because that is when the Lakers will either A). have the cap space available to make a trade due to the renouncing of enough of their free agents to get far enough under the cap to absorb Love’s salary without sending similar contracts back or B). be able to use the Bird Rights of one (or more) of their free agents to do a sign and trade with the Wolves where they send enough salary to Minnesota to make a legal trade under the CBA. Of course, it should be noted, that any sign and trade the Lakers do will rely on the player they are trying to trade agreeing to go to a Minnesota team that just traded away their best player.

If all of this sounds difficult, it’s because it is. And this doesn’t even take into account that, as Wojnarowski reports, other teams will be lining up to make offers to the Wolves which is sure to drive the price up. Considering that those other teams mentioned have some very good assets to offer (Phoenix and Boston have multiple first round picks this year and in the years to come while the Warriors have a combination of young talent and enough salary ballast to accept some of the Wolves’ bad contracts) and it is clear that the Lakers will face an uphill battle in trying to put the together the most attractive offer.

Long story short, if you were getting your hopes up that the Lakers would somehow find a way to trade for Kevin Love this summer, you shouldn’t be. The odds are stacked against them. Severely. And you were wondering why the rumor mill doesn’t really excite me.

Darius Soriano

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to So, About Those Kevin Love Rumors…

  1. Thanks Darius. This was kind of my point in my post in mod but you explained it in a much more articulate way.

    Odds are very small and there is little any Love for the Lakers.


  2. Darius, are you at all interested in Chris Bosh rumors? I was reading this chat on BI with Alex Kennedy and your name (perplexingly) came up with a question, asking what the latest story was with Bosh opting out of his contract with the Heat this summer.


  3. I don’t think its fair to call Kevin Love unquestionably a rope 10-15 player in the NBA. If you’re one of the worst big men defenders in the NBA it inherently removes you from the top 30.


  4. Aaron,
    I think your comment speaks more to the fact that some of the best players — Love & Harden specifically — aren’t especially good on one side of the ball. But their impact on O is so great you can’t ignore their overall impact on the entire game.


  5. Love is a terrific player – his rebounding is superb and offense is very good.
    I know its close to impossible to get him, but still I am hoping that we can lure him if indeed he’s available. Miracle trades like this is what our FOs need to make happen.
    Its like landing him is close(if not equal) to our percentage of getting the #1 pick.


  6. If (a big if) Love says he will only sign an extension with the Lakers or Knicks (two teams Love has the most interest in according to several articles), than the odds of the Lakers acquiring him goes up exponentially. Kupchack recently stated that they would be willing to trade their draft pick for the right player. 1+1 = 2!

    As far as Love’s game, I have to agree that he is overrated. Aside from his poor defense, he prioritizes positioning for rebounds over defending the paint (he is a rebound hog), so I look at his outrageous rebounding numbers with a grain of salt. Having said that, he is still a top 30 player, and if the Lakers have a chance of getting him, they should go all in to do so. He would be a marketing dream for the Lakers, and his offensive game would mesh well with Kobe’s.


  7. Somehow I feel the same way about Lakers getting K Love as I did before they got Dwight – it just feels like they’ll find a way to get it done. No logic, just a hunch. Of course this may be my old fan-instinct based on Dr. Buss’ track record.
    And Love’s roots in LA, & his Dad was a Laker.
    I read elsewhere that Lakers may want to trade for another draft pick, but I didn’t think that was possible since even Pau couldn’t even fetch a first-rounder.
    But if we could get another first-rounder somehow maybe Min will accept two first-round picks for Love.
    Or maybe…
    Could we sign and include Jordan Hill along with our draft pick for Love?

    Also re Ko’s question
    A draft pick doesn’t have a salary anyway so I’m wondering how that even works, cuz its common to hear that scenario.
    Do they just use the expected salary of the pick when applying the cap/trade rules?


  8. Renato Afonso May 19, 2014 at 2:29 am

    First of all, I think we can all safely assume that if Love is traded elsewhere he won’t be coming to the Lakers in 2015. I think he’s not the kind of guy Dwight Howard is and will actually make sure he’ll be traded to a good situation where he can actually sign a max contract next season. I mean, shouldn’t we be worried that the Dubs are interested in him? Aren’t the Warriors the ideal team for him? Granted that he went to UCLA but San Francisco must certainly be an improvement over Minneapolis and he would be far closer to his family than he is now. If there’s a favourite to land him via trade, in my honest opinion, it’s the Dubs.

    If they somehow manage to keep Curry, Bogut, Barnes and Iguodala to pair with Love (I assume any trade scenario with Golden State involves the departure of Klay Thompson), don’t you think that Love, as a player, would find that the ideal situation for him? A top notch PG, a defensive anchor who would be the perfect frontcourt pair and two wingmen who are athletic and can play D. So, the question is this: what could we offer him that the Warriors can’t and what could we offer Minny that the Dubs can’t match? My answer so far is nothing.

    I don’t think we’re getting him…


  9. LT Mitchell,

    Agree, if Love is shipped out of Minnesota I’d expect that team to have asked Love to sign an extension before committing draft picks or players to the Wolves. Love’s also stated his desire to play for a big market so aside of NY, LA, or Chicago the only other team that may suit his appeal may be the Phx Nuns.

    Given the Lakers only have a first round pick this year it may be viable to try to draft a little lower (depending where they land lottery wise (1-3 or 6th?)) as Mitch has commented that trading down (not too much) may be an option to acquire another pick. Some players have taken advantage of the combine this year as Zach Lavine looks to be drafted as a top 10 now.

    IMO, some of the players who’ve opted to not participate in the combine have hurt their stock somewhat (tho Wiggins will go one or two IMO). Some top prospects may fall for more athletic players (Lavine) who’ve taken advantage of the circumstances (combine). I’d prefer if FO played the waiting game for Love until the trade deadline if he’s still around given they’d have a roster of viable assets to wheel and deal after.


  10. If Love can be aquired, he does fit very well with Kobe as a floor spacer and a big that does not demand as much post up time.

    Problem is that he would have to go with a rim-protector, and that might mean saying goodbye to Gasol, or playing their minutes staggered.


  11. I didnt have all the facts like always but i noticed right away and post it in the other thread that outside of the pick we dont have anything else to trade. I like K Love but i dobt see him as a franchise top guy i always see him as a 2nd fiddle like Gasol. But honestly a Love and a healthy Kobe tandem and some nice pieces could make this team dangerous but still not a contender. As i mentioned he is going to land somewhere else a playoff team and our only hope is that he pulls a Dwight on that team and we get him right on time for the build up i bellieve the Lakers will make in 2015. I believe they are going to break the bank for Kobe’s final season, somehow i have this gut feeling. If we dont get him there will still be other players available so i wont hold my breath about seeing K Love in a Lakers uniform.


  12. bleedpurplegold May 19, 2014 at 5:35 am

    Just a dream: we sign pau for an extension and trade him 2 for….Carmelo…. and we get love right before that scenario via trade for our player we picked 4 The twolves…suddenly we are a contender again 😀

    OK lets stop joking …i guess we will try 2 give Pau a 1 year extension and save that money for a run At some big names in 15…..and give the mamba a Chance for a last hurray in the Playoffs…i just cant imagine how the FO gives up a Chance for a FA class like that unless they See a Chance for contention….i think even k-love wouldnt be worth it, he simply is not the type oft guy you can build a Team around….


  13. I love Kobe, but if he would take a pay cut we could bring in more impact players like Love, Chandler, and Rondo


  14. The salary cap prohibits signing free agents that put the team over the cap, unless you’re re-signing your own player who is becoming a free agent.
    That’s why the cap is relevant, regardless of team profit.


  15. Re Ko’s question re matching salaries when trading a draft pick, according to this article the Lakers don’t have to match salary when trading their pick because they’re currently under the cap:


  16. Renato Afonso May 19, 2014 at 8:00 am

    But the Lakers can’t trade their draft pick because of the Stepien Rule, as Darius mentioned. The Lakers would have to trade the player selected with such draft pick…


  17. Darius,
    I think it’s very important to have floor spacing bigs for an offense. But defense is half the game and you might as well have a guard playng PF who can shoot better than Kevin Love since Kevin can’t guard PFs anyways. The reason it’s such a luxury to have a PF (Bosh) who can spread the floor is because they can also actually guard PFs on the other end and defend the PNR. But if one can’t effectively guard PFs or Centers are they really a “big?” Or are they just a 6-8 guy who happens to be a spot up shooter? At the same time I would be happy if Love was the Lakers third best player spreading the floor for Lebron and Durant.

    I am not in the club that calls Harded a top 15 player either. If you’re a top 10 offensive player and a bottom 10 defensive player you’re inherently an average player. Having said that I wouldn’t call harden or Love a top 10 offensive player. They lack the athletisism to flourish in crunch time and in the playoffs when defenses tighten up. Although I would prefer Love to Harded on offense as at least Kevin is a floor spacer and Harden to me has problems creating for others against playoff defenses.


  18. JC,
    The thing is, the Lakers aren’t “currently under the cap”. The new business year starts on July 1st and the Lakers will not be under the cap before that date. And, to get under that cap on that date, they will need to renounce rights to their free agents. The draft happens in June. There is no way to consummate a trade on draft night where the Lakers simply send a draft pick to the Wolves for Love. What I have written in the post above is factually correct.

    The scenario that the author in the post you linked to is describing is actually a multi-layered process and would play out like this:

    *Lakers agree, in principle, to trade their lottery pick to the Wolves for Kevin Love on draft night.
    *Lakers then draft a player the Wolves tell them to draft.
    *On July 1st, the Lakers renounce the rights to nearly all their pending free agents (Gasol, Hill, Meeks, etc) to remove the cap holds those players carry and to create the cap space needed to absorb Love’s contract.
    *Lakers and Wolves officially complete their trade.

    Technically speaking, that is the only way the Lakers can make a trade for Love without sending out any salary.

    I like Ryan Feldman (the author of that post) and follow him on twitter. He’s a smart guy. But what is often lost in writing a 500 word post on topics like this is the ability to fully explain how the CBA and its rules affect how deals like this must be made. Feldman left out a lot of key details and important timeline notes that would need to occur for any Lakers trade for Love to happen.

    Again, this is why the rumor mill can be frustrating. Already in the comments there are guys like Chris Y simply ignoring how the CBA works and basically saying “you don’t think the Lakers can just trade for him? You’re wrong.” without bringing any information on the collective bargaining agreement to his argument. The media perpetuates ideas that making deals like this are straight forward when they are clearly not.


  19. RE Love – He can dictate where he is going because no team (that is currently competitive) will give up prime assets w/o some certainty of Love signing an extension. If Love subsequently left, the acquiring team would slip in the standings for the foreseeable future.

    Love will go where he wants to and where the acquiring team will have a good players left after they make the trade. My gut says this will be GS. The Warriors can send David Lee, Harrison Barnes and pick(s) to the Wolves — and still field a championship team with Curry, Thompson, Love, Iguodala and Bogut (yikes!).

    The Lakers, even with a top 3 player (selected for Min.), have no other assets to trade except Gasol (to make salaries work). The Wolves would not be happy with this deal because they can do much better elsewhere. And, with the high likelihood of injuries to Kobe/Nash – Love would have less to work with in LA than in Minnesota.

    The Lakers would have to make all the right moves this off season (right draft pick, right young RFA/FA stud, right coach) and show forward momentum as a franchise to put themselves into contention to sign Love as a FA next off season. However, I think Love gets dealt and signs an extension this off season. He will be off the market next summer.


  20. From JC’s link–

    “They’re the only one of those four teams under the projected salary cap this offseason, meaning they could provide salary-cap relief for the Timberwolves WITHOUT TRADING BACK EQUAL SALARIES. The Lakers also have a lottery pick currently slotted at No. 6, with a 21.5 percent chance to move into the top 3. The Warriors, Bulls and Knicks don’t have any draft picks this year currently slotted in the top 12.

    As of now, the Lakers have only $34.1 million (Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre) in guaranteed salary under contract next season. The salary cap is expected to be $63.2M next season.

    Since the Lakers are so far under the cap, they COULD POTENTIALLY TRADE FOR LOVE BY OFFERING ONLY THEIR DRAFT PICK”


  21. Darius,
    thanks for the clarification – I actually was aware we’d have to wait til July, draft for the Wolves, make a handshake deal. Sadly my post was abbreviated/incomplete too 🙂
    The part I did learn with my recent research was that once we are officially under the cap, we do have the ability to trade a pick for player regardless of salary – that’s an interesting nuance and relevant in this case.


  22. There is no chance Kevin Love will ever be a long-term willing part of the Los Angeles Lakers – gone are the days of NBA’s elite players wanting to play for the Lakers.


  23. A couple of points here:

    1. It is important to remember IMO that a lot of how this ultimately goes down will depend simply on what Love himself wants to do. When the rumors start, people (in general–not pointing the finger at FBG) tend to look at it in terms of “my team” and sort of forget what “unrestricted free agent”means. So, if Love went to Flip Saunders and said, “It doesn’t matter how we do next year. Even if we win 52 games and a playoff series, I am out of here” then, yeah, Minnesota probably has to trade him. Anything short of that, and Minnesota may just keep him, at least until the deadline. But since we can’t really know what Love said to the Minnesota FO, we are operating without key information.
    2. If we do assume that Love wants to leave Minnesota, then he will probably have to decide whether he wants to play in LA or NY or whether he wants to be on an immediate contender, because it is unlikely that he can have both (this of course is one reason why I think giving Kobe a two-year deal was such a mistake–it will probably hamper the team in the summer 2015 FA market). But again, we don’t really know what Love wants to do, and at this point Love himself may not really know.

    That aside, I have always assumed that if the Lakers do get Love, it will be by signing him outright as an UFA in 2015, and that would only happen if the Lakers nail the draft pick, make a shrewd move in FA this year to build up the talent base, AND Kobe proves me wrong by coming back strong.

    So at this point, as Coon/Darius explain, there are so many things in the way the only way I can see Love in a Lakers uniform this year is if Love were to go to Saunders and say, “Either trade me to the Lakers or I am going to wait until FA and sign with them.” And given the state of the Lakers, that seems highly unlikely.


  24. Chris Y,
    The cap governs the league. Without understanding how it works or where the exceptions lie, there is no reason to explore possibilities.

    Yes, the Lakers can go over the cap to sign players — *their own players. They could go over the cap to keep Love in house if need be, when his contract expired, and if he was already on the team. They cannot, however, simply go over the cap to acquire him as you implied by making the statement “why do you think the Lakers don’t have the capspace to sign kevin Love? Also what makes you think the Lakers wouldn’t mind going 15 mil over the cap?”

    So, yeah, I understand the business of things. I understand the concept of jersey sales and of how profitable the Lakers are because of their TV contract and gate receipts. I understand all that. But those things don’t govern the league in terms of how trades or free agency works. Those things only affect the teams bottom line. Said another way, you’re not talking about anything that really needs to be considered in terms *making the deal happen under the terms of the league. Rather, what you are talking about is *why the Lakers would want to make the deal.


  25. Pau and Dirk are not great defenders but they are/were better defenders than K-Love thats a fact. He is a nice complement to a better player on a contending team. I always believe player stats on bad teams have to be taken with a grain of salt. In my book he is a top 30 guy certainly not a top 10. Even if we somehow pull the miracle and get him we still will need a better player to be the man so to speak. And is not about profits its about that under the CBA the Lakers just cant outbid anyone. They could outbid anyone but its not permited anymore. Only hope is that Mitch pull one of his jedi mind tricks. I wont hold my breath for K Love. As far as im concerned nothing has changed. The lottery is coming thats the focus right now.


  26. Since the Lakers are so far under the cap, they COULD POTENTIALLY TRADE FOR LOVE BY OFFERING ONLY THEIR DRAFT PICK”

    And the Minnesota would take that deal? The market for Love will command more than that.


  27. The Lakers essentially need to fill 3-4 Starting slots. I don’t see the reasoning to get Love and have nothing beyond him and Kobe. I’d rather keep the pick who if the Lakers draft well should at least be a viable starter or better. Then go out and get some budget friendly players. I’m more interested in rumors like Boozer at 3.5 million vs Love at 20. The Lakers just have so many holes that the all on 1 player mentality just makes no sense at this point


  28. Bobby, rr and T Rodgers: You have stated the truth. The odds that the Love becomes a Laker is so remote that it is virtually non-existent.


  29. Agree T Rogers-
    I think the only way Lakers are in the running for Love is if they can steal another draft pick from someone somehow as well – (previously mentioned) therefore offering two picks – subject again to the process Darius outlined above – and probably at least one sign and trade player as well…
    Relevant also is Love’s preference/indication to a destined team whether or not he’d be amenable to re-upping for an extension.
    If anyone can pull off this miracle, Mitch can!

    Then again, if I’m Love I’d probably give the Warriors (& even Rockets) a good long look.

    Darius- At least these possibilities make the off-season chats especially juicy and intriguing!!


  30. Love’s not going to Houston.

    Either Kerr land or Tibbs land.


  31. While we don’t know what KLove is thinking – if I were him I’d be looking at GS. They would have the best players left even after acquiring him. Plus they appear to have a solid management team with the owner (Lacob), the GM (Myers) top adviser (West) on the same page. Additionally, I think they made a home run hire with Kerr.

    After being with in a dysfunctional environment for so long, in Minnesota, I think Love is looking for stability. Yet another reason why the Lakers are not an attractive option right now. Our team has a lot of work to do both on and off the court.


  32. Trip: Our team has a lot of work to do both on and off the court.



  33. Commenters here are underestimating the value of first round picks in the new CBA. First rounders, particularly in this year’s draft, is a highler prized commodity now, with the CBA restrictions and penalties, than it ever has been. This is the most hyped draft in years, and if the Lakers are fortunate enough to land a top 3 pick, that pick will be worth an elite and established player in terms of trade value.

    GS can offer young talent, like Barnes or Thompson, but a top 3 lottery pick holds more value….and David Lee? Please. Gasol’s huge expiring contract could not even land a late first rounder in this year’s draft. (in the goold ole days, Kwame’s expirimg contract was a major asset, and helped land us Gasol in his prime). As far as trade value, a top 3 pick is worth more than anything Hou, GS or NY would be willing to offer.

    So far, reliable sources have said that Love will NOT sign an extension with Minny under any circumstances. Minny will be forced to trade. Once Love’s camp officially states which teams he would sign extensions with, it will come down to assets….and even though the lakers have very few, they have the most valuable trade asset amongst their competition.

    If the rumors are true that the Lakers are one of the teams that Love will sign an extension with…the odds of him becoming a Laker is much higher than people here seem to think.


  34. Renato Afonso May 19, 2014 at 11:14 am

    LT mitchell,

    Or, on the other hand, your line of thought is more consistent with wishful thinking than with rational thought… All we have is a draft pick that can be a #1 or a #9 depending on luck and we cannot trade the pick, as we must actually draft a player this season.

    GS (and others) can offer more.


  35. Renato,

    Yes, those teams certainly have more ‘salaried’ assets to offer than the Lakers, but none of those teams will have a lottery player from the most hyped draft in years on a rookie contract. As far as trading the draft pick (as Darius noted), the Lakers can draft the player Minny wants and trade that drafted player after July 1, so it is possible.

    Now as far as wishful thinking, guilty as charged. When it comes to the Lakers, I’ve always been a wishful thinker, and my wishes have come true more often than not.


  36. Wolves aren’t going to be interested in a #6 pick for Kevin Love. Not going to happen.
    Lakers should have tanked this past season, if they wanted a better future.

    Also not mentioned is that Kevin Love indicated after a late season loss to the Nets, that the reason for his predicament was that the East was so much easier than the West.
    He’d rather compete on an EC team for that reason, and Minny would rather that he not come back to hurt the Wolves, by staying in the West. Boston is the ideal location for a Draft night trade.

    Fans should face it, that the new CBA is not friendly to the long established teams like the Lakers and Knicks.


  37. LT mitchell: Like you I have always been a wishful ‘Laker thinker’. However, we have to be honest here. Even if the Lakers grab a top 3 pick and can select a player that the Wolves desire you still have to fulfill Love’s stated request of going to a contender. The Lakers talent in this case would be worse than the Wolves.

    Timing is everything in life. Love has become available at the absolute worst time for the Lakers. We are as close to a mess as I can recall. We’re a few years from righting the ship.


  38. Bobby: “He can dictate where he is going because no team (that is currently competitive) will give up prime ….. w/o some certainty of Love signing an extension. ” Well – when we acquired Dwight, we were still competitive, and we received no certainty of him extending. What are you implying? : )
    Trip: ” Yet another reason why the Lakers are not an attractive option right now.” Are you concluding this because we have no coach, one of the worst records in the league, and half of our cap tied up with near 20 year veterans? Don’t forget we have the banners, the Pacific Ocean, and the coolest unis in the league. That should be enough to offset all of that bad stuff.
    Spurs: As I have been saying. Now they are heavy favorites in the West and Miami is in a dog fight. However they are such a pleasure to watch : ( Root against LBJ if you must, but don’t blame me if the Finals are a sweep and then Sports Illustrated runs a special where you get a subscription and a free DVD titled: The San Antonio Spurs – The Team that Spans Generations Like No Other


  39. Im tired of the “pleasure to watch” Spurs cliche, there is a reason why when they won their championships those Finals were some of the lowest ratings in NBA history nobody outside SA cares. About the decades thing, they been lucky/blessed to be able to squeeze all they have out their big 3 a testament to Pop coaching skills.Once those 3 are gone is going to get ugly very fast because not a free agent wants to play there. I want to know the name of a elite free agent that has thought ” boy i want to go play with the Spurs” NOT ONE. The Spurs ate a small market team that has run an amazing run of good luck, once that luck run out they are going to be no different than the Bucks.


  40. I keep hearing that players will want to come to the LA Lakers because they are… the LA Lakers.

    Well, the ground has shifted a bit and I seriously doubt the Lakers are quite the attractive destination they have been in the past. It’s true, LA still has the filthy air and atrocious traffic. But, let’s ponder some of the advantages the Lakers once had that are now past: Undisputed status as the best NBA team in LA; one of the best owners in professional sports, let alone the NBA; the ability to operate under a CBA that wasn’t devised to drive league-wide parity; the lure of coming to a team that is already competitive.

    That’s a list of four factors that were once significant advantages for the Lakers and are now tilting against them in a very big way.


  41. “Timing is everything in life. Love has become available at the absolute worst time for the Lakers.”


    Dare I say that timing is everything in Love as well as in life?


  42. It pleases me to no end that the road to the land of purple and gold for Kevin Love is littered with seemingly impassable obstacles, as laid out by the “great Larry Coon.” Nice write-up Darius!

    It is also clear that many here understand that Kevin Love is not a super star, and let the max paying buyer beware! I would love it (no pun intended, really!) if the Celtics hamstrung themselves by surrendering a top pick for Love and took on a cap eating max deal for his services. Go Celtics!

    I will confess that Jim Buss scares me enough to give me nightmares that he just might do such a deal as well . . .


  43. This is the scenario I’m hoping for: Love can essentially force his way onto the Lakers by saying he would only sign an extension with them. Then the Lakers can sign and trade Gasol for Love… and keep their 1st round pick.


  44. “The San Antonio Spurs – The Team that Spans Generations Like No Other”

    Robert you are killing me! This is EXACTLY why I can’t root for the Spurs. Their success will be seen as a rebuke of the Lakers. Duncan was drafted one year after Kobe. We will never hear the end of how their organization was sooo much better. How Duncan was the consummate team player that took less money (unlike that evil Bryant guy). We’ll hear about the lack of front office drama. The lack of coaching drama. We’ll hear all kinds of revisionist history about how they are truly the team of the last decade plus.

    If the Spurs win this season I can only imagine the kinds of articles that will pop around the sports web.


  45. “The San Antonio Spurs – The Team that Spans Generations Like No Other”

    Dang it Robert! That is the stuff of nightmares…and exactly why I want the Spurs to lose. As to trading for Love? I hope the Lakers don’t trade any pick in the top 4 for K-Love. If it’s 5 or lower, then sure, I guess. Might as well draft the best player and try to pick up players in free agency over the next few years.


  46. T Rogers/KenOak – Glad u are on board – this is truly a threat to the Lakers. Our present is not good, and yes the Spurs are trying to Quantum Leap into our past and take away part of that as well.
    R: Nice one ! To continue – I guess those in favor of signing Kevin would say – It is better to have “Loved’ and lost – then to never have “Loved” at all


  47. Robert, T. Rogers, etc…the credit you give the Spurs is astounding. No one of any basketball acumen would discount the historic greatness of the Lakers on the count of the Spurs last 10 years. The Spurs don’t have 16 titles, the Spurs have not been the finals nearly 50% of their time in the NBA and the Spurs cannot boast the number of Hall of Fame players (including the Logo!) with elite resumes who translated their skills into winning. Now LBJ in the Threepeat Club? THAT is something to fear and loathe.


  48. It is also clear that many here understand that Kevin Love is not a super star,

    This is just an assertion–and in addition to that, you have to actually define “superstar” first to make the statement have any meaning, even as an assertion. There is a rational argument to be made that Love is not as good as some of the metrics make him out to be. There is not a rational argument to be made that the Lakers, or almost any team, couldn’t really use the guy.


  49. Robert’s thing with the Spurs is that he wants Kobe/Phil to stay one ring ahead of Duncan/Popovich.


  50. Maybe the ting to do is to forget about Kevin Love and go after a solid, mobile, defensive-minded big such as Marcin Gortat (30 years old, 13.2 ppg, 9.5 rpg + decent defense).

    If the Lakers were to convince Gortat to join them and then draft, say, Marcus Smart and join them both with Kobe, the Lakers could have the kernel of a decent defensive rotation (even with Kobe’s limitations). They’d have a good perimeter defender and a good defensive center. (They had neither last year.)

    They would still need others to fill out the starting 5 of course. But they should probably be able to put together a strong bench mob. And with another FA or 2, this could be a very different (and, I think, better) team than last year.


  51. We should be building a team that can compete for the title 3-5 years from now, and not sacrifice that just to put a team together that can maybe get into the playoffs next yr. Short of bringing BOTH Lebron and KLove in, combined w/ Kobe not dominating the ball (obviously won’t happen, but that type of extreme scenario is the only way I can see us being good immediately AND post-Kobe), any steps we make to try to get as good as possible for the sake of Kobe’s remaining 2 years will sabotage our chances at putting together a championship-caliber squad in a more viable 3-5 yr timeframe.


  52. Take your pick… The narratives won’t be kind to the Lakers (and Kobe) if either the Spurs or Heat win the Chip this year.

    @Jane…I agree…
    Seeing the James/Wade boys threepeat is a far worse scenario than seeing the Spurs win it all. An Indy/OKC Finals would be more to my liking.


  53. Personally, I hope the Lakers hold on to their draft pick, especially if it’s top 3 or 4, and take their time building the next dynasty. The Lakers have too many problems for Kevin Love alone to solve.


  54. Kenny T: You hit the nail on the head.


  55. rr: Okay I’ll bite.

    Basketball Superstar: A player whose extraordinary offensive skills can overcome great individual and team defense, and whose defense, if not elite, can at least hold down and at crucial times, stop the opposition in critical moments. Examples: Shaquille O’Neil, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon. Lesser individual defenders who were good team defenders and also had exceptional offensive skills that couldn’t be stopped that qualify as superstars would be Kevin Durant, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird.

    Love ain’t in that company.

    Obviously my comment is an assertion. This board, like any message board, is made up of them. If everything could be reduced to the unequivocally factual, there wouldn’t be much to talk about, would there be? And where did I say we couldn’t use Love? I didn’t. He simply isn’t worth the apparent market value he has because of his deficiencies and the restrictions of the salary cap. That isn’t to say there aren’t teams who will bite because they have the requisite pieces to cover his shortcomings or they overvalue him. I hope we aren’t the latter.


  56. So much made over Kevin Love, as if the Lakers’ future depends on getting him. I liked him better in a D’Antoni lineup. If he wants to go to a sure contender, the money would be less. The Lakers shouldn’t spend too much on him. He could be a good addition to any team, and would make any Laker rival a tougher challenge, but there will be many opportunities in the coming years to acquire talent. Love would only be one piece of a puzzle that can be solved in many other ways. Maybe it’s fun to try to build the team’s future for them, but too much is unpredictable. I’d just expect the unexpected.


  57. Phil,
    I believe the trouble with your scenario is that Pau would have to be willing to go to Minn. to do that sign/trade.
    Yes he is pals w Rubio but beyond that—
    Would you go to Minn?
    Especially since Pau said he wants to go to a contender.
    Not to mention the fact that Pau couldn’t even net us a first round pick when we were trying to move him. So doubtful Minn gives up Love for Gasol.
    Nice try though!


  58. Given what Darius said above, I would rather have the FO focus on getting Pau and Hill back for a reasonable amount AND either (a) grabbing Monroe at a good price now or (b) make a splash for a certain free agent Spanish center next year.


  59. Gortat? Why? I thought the Lakers dont want to add to the 30+ club a one year deal? Sure welcome aboard. Btw, the Spurs big 3 taking less money to “help the team out” is a big mountain of horse manure. They took what their value in the market was, no other team not even the Spurs was going to cough up a max contract for any of them. Makes me sick listening to that yarn over and over, like i need another reason to despise the Spurs.


  60. Enough with the “Love” puns!!!!ughhh Lol


  61. If Indiana beats Miami, i still find it doubtful, i think they might win it all, especially if OKC somehow advances missing Ibaka. Indiana is reminding me of that despicable Celtics 2008 team. That team struggled mightly during the entire Eastern Conference Playoffs. Until they ran into the Lakers missing Bynum, Ariza and Pau basically having to fend off the entire Celtics front court by himself. Still bitter about game 4.


  62. Renato Afonso May 19, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Off topic: David Blatt won the Euroleague with Maccabi Tel Aviv over Rudy Fernandez’s Real Madrid in overtime. I told you that David Blatt is a great coach and, in my opinion, better than Messina.


  63. According to Adrien W. Of Yahoo Sports, Kevin Ollie is going back to UConn:

    Kevin Ollie has reached agreement on a $3 million annual contract extension at UConn, spurning the NBA, sources tell Yahoo Sports.—
    Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 19, 2014
    The Los Angeles Lakers never made a formal inquiry into Kevin Ollie for coaching vacancy, sources tell Yahoo Sports.—
    Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 19, 2014

    The above was taken from Pro Basketball Talk on


  64. Still bitter about game 4.
    I can understand that to the fullest.. I distinctly remember our bench jumping around and goofing off while we were in command of the game, and thinking `Don´t these fellas know what it is we´re playing for here? & WHO we´re playing against? Why doesn´t someone sit their butts down and tell `em to get serious?´
    (I´m not saying that was the reason we lost that game! Only that it was, to me, symbolic of giving such a crucial game away)
    Kenny T is spot on with regard to KLove:
    Personally, I hope the Lakers hold on to their draft pick, especially if it’s top 3 or 4, and take their time building the next dynasty. The Lakers have too many problems for Kevin Love alone to solve.


  65. So is the door closed on Kevin Ollie? Or, did he make the public announcement to keep his recruits in place for the next UConn coach?


  66. Mitch has always been tight lipped about Laker moves. He may or may not have spoke to Ollie. In turn Ollie announcing the new contract may or may not mean he is staying at UConn. The Lakers could certainly afford to pay him more that the reported $3 Mill he is receiving.

    I guess I am saying that we may not know until we know.


  67. Seeing the James/Wade boys threepeat is a far worse scenario than seeing the Spurs win it all.

    I’m in total agreement. As a matter of fact, I was upset last year when the Spurs allowed game six to slip away.

    Being such a huge fan of league MVP KD35, I would love to see the Thunder win it all. But without Ibaka, I don’t believe that it’s possible.


  68. I would rather watch the Black Sox win then Miami.


  69. Westbrook out of control smh…


  70. Is Kevin Durant the most disrespected MVP ever? I can’t believe the calls that are going against this guy. Especially when you think about all the floppy calls that Manu and TP get. I can’t help but think that the Thunder would have taken the Spurs with Ibaka.


  71. We need the pick this year….and then Love as a F/A the year after….We need players!!!


  72. Gene: We need to keep this year’s pick and next year’s pick as well. Then in the Summer of 2016 we can sign KD as our FA. KD will age better than KL.


  73. @KenOak…
    Ibaka ia a huge loss. And this officiating crew takes its cue from crew chief Danny Crawford. I’ve watched him for years and he simply does not call fouls. What he’s doing to Durant tonight, I’ve seen him do to Kobe many times.


  74. We need players period! Keep the pick and build from there.
    While I covet KLove because he is a player. The Lakers do not have the assets to make a trade.

    Phoenix is in the drivers seat with 3 first rounds picks, Golden State has some chips but I dont see him working well there as their backcourt takes enormous amount of shots. Maybe Chicago but their system stinks. Phil could lure him to New York. Miami could swap him for Bosh which would be good for both players. Bosh is better than he shows in Miami and his game is suppressed for the good of the team.

    If Kevin wants to win multiple rings he will come here…if not then Good Luck big guy.

    P.S. – For those talking about his defense. Dirk N. doesn’t play defense either. But when the Mavs coupled him with a defensive specialist (Chandler) … bingo! I would think the same formula would work for Love.

    P.S.S. – Zach LaVine rising! I said in a previous post he is the player to get in this draft. Never used correctly in college kind of like Westbrook. He will have to sit a bit but I remember we took another kid with crazy skills but was young and he had to sit a bit…but he turned out ok.


  75. rr: my reply to you stuck in mod since this afternoon.


  76. Report: Mark Cuban Hired Former FBI Agent to Investigate NBA After 2006 Finals

    Interesting story in USA Sports about Cuban and our old friend Joey Crawford.


  77. Sefolosha, Perkins and Collison started for OKC and combined for 5 points! Five points!! Hard to win like that.


  78. I can’t believe how horrible Sefolosha is playing this year considering he’s in a contract year. Maybe he’s driving his value down to stay in Oklahoma. Perkins career as a starter is over. OKC should take a chance with Jeremy Lamb and Thabeet they may still lose but the Spurs don’t even have to scout/plan for Perkins and Sefolosha.


  79. Get ready for this conversation. Non-stop. Every sports channel you watch.

    What ticks me off is, that in the time this Spurs “dynasty” has existed, they have won 4 championships while having the same core of 3 players. The Lakers have won 5 championships with a differing core over the two runs. Why hasn’t anyone said how beautiful the triangle was during those years? It’s just as unselfish. Oh, yeah. Because it doesn’t fit the narrative that many are trying to sell.

    How much harder was it to do what Kobe and Shaq/Kobe and Pau did? A different core of players playing at a championship level. 5 championships and 7 total Finals appearances.

    Get used to this if they win it all.


  80. Ken Oak,

    No one is saying the Laker teams that won it all weren’t great too.
    But I, for one, DO love the way the Spurs play.
    Duncan is a pillar of consistency and unselfishness.
    Parker is brilliant.
    Ginobili’s passing and finishing are breathtaking. Over and over.
    Their team play is a great model for success.
    As is the system they have built which continues to discover and develop talent like Leonard.

    If you don’t like the Spurs, maybe you don’t like teamwork.
    But hey, what does Magic Johnson know?


  81. Perhaps I misinterpreted your post.
    If so, I apologize.
    Thank you for the link to the Spurs highlights.
    It’s awesome.


  82. JC
    You interpreted my post perfectly. However, it’s not that I don’t “like” the Spurs. I like Duncan, and Parker, and Manu. (I don’t like the sheer number of times that Manu and Parker get flop calls…but whatever.) It’s just that I don’t hold them up on a pedestal as everyone else in the media does. For their beautiful “team game” they have won 4 titles with the same coach for the ENTIRE run. They have also had the same 3 top players for the ENTIRE run.

    “If you don’t like the Spurs, maybe you don’t like teamwork. But hey, what does Magic Johnson know?”

    Magic Johnson knows a great deal, but he has and does say some incredibly stupid crap sometimes. Not that this necessarily is one of those times, but I don’t put a great deal of stock into what Magic says. He speaks from the heart and that isn’t always the most knowledgable organ. The biggest reason that Magic had the success that he did, aside from being arguably the best PG ever, is that he was an HOF player surrounded by other HOF players. Kobe has not had the same luck that Magic did. He has played with 2 HOF players for extended periods of time. Shaq and Gasol. No, Karl Malone and GP do not count.

    Having said all of that- you don’t win championships playing selfish basketball. The Lakers won 1 more ‘chip than the Spurs did during the same time. So, does that mean their brand of basketball was superior to the Spurs brand!?


  83. KenOak,

    That’s exactly what I’m talking about. And with the Lakers in their current state everyone will have selective memories. The Spurs will be crowned the “dynasty” of the 2000’s. I can just see the Disney-like coverage of them now.


  84. darius: tonight begins the revealing of laker’s front office version of texas hold ’em; while holding their cards close to the vest; james worthy with his lucky chick hearn bobble head doll and his famous worthy hand clap will be on hand in new york representing the los angeles lakers in the unveiling of their draft position in this year’s nba draft lottery. attaining one of the top three choices will go a long way in determining their selection of next coach and acquisition of free agents to augment kobe’s game and for lack of a better term, “filler” players to round out the roster for the upcoming year.

    to this point, it is clear that laker front office maintain a close to the vest, wait and see approach to all things that affect the team going forward. who can blame them, considering the immediate past disappointments?

    the important thing to remember, laker front office refer to this blog daily and often because some of the most insightful, thoughtful and sometimes hilarious assertions made with utmost provocative foresight are backed up with the same insightful, thoughtful and sometimes hilarious hindsight.

    tonite is that first step going forward for what seems to be an eternity.

    Go lakers


  85. I find myself wondering how lucky Jimmy’s hat will be tonight. Go Laker ping pong balls!


  86. Who gives a crap about the Spurs?
    I don’t like the Spurs period could care less about them.
    I respect what they have done and recognize their great run.
    But when these guys are gone they will be done.

    It’s all about us right now and the moves we need to make for the future.
    We need to draft some young ballers who can become franchise type players.
    Figure out what to do with KB24 because he has 2 years left max and if we cannot realistically compete for a title which I doubt then trade him to New York to let him run with Phil & Melo.
    We take picks and some other contracts … bingo! The Lakers are bigger than any one player and everyone needs to understand that! Time to reconfig this team for the future and build another Lakers dynasty.


    1) Trade Kobe to New York. He will not want to go anywhere else I’m thinking. Get back some players in return and New York’s 11th pick in the 2015 draft. This work for obvious reasons Kobe knows Phil and Fisher if decides to coach. He knows the system and a team with Melo, Kobe, Chandler and Amare or JR would be pretty formidable This is probably the most realistic possibility.

    2) If we get a high enough pick like number 1 or 2 then try to trade it away for 2 of Phoenix’s first round picks. The Suns have a pretty good roster and getting a top 5 guy and another first round pick could put them in serious contention. Could you see Wiggins running up and down the court with their guards now….Yikes! And the Lakers would get the 14th and 27th picks and could lets say get a PG they need so desperately in LaVine or Napier and another first round player to boot. I like this scenario the best but I doubt if Phoenix would go for it but they should if they are smart and the Lakers get a high enough pick.

    3) Take the pick and draft the top 5 player, hope you can land a big time free agent or two to come play with Kobe. Hmmm….don’t know? I have said this before and I think we saw it with DH12. I really don’t think any young superstar wants to play with Kobe not the I’m still the best in the world jacking up 30 shots a game Kobe anyway. H would have to play Robin and Kobe wants to be Batman. Only a strong veteran coach GM type could reign him in and Phil is in New York, Doc coaches the Clippers and Pop is in SA. Point being not many can make him tailor his game but if you can then watch out!

    There you have it! Good Luck LakerLand may they ping pong balls bounce our way!


  87. Parrothead Phil May 20, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Did anyone see the picture that NBA TV posted on Facebook – 110 career playoff victories for Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili which ties Magic, Kareem, Cooper record for playoff victories by a trio. Maybe KenOak and the rest are right about the revisionist “Quantum Leap” history that we’ll be subjected to if the Spurs win the title this year, but I still cannot bring myself to prefer the Heat over the Spurs if a rematch occurs. Wade is too much of a punk for me to ever wish him success. Really, who cheap shots someone in All-Star game and breaks their nose? My preferences for the four teams left in the playoffs to win the title this year in order are: 1 OKC (DFish) 2. Indiana 3. San Antonio 4. Armageddon ….. 397. Heat


  88. Hi Darius: Still wondering why my post did not appear? I did not violate any terms of engagement.
    Please advise (email fine if you prefer).


  89. Bryan,
    Somehow it went into the spam section and not in the “waiting to be moderated” section of the comments. So, I never saw it until right now. It has been approved.


  90. Hi Darius,

    Thank you!



  91. Trade will happen because Mitch is a ninja.


  92. Obviously my comment is an assertion. This board, like any message board, is made up of them. If everything could be reduced to the unequivocally factual, there wouldn’t be much to talk about, would there be?

    Not quite. The argument for Love as a Top 10 player has a lot of statistical support, so there is a difference between an opinion supported by facts and straight-up assertion like, “This guy isn’t a superstar.”

    And where did I say we couldn’t use Love? I didn’t.

    Well, you seem pretty adamant that he is not worth a max deal, and that is what it is going to take to get him; and while you were being facetious to an extent, you said that you are “pleased to no end” that the Lakers probably can’t get him. And you seem pretty happy about the idea that he might play for Boston because they will have, in your words, “hamstrung themselves”, if they somehow get him and give him a max deal. Doesn’t sound like a guy that the Lakers could use to me.


  93. We would need all 3 of pheonixs picks to make that make sense and one of them would need to be in the top 15.

    It would make sense for pheonix because they camt keep All 3 guys on their roster if they wamt to contend next season.

    Another trade partner could be philly – we draft down and get their lower top 10 pick + 2-3 2nd round picks for this year

    Some guys projected in the 2md round like james mcadoo, thanis – gianiss from the bucks brother, pj hairston, deandre kane, and an unlisted patric young from florida could all be real nba players

    I actually would prefer this to just one really good guy – my preferred 1st rounder if we traded down would be cleanthony early and 2nd rounder would be kane both guys beasted in the tourament


  94. I’m hopeful but not wholly optimistic about a deal happening. Likelier that they make a move for him at the trade deadline (when Minnesota’s bargaining power is weakest) or just sign him in free agency next year.

    I’m less into that idea because of salary cap reasons–one, it handcuffs the team into one-year deals again to make a huge splash in the 2015 offseason; two, really unfavorable trades to ditch longer-term contracts; or third (and worst of all), not signing any even half-decent free agents this year, leading to another lost season.

    I think they know the fans probably wouldn’t stand for that, but I hope they don’t do something stupid (like acquiring a guy whose name rhymes with “Marmelo Manthony”) to try and pretend they can sneak into the 7-8 spot in the super-competitive West.

    Mitch also likes to make deals in late December, I wouldn’t be shocked if Love was a late Christmas present on the 27th.


  95. rr: Dude, my long awaited reply to you popped up at 3:16pm–in case you missed it. (And I know you can’t wait to shoot it full of holes 🙂 )


  96. Bryan S,

    I am “anonymous” up there. My tone was a little too snippy. Sorry.

    I actually agree with you that Love is not on the level of the guys you mentioned. The point of disagreement is that I think you are overstating Love’s weaknesses.