Based on the early returns this season for the Los Angeles Lakers, there are going to be some major growing pains over the next few months. The team is 1-2 and not playing particularly well. They made many changes in the offseason so it’s not a surprise they’re struggling early but the team needs to start figuring out solutions to their issues.
When the Lakers acquired Russell Westbrook in a trade with the Washington Wizards in the offseason, it was revealed that Anthony Davis was planning on moving to center. However, we have yet to see that through three games as DeAndre Jordan starts at center. That’s made the Lakers’ bad spacing even worse. If Davis doesn’t intend to move to center full-time, then the team should add a different center who can provide more spacing.
FOX Sports’ Nick Wright believes that the Lakers need to acquire Kevin Love if he gets bought out by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the future.
“The question is: What do the Lakers do … while [Westbrook] gets acclimated, and I think the obvious choice is to not be playing these DeAndre Jordan lineups,” Wright said on First Things First. “This is in a weird way why a Kevin Love buyout is semi-important for the Lakers because then Anthony Davis doesn’t need to play center and Kevin Love can be out there, but then you’re spacing the court, which is obviously what they need more of for LeBron to be able to thrive the best way he can offensively.”
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Is Love a Good Fit?
If the Lakers are questioning their roster construction and would like a big man who can space the floor, Love would make a lot of sense. He played with Westbrook in college at UCLA and spent four seasons with LeBron James in Cleveland. He knows what it takes to play with those two and has strong relationships with both of them.
Love isn’t an elite 3-point shooter but is solid. He’s hit 36.9% of his career shots from beyond the arc. For a center, those are great numbers and would help the Lakers quite a bit. However, there’s no guarantee he’ll get bought out.
Will Love Get Bought Out?
According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski back in August, Love has no intention of agreeing to a buyout with the Cavaliers. He still has two years left on his contract worth $60 million. Cleveland isn’t going to be winning a championship anytime soon so Love is simply staying put for money purposes.
A trade could always still be on the table but that wouldn’t be to the Lakers. They can’t absorb his contract. Love clearly wants to make the money that he’s owed and isn’t looking to do the Cavaliers any favors. Unless he has a change of heart, he won’t be making his way to the Lakers this season. Los Angeles would only be able to pay him a small fraction of what he’s set to make if he stays put. The only hope the team has is that Love gets tired of playing for a bad team and wants to go ring chasing with some of his former teammates.