It’s June 14th. We still have a week to go before the NBA draft, 11 days until the NBA Awards show, and 16 days until free agency kicks off. So, we will talk about the only thing worth talking about this time of the year: PURE SPECULATION.
With the future of the Cleveland Cavaliers hanging on the shoulders of LeBron James this offseason, the future of Kevin Love is also in doubt. If LeBron bounces from Cleveland, it’s pretty safe to assume that the Cavs will proceed into rebuild mode and attempt to clear house, save money, and stock up on draft picks. If they do this, they are most likely to shop Kevin Love. If Kevin Love is being shopped, there’s one team that fate and destiny might conspire to bring him to. A team that needs another shooter and scorer. A team that needs an All-Star talent to get them to the next level. A team that needs some veteran playoff/finals experience. A team that needs a low-profile star to fit in their low-profile organization and franchise. A team that needs Kevin Love. Who is this team you might ask? It’s the Utah Jazz.
Bleacher Report published an article written by Dan Favale that highlighted some potential trade packages and destinations for Kevin Love. The Jazz were one of the teams included in this article, and they also agree that Kevin Love would provide immense value to the Jazz at a pretty reasonable cost.
Cavaliers Receive: SG Alec Burks, PF Jonas Jerebko, C Ekpe Udoh, No. 21 pick ($2,056,580), 2020 lottery-protected first-round pick
Utah Jazz Receive: PF/C Kevin Love
This same package would look so much better to the Cavaliers around draft day of the previous collective bargaining agreement. Striking the No. 21 pick’s salary from consideration wouldn’t kill the deal when using 2017-18 cap hits, and Cleveland would be able to save a boatload more money by waiving Jerebko and Udoh before July 9, when their 2018-19 salaries become fully guaranteed.
This trade actually seems to make sense for both sides, given that LeBron James leaves Cleveland and the Cavs’ front office aims at rebuilding the squad. Giving up Burks, Jerebko, Udoh and some non-lottery draft picks seems like something the Jazz would do, especially given how much Love might help the Jazz get to the next level.
Utah, meanwhile, is one of the few squads that will see immense value in securing Love’s Bird rights ahead of free agency. Gaining the inside track on his return means everything to a franchise not known for poaching superstars in their heyday.
Two firsts is a lot to give up for Love seeing as he plays Rudy Gobert’s best position, but the Jazz profile as exceptions here. They have ample experience deploying two bigs.
Love is 29 years old and coming off one of the best shooting seasons of his career. He’s a guy that can get you 16-20 points per game, but more if you really need it. He’s a great rebounder, and his defensive flaws might could be covered up playing with the best defender in the NBA in Rudy Gobert. Just thinking of him hitting open-threes after Donovan Mitchell drive and kicks gets me giddy. He‘s a five-time All-Star, but seems to be a little more low-profile than a lot of NBA stars, which might help in his free agency decisions in the future. Love has two years remaining on his $113 Million deal, getting paid $24 M and $25 over the next two years respectively. This would make him the highest-paid player on the Jazz, just over Rudy Gobert. It‘s a lot of salary to take on, but you‘ve gotta pay for big-time players in this league. The Jazz would get two years out of Love regardless of his free agency choices at the end of his contract.This trade just makes sense for the Jazz, if Cleveland would take what was offered.
And here is Kevin Love in a Jazz jersey, just so y’all can start visualizing what the future looks like in Salt Lake City. Print it out, hang it up on your wall, and let’s get some good energy out there.
If you are here for hot takes, boy do we have something for you today. Colin Cowherd, quite possibly the king of hot takes, struck again yesterday on his show. This time targeting our very own Donovan Mitchell.
Cowherd makes a bold claim that Derrick Rose, John Wall, and Russell Westbrook are all the same players. He claims the three share their incredible athletecism and are loved by the national media, but that they can’t win titles. Because of their inabily to shoot, they become more prone to injuries driving to the rim, and can’t stay healthy, all according to Cowherd. And then he brings Donovan Mitchell into this. He claims that Mitchell is the next Russell Westbrook. He makes the hilarious claim that Donovan “can’t shoot” almost in the same breath as saying that Ben Simmons is the better young player (LOL the irony). Cowherd claims to spend a lot of time in Utah and watch a lot of Jazz games, but you can call his bluff and realize just how many games he‘s watched by these clown remarks about Donovan Mitchell.
Mitchell, who‘s known for liking tweets that criticize him, actually responded directly to the the tweet containing Cowherd‘s video.
Heard you...— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) June 14, 2018
Donovan needed some extra fuel for the fire, so it might be a good thing Cowherd came out with this hot take yestrday morning.
Most of know exactly what the Jazz need to add in free-agency/trades this summer, and The Ringer agrees.
Biggest need: More scoring
Donovan Mitchell’s rookie year was a blast. After Gordon Hayward left for Boston, the guard proved he could be Utah’s superstar of the future. Now it’s time for the Jazz to start thinking about how to make sure he has reliable offensive options around him beyond Joe Ingles. The Jazz are a defensive fortress, and that will keep them in the playoffs for years to come, but adding a big-man scoring option would be a boon for a team that could lose Derrick Favors to free agency. Utah has all the makings of a team that could be one or two players away from title contention, which means it will need to make tough decisions on who to keep and who to ship out. Dante Exum, for instance, will hit restricted free agency this offseason. The Jazz need someone to back up Ricky Rubio, who has one more year on his deal and has battled injuries in his career. Exum has shown flashes, but then again, maybe that’s all they will be.
Friendly suggestion: Trade for Kevin Love?
They also agree that the Jazz should trade for Kevin Love. Hmm, weird. Seems like a very good idea.
Woj broke some news that might potentially affect the Utah Jazz regarding an NBA Draft prospect.
Maryland forward Kevin Huerter, a projected first-round pick in the June NBA Draft, underwent surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right hand, sources tell ESPN. He will be sidelined for two months.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 13, 2018
Many mock drafts have the Jazz selecting Huerter in the first round. It’s unclear as to whether or not teams already knew about this, but explains a little bit whey Huerter hasn’t worked out for a lot of teams in his range. This is something to keep in mind on draft night, especially becaues Huerter was supposedly offered a promise in the first round that many think was from the Jazz.
ESPN put together a cool little collaborative art piece that showcased some of the best NBA artists in the game. The subject was a billboard dedicated to bring LeBron James to each NBA city, and some of these are amazing. Check em out, including the Jazz’s by Nick Jarvis.