Reporting with @chrisbhaynes: League sources say Cleveland continues to pursue a Paul George trade, with Denver as the potential third team— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 25, 2017
League sources: Cavs, Pacers and Nuggets have discussed a three-way deal that would land Paul George in Cleveland and Kevin Love in Denver— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 25, 2017
It’s been well publicized that the Nuggets were looking to make a deal on draft night that fell through, and it’s unsurprising that the team is now looking to make a splashy trade as free agency approaches.
Kevin Love is an interesting target for the Nuggets. He averaged 19.0 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists during the 2016-17 season. With a true shooting percentage of 57.3%, Love still remains a reasonably efficient player at his age as well. His defense will never be more than average for his position, but he has made many great defensive plays over his career, including stopping Stephen Curry during the final 30 seconds of Game 7 of the 2015-16 NBA Finals.
Love is a high quality power forward, and while he will turn 29 in September, he is still one of the most prolific offensive forwards in the game. His role changed drastically next to LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, who utilize many of the possessions he would receive in a larger role. There are some, like myself, who believe Love’s offensive effectiveness has been cannibalized by the spread-the-floor, isolation style of play in Cleveland. During his final season in Minnesota as the focal point of an offense, Love averaged over 26 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists per game on 59.1% true shooting.
In Denver, Love would be considered a top two option on offense next to Nikola Jokic. Jokic would likely be the primary facilitator, while Love would be the receiver of many Jokic passes. Both players are extremely effective all around the floor offensively though, and their ability to fill many roles would allow for a free flowing offense based on matchups.
The main question though is what Denver would have to relinquish in a trade for Love. Since George would be going to Cleveland, and Love to Denver, the Nuggets would have to send assets to Indiana. The Pacers currently have Myles Turner, T.J. Leaf, and Ike Anigbogu on their roster, so Denver would have to send the Pacers a guard/wing prospect or two for George.
Chris Haynes of ESPN added to the trade commentary:
One version of potential 3-team trade involving Cleveland, Indiana, Denver, Kenneth Faried would be Cavalier-bound, league sources tell ESPN— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 25, 2017
Here is an idea of what the trade might look like:
The Nuggets wouldn’t have to send out any picks in this scenario, but they do lose Emmanuel Mudiay and Malik Beasley.
Overall, it’s curious that the Nuggets appear to be willing to take on a power forward, even one as good as Kevin Love, given the trade for Trey Lyles and the drafting of Tyler Lydon. It wouldn’t surprise me if, in addition to Kenneth Faried being a main piece of the trade, another power forward is moved in the deal. It could be Darrell Arthur, or even one of Lyles or Lydon.
Still, it’s good to hear Denver is trying to upgrade their roster. Love could put up all-star caliber numbers in Denver next to Jokic, and if the Nuggets had two star caliber big men on their roster, it would ease the burden on the rest of the team.
Should the Nuggets trade for Kevin Love?
This poll is closed
Yes. He’s an all-star.
Only if the price is right.
No. He’s not the right guy.
Other (Comment below).