After a disappointing second-round playoff exit at the hands of Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, it was clear that the Brooklyn Nets needed to make some tweaks to their roster during this offseason. The most glaring deficiency that the Nets had this season was at the big man position.
After having to cut ties with rising star big man Jarrett Allen as a part of the James Harden trade, head coach Steve Nash and the Nets staff clearly had an issue filling the role with any consistency. This could not have been any clearer during their matchup with the Bucks as their two featured big men Nic Claxton and DeAndre Jordan barely played in the series even after Kyrie Irving went down with an ankle injury in Game 4.
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Nets Top Kevin Love’s Trade Destination List
Now that the Nets’ offseason has officially begun, so has the hunt to improve their roster. As a team that is loaded with All-Star talent in Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie, plenty of veterans will be looking to join their roster in hopes of competing for a shot at the NBA title.
According to a recent report by Erik Slater of The Nets Report, Brooklyn has already caught the attention of Cleveland Cavaliers veteran big man Kevin Love. Love and Irving spent three seasons together as teammates on the Cavs and were a part of the historic 3-1 comeback against the Golden State Warriors to win the 2016 NBA Finals. Now Love is trying to reunite with his old teammate in hopes of repeating that same success.
“General Manager Sean Marks will have several tough decisions, but it appears his biggest star has already gone to work recruiting new faces to Brooklyn,” Slater wrote. “According to a source close to Kevin Love’s camp, Love and Kevin Durant will be rooming together during Olympic training camp in Las Vegas. He also added that the Nets are at the top of Love’s list in the event he agrees to a buyout with Cleveland.”
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Love Still Feels Like He Has Something to Prove
Love has not averaged more than 20 points per game since the 2013 season. In fact, his points per game average has decreased in three of his last four seasons. In 2020 he averaged just 12.2 points per game, his lowest season average since he entered the league in 2008 with only 11.1 points per game.
Love’s numbers insinuate that he is past his prime, and as a result the Cavaliers, who are looking to rebuild, were actively shopping the five-time All-Star at the trade deadline. However, despite his stats, the All-NBA big man still thinks he has something left in the tank.
“This is the best I’ve felt in a long time,” Love told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. “I’ve been the odd man out since ’14, ’15. I understand (the criticism). I feel like I have a lot to prove.”
Love still has two years and $60 million left on a four-year, $120 million max extension that he signed in 2018. With that amount of money left on the 32-year-old’s contract, trading him may be unlikely at this point and time. If the Nets hope to acquire Love, it will have to come through a buyout similar to how they acquired LaMarcus Aldridge from the Spurs in early 2021.