Getting Kevin Love? Would it be good move

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» Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:38 pm
The FO almost traded for Love last offseason, using Klay and Lee as the supposed trade package to get him from Minnesota. The following article that I found on yahoo nba shows that Love feels that he is not properly used be Cleveland:

Kevin Love says he's not a stretch four, continues to play like one

Kevin Love has often appeared to struggle to fit in (and fit out) during his first season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, playing like a marginalized version of the player who racked up such gaudy numbers in his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Love has often looked content to hang out on the perimeter on offense, launching three-pointers at a career-high rate and serving a secondary (or maybe tertiary) role behind LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. It's been unclear if Love is playing that way for ease or due to the preferences of head coach David Blatt and/or his teammates. Regardless, Love looks like a different player.

However, Love does not view himself as substantially changed even if that's how he's being used. After taking all but one of his 11 attempts from beyond the arc in Friday's road loss to the Atlanta Hawks, Love made it clear that he does not see himself primarily as an outside shooter. From Chris Haynes for the Northeast Ohio Media Group (via PBT):

Love is launching 8.1 threes per contest in his last seven games. His highest rate of threes taken in Minnesota was 6.6 last year, and that was along with the inside touches he received. No matter what the statistics suggest, Love is not in agreement on the big-man long distance tag.

"I heard some people calling me that but I know I'm not a stretch-four," Love told NEOMG. "I'm a post player who can shoot. Right now I'm just doing what I'm called to do. For good, bad or indifferent, I'm playing my role and doing what's asked of me. Tonight, I stayed out on the perimeter." [...]

If the Cavaliers want to shred the Hawks' defense the next go-around, Love will need to be more involved in the interior on a consistent basis. Plays designed for him to get post touches have been dramatically reduced over time. The games he's played well are due to efficient outside shooting nights.

Love's comments essentially confirm that he is taking outside shots because of his prescribed role in the Cleveland offense, not his personal preferences. That makes intuitive sense to anyone who has watched Love in his career, because he can be a bull on the block and earned his reputation as a top power forward with those skills. To put it another way, Love is a post player who can shoot in terms of abilities but currently a stretch four in terms of application.

The more interesting question is not how to classify Love, but whether not using him to his full capabilities will harm the Cavaliers once they get to the playoffs. To be clear, Love can contribute even if he's only scoring by shooting. That was the case in Saturday's not-really-that-close 89-79 victory over the Phoenix Suns, in which he put up 13 points (3-of-6 FG, 3-of-5 3FG), 10 rebounds (all defensive), and four assists.

This version of Love is a very good player who pretty clearly helps his team. Yet he's also not a star, and not the guy the Cavaliers likely thought they were getting when they gave up Andrew Wiggins and others for him in last summer's blockbuster trade. The Love we've seen with Cleveland is very good but also less than his typical value, more like Channing Frye than a two-time All-NBA Second Team selection.

Yet it's arguable that the Cavaliers need Love to occupy this lesser role in order for the team to work. Chris Bosh warned Love this October that playing with LeBron as a star can be frustrating even when the team is thriving because it requires a complete reconsideration of how such a great player must be used. Bosh even specifically referred to getting fewer touches in the post. While an ideal Cavaliers offense would involve Love taking advantage of everything he can be, it's possible that implementing such a system would require too much work and cause LeBron and Kyrie to be less successful. Perhaps this is what Love must be given the situation.

The looming issue here is that Love can opt out of his contract this offseason. His decision could depend on comfort rather than how far the Cavs advance in the postseason Bosh found a way to enjoy himself next to LeBron, but he also may have chosen not to join the Houston Rockets as a free agent last July because he wanted to return to playing as a primary scoring option. Similarly, Love could sign elsewhere in several months because he cares about being used in the way he prefers rather than in the way that leads to the most wins. Bosh is not necessarily a useful precedent — the decision may come down to the specifics of Love's personality.

I think that Love is definitely under used in Cleveland, not using his full array of skills. The key point is that Love can opt out of his existing contract after this season or continue with it for another season. He may well want out of Cleveland if he can go to another contender. He seemed very interested in the Warriors last offseason and since the team is the best in the nba right now, he likely still is. The team is well over the salary cap though and so can't sign as a free agent but could trade for him. If Love told Cleveland that he was going to leave after this season and that they'd lose him for nothing if he isn't traded to Golden State, Cleveland might be inclined to trade with us to get something for Love. A straight up trade of Lee for Love works salary wise and though Lee is not starting here anymore, he is still better than half of the starting PFs in the nba right now. Maybe the team can throw in Rush, if Cleveland wants him, but I wouldn't give them anyone else because of a very important factor.

If the team were to get Love, a great player when not just used as an outside shooter, he'd expect to resign for at least around what he's on now, about 15 million a year. The team likely can't afford that, as Green is up for resigning after this season and could get the max, which is about 16 million a year, which is about what Klay gets, and some other team might actually offer him that anyway and our FO would have to match. With that in mind, the team would be over the current luxury tax level by a few million and that means paying 150% I think it is for every million dollars over the lux tax line. That would mean the team would be over the luxury tax line for at least two years, as Iguodala's contract ends in two seasons after this one. That's means the repeater tax kicks in which means even more money the FO would have to pay. Curry also would be up for a major increase in salary on his next contract, in a few years as well, taking it even higher. The salary cap is set to go up to about 80 million after next season, so maybe the salary hit wouldn't be so hard as in regards as to being over the luxury tax line, which likely will be over 90 million for the 2016-17 season and onwards. Either way Love's salary will be something significant if he was to be obtained, but for about 15 million, he is worth it for sure.

The other big factor is that Green, currently the team's PF, would have to move to SF and he might not be anywhere near s effective there. He creates matchup problems for the opposition playing at PF but at SF, where other SFs are as fast as he is and better outside shooters than PFs, Green might not really be even in the top 10 SFs, as he is now for PFs.

Harrison Barnes would also then be a backup and he'd likely get offers to be a starter and on more salary from other teams as well after his contract ends after next season. Really comes down to; Is Green as effective or close enough at SF than at PF and is Love better for us than Barnes, as in fitting in, starting and is the salary difference between what he would get and Barnes would get with us a big enough of a difference as well.

Love doesn't seem to be happy with his role in Cleveland and if they aren't successful enough in the upcoming playoffs, he might well want to opt out and leave there. We could get him if he wants to come here and maybe only by giving up Lee, who is likely not going to be kept after next season anyway.
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» Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:27 am
I would say no simply due to the fact that Love has never really proved to be a winner. Never made the playoffs in Minnesota and didn't really help Cleveland improve much. I think it's best we don't go down that road of exploring again. But Durant might be a viable possibility. If I was Kevin Durant, I'd come start a new career path with the Warriors.

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» Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:04 am
If the Warriors could package David Lee into a deal, then I would say, "yes, let's get Kevin Love." The Warriors play much better when David Lee is not on the floor, and Kerr is now admitting it: ... more-26832
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» Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:14 pm
After last night's game, I'm really not sure if the Warriors can give Lee away without packaging something tender along with him. Lee had a huge opportunity, with Bogut, Iguodala, Curry, and Thompson resting, to show the world that he could still rock when the moment was upon him. Sad to say, he's always been a rhythm player and sporadic playing time seems to have cost him his consistency that was such a strength only two years ago.

Lee looked like a man who knew his career was in turmoil. He was missing shots at point blank range, rolling out tip-ins and lay-ups, committing stupid fouls, overplaying on defense, moving on practically EVERY screen he set, looking downright lethargic and disinterested when the plays weren't going to him (I specifically remember an iso to Harrison Barnes in the 3rd quarter on the far side where Lee pretty much stood on the opposite block with his hands on his hips, drawing absolutely zero defense to his side, refusing to even pretend that he might cut or pop to an open spot)...

It seemed like Lee truly believed that he would get his starting spot back after his injuries healed... and then, when it was clear that he was going to be integrated onto the bench, he still kept his head high, as if he thought he and Draymond would platoon the position and the better man would get the minutes... and now, it's as though he believes that no matter how poor or how well he plays, he's not going to improve his situation. I mean, for Chrissakes, he's fallen behind Ezeli and McAdoo on the depth chart! That's emasculating to a former all-star whose still, by all accounts, in the heart of his prime. Even a journeyman like Mo Speights; a specialist, a pick-and-pop 4 with little defensive game and temperamental rebounding savvy, is automatically penciled in ahead of Lee.

You get the feeling that Lee had just had it with Kerr. He's an 18-and-10 player when he starts and even if Draymond Green is going to be the starting PF for the foreseeable future, you would at least figure that Lee would be the 6th man, spelling either Green or Bogut at the 4/5 position, but he's not... that spot belongs to Mo Speights. So you figure MAYBE Lee would be the change-up then; the guy the coach throws into the game to alter the opposition's game plan and make them adapt to him, but he's not... that guy is Festus Ezeli, who Kerr is trying to develop into a backup rim protector. And Lee just doesn't have the damn interest to compete with McAdoo for whatever garbage scraps Kerr will have left to feed the front court every 6-8 games...

I feel for the guy, I really do... but last night was his chance to prove that Steve Kerr has been making a mistake by burying him on the bench and Lee did absolutely NOTHING to prove that point.

It's bad for the Warriors, if they hope to get some production out of Lee in the playoff run...

It's worse for them if they hope to yield something worthwhile in a trade. Right now, it looks like all Lee is gonna get you in return is a worse contract (ala Stephen Jackson for RJ).
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» Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:19 pm
Not to keep driving the point home, but my God was last night a disappointment:

Lee was a TEAM WORST -16 on the plus-minus. He shot 25% on 12 attempts, committed a foul every 10 minutes he played... and even when he shoots like hell, you can usually pencil Lee in for 8-9 rebounds when he gets 30 minutes of action. Not last night; Lee only gathered 4. In 31 minutes. Against a Nuggets team that was playing two 3's and a 4 in their starting front court last night. Jesus tap-dancing Christ, that's embarrassing...
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» Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:19 am
The truth is that Lee was always a net negative for the team, as much as his stats were nice since coming here before this season. The last game against Denver was really just a zooming of how ineffectual he is to a winning team. He truly was awful and unfortunately the team will likely not be able to get anything proper for him. Maybe some playoff fringe team that will have some money to spend this offseason see him as a player that can get them over the line to make it and possibly give a future 2nd rounder for him but that in itself is now wishful thinking.

Lee has regressed in his offensive skills even, now lacking a midrange shot he used so well two years ago. At best, he can give something in any time he gets in the playoffs, if indeed he doesn't get fed up and take a leave of absence for the playoffs. Lee really needs to leave and go to a team where he can get minutes but he has not been that effective on a winning team and really is better suited to playing for a nonplayoff team where he can score and rebound a bit.
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» Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:32 am
I dunno, migs... In 2012, Lee was an all-star and the Warriors were seeded higher in the first half when Lee and Curry both got 17 attempts a night. In the second half, when Curry went to over 20 attempts and Lee dropped to 13 a game, the Warriors' seeding dropped from top 4 to 6th overall.

As far as him always being a negative... I will forever cling to the notion that a healthy David Lee would have blown up Popp's game plan in the 2013 playoffs because he would have given the Dubs an escape valve to go-to when Steph and Klay got blitzed at half court. In the right environment, David Lee absolutely commits to a winning effort. But unfortunately, as an 11th man off the bench, he never seems to get into a rhythm and definitely hurts the team more than he helps... at least, he has thus far this season.
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» Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:09 pm
32 wrote:I dunno, migs... In 2012, Lee was an all-star and the Warriors were seeded higher in the first half when Lee and Curry both got 17 attempts a night. In the second half, when Curry went to over 20 attempts and Lee dropped to 13 a game, the Warriors' seeding dropped from top 4 to 6th overall.

As far as him always being a negative... I will forever cling to the notion that a healthy David Lee would have blown up Popp's game plan in the 2013 playoffs because he would have given the Dubs an escape valve to go-to when Steph and Klay got blitzed at half court. In the right environment, David Lee absolutely commits to a winning effort. But unfortunately, as an 11th man off the bench, he never seems to get into a rhythm and definitely hurts the team more than he helps... at least, he has thus far this season.

Great posts, 32. I am glad I rediscovered this site. I tried to vent about Lee's performance on the other site with no company.

You said everything I was thinking after watching the Denver game. The sad part is that the atrocious stat line doesn't even do justice to the awful performance on display. I don't know which was worse, his total lack of effort on defense, not putting his hands up to contest shots, not battling for rebounds OR the complete stinker on offense.

Greg Papa on the post-game show said "David Lee had a mixed bag game but he played hard". Talk about a fast way to lose your credibility.

Lee has always gotten flack here but the truth is he was always a very solid player and at times a fringe all star. I was looking forward to him coming off the bench this year because I felt that he could absolutely FEAST on second units. Kind of like those days as a Knick that he would come into Oracle and put up 30 and 20 against some of our D-Leaguers. And he HAS shown glimpses of it. That game against the Bulls that we lost in OT, the recent San Antonio game, etc. But by and large, he hasn't had many opportunities or played well when he does.

While his hamstring injury was a blessing in the sense that it solidified Draymond as our starting 4, and gave Mo an opportunity to shine - it might have messed up our bench a bit. Lee and Mo can't really play together because that's no D and Mo shoots every time he touches the ball. Ideally I think an engaged Lee and Ezeli would be our best backup 4-5 but how do you sit Mo after what he's done compared to Lee? The second unit struggles to score and Lee is a guy that can put up points and be a hub. But Kerr has not gone that route and you can't really argue with the results yet.

My question is, are we going to have our most effective rotation playing in the playoffs? Or is Lee going to rot on the vine we take our chances?

Sorry this turned into a David Lee thread migya, but this is the issue right now
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» Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:49 pm
You are right that the team did well in the first half of the seasons two years ago 32, but they did play more home games than in the second half of that season and played more playoff teams later on as well. The team was better last season with Curry and Klay taking more of the responsibility offensively. What was significant two seasons ago was in the playoffs where the team beat Denver with Lee out, as Barnes spread the Denver defense out being able to hit the outside shot, as well as being a better defender. The team played much better without Lee in that series and almost beat San Antonio as well.

Last season, the 1st round against the Clippers showed how bad Lee is. He did less than he did in the regular season, got totally outplayed by Griffin and in Game 6 and 7, when Kerr put Green defending Griffin, the team was much better. Lee gave the Clips the last game at the end with awful defense, allowing DJordan to get late lobs for dunks.

This season showed how much better the team is without Lee, as Green started at PF and Speights got plenty of time to play as well. Speights is a cheaper version of Lee, not as good a passer but much better shooter.

David Lee has been among the best PFs of the last twenty awful years of this franchise but that doesn't mean he is a very good player. Those that have seen him since arriving here can see that he can get stats, especially against weak teams but is overall a net negative.
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» Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:55 am
Ehhhh, I don't think it was Lee's fault the Clippers beat us in the playoffs, nor do I believe that giving Draymond his minutes would have saved us. In the Clippers' wins throughout that series, DeAndre Jordan was the telling factor. His stat-lines in wins, versus what he brought to the table in losses, illustrate exactly why the Clippers won that series:


In wins:

16.3P, 16.8R, 1.5A, 0.3S, 4.3B
75% FG (21/28), 57.5% FT (23/40)
1.3 T/O, 2.8 PF
In 36.5 MPG

In losses:

6.7P, 13.0R, 0.3A, 0.7S, 3.7B
78% FG (7/9), 35.2% FT (6/17)
3.0 T/O, 3.3 PF
In 37.4 MPG

There is one person who could have pushed us to a series win against the Clippers and that man is Andrew Bogut. Jordan put up 16/17 a game in Clipper wins, and the amount of field goals and free throws he took in 4 wins (28 & 40, respectively) versus what he took in 3 losses (9 & 17) prove that the Clippers were at their best when they pushed their advantage in the paint against the Warriors.

You can't blame Lee for that. He's not a rim protector, never has been and never claimed to be. But Lee is absolutely the reason the Warriors lost against the Spurs the year before. Thompson was not the mature, collected player that we see today at that point; he was still green - as illustrated by him fouling out in the 4th quarter of game 1, on a stupid reach, while being the only Warrior who could score to that point, and having to watch as Harrison Barnes and Jarrett Jack blew coverage on a wide open Manu Ginobli 3 for the win (by 1, btw). If Lee were in that game, the plan of blitzing Curry at half court with your 4/5 is effectively destroyed because Lee can handle, pass, and score. Bogut, to his credit, is not as offensively dangerous as Lee and couldn't make the Spurs pay in the same way Lee could.

The point is moot now, but I'm not going to buy into the idea that Lee couldn't have contributed to playoff wins during his all-star campaign. I think losing him was a HUGE blow against San Antonio.

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