In the fourth round of my series on fake Kyrie Irving trades I am set to examine whether I would deal him straight up for Minnesota's Kevin Love.
The rules I laid out for you a couple weeks back can be found here.
In my previous articles I debated whether I would trade Irving for Russell Westbrook, Dwight Howard and Kevin Durant. The final piece will eventually be posted next week about Blake Griffin.There's no debate in my book. The 23 year-old Love is the best power forward in the NBA with little argument. He is a walking double double (like Ryan Hollins, Conrad?) who can stretch the floor and is continually improving each month.
While he plays in Minnesota he is likely under your radar. No, he definitely is. The proof of that was in the All-Star game voting where the much less talented but more hyped Griffin stole Love's starting spot.
Love has a PER of 24.9 and is averaging 25.4 points and 13.7 rebounds to go along with actually leading the league in free throws made this season even while missing a couple games through suspension and illness.
The evolution of Love's three point shooting has become a great weapon he has developed in his three plus NBA seasons. Many big men can cover him for much of the game but all big guys have a natural instinct to jump a step into the paint anytime someone else penetrates. When they turn their head for just an instant it gives Love all the space he needs to set his feet and be ready to launch a three before his man can recover to him. Did you see him beat Kevin Durant in the three point contest on All-Star Saturday night?
While is field goal % isn't great for a big man, I don't find it alarming because he shoots so many face up jumpers and threes.
Whether you prefer traditional or more advanced stats, Love rates very highly.
He currently sits just 4th in the league in PER but is 3rd in win shares. Again, he's missed a few games as well.
Love to me is going to average a double double for more consecutive seasons than anyone in the league other than perhaps Dwight Howard. And let's not forget that Howard is a true center while Love is far from that.
The Verdict: In an unpopular choice, I would trade Irving for Love. While you rarely see the Wolves, I actually get to see them pretty much every game on Fox Sports North. I actually can't stand the team and watch because they're on and to see the random teams not shown on ESPN, TNT and ABC. But, there's no denying how much Love brings to the table when I get to see him every game.
While he's rarely going to wow you on SportsCenter like more flashy people will, I urge you to take a look at this guy for a full 48 sometime. No matter how many times I think the guy going up against him has so many more tools than Love, he always gets it done.
Kevin is the best power forward in the NBA. Kyrie will probably be a top five point guard with third or so as his ceiling. Plus, while it is important, if the talents are all equal I rate point guard as the least important position on the floor.
There aren't ten guys in the league I'd trade Irving for, but big Love is definitely one I would.
Would you make this 100% fake trade?
Please limit your discussion to this trade specifically and not jump into random three for one trades you want to make.
This shouldn't really have to be said but of course I do not at all want Kyrie Irving to be traded. I'm simply attempting to gauge for you how valuable of an asset he truly is.