It has been rumored for some time that Kevin Love will sign with the Los Angeles Lakers when he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2015.
If the purple and gold think getting Love as their main piece will make them contenders again, they are seriously mistaken. The three-time All-Star from UCLA has always proven he can put up eye-popping stats. You look at the box score and think he is the best big man in the game, yet it has never translated into wins for his current Minnesota Timberwolves team.
It should be pretty clear to Jim Buss and company that Love needs a lot of support to be a player who can help the Lakers return to the NBA Finals. Love has certain weaknesses in his game that need to be hidden in order to maximize his worth to a team.
First, he has a very difficult time finishing around the basket against length or in a crowd. This is why it’s essential to have a second big-man who requires attention and gives him time and space to finish inside.
Next, defensively he is well below average and quite frankly lacks athleticism to be a rim protector. Thus that second big man would also have to be a rim protector or else it’s a layup line for the opposition.
Last, Love doesn’t have the ability to break down the defense one-on-one. Minnesota has struggled in close games all season because their best player is not a go-to-guy. Again, his below NBA average athleticism hurts him in these moments as the entire defense will be locked in on him.
So, the Lakers would also need a No. 1 option on the perimeter that can put the defense in jeopardy and create open shots for teammates. Kobe Bryant can still be that guy if he comes back strong from injuries, but it’s time to find his successor soon.
If the the Lakers are well aware of these concerns and address them then getting Love could be a huge boon.
Suddenly the tools he has — offensive rebounding, three-point shooting and passing — will be able to put the team over the top along with these other ingredients.