I was just looking towards the offseason and wondering how the Blazers could get better. Tell me if you like my idea and if you think it is plausible. As good as Lopez has been for us I still think he is a great back up center on a championship caliber team. Since Minnesota is going to lose Love to free agency after next year they would smart to shop him this summer. They seem to love Batum by their free agent offer to him a couple years back. How about a Batum/Leonard package for Love. I know he could leave us after one year as well, but moving Aldridge to center and Love at the four would give us one of the best four five combos in the league. Then you have Lopez as one of best back up centers in the league coming in off the bench. If we happen to make a championship run it would be hard for Love to leave his home town. Whatcha think Dave?
KB in LO.
This topic is hot enough to interrupt our regularly-scheduled programming for. You're not the only one speculating about Love in a Blazers uniform.
1. Yes, the Blazers should consider the opportunity just as they'd consider any such potential deal. When a talent of Love's magnitude comes available (potentially) you have to take a look and run it through the due diligence wringer.
2. No, this deal wouldn't be high on Portland's priority chart. It's something they'd look at, not jump at.
3. Yes, Robin Lopez could be moved to back-up center if a better option came along.
4. No, a package of Batum and Leonard wouldn't even come close to getting the deal done. Minnesota would pass without a second look.
5. Yes, you're right that the 'Wolves will come under increasing pressure to sell their superstar. This will drive the price down. (Not as low as Batum/Leonard, but they'll have a difficult time getting full value for Love.)
At this point no offer from Portland will move Minnesota's interest-meter enough unless that offer includes one of Portland's two superstars. Moving Damian Lillard would make no sense for either team unless plenty of other players were involved. This would necessitate a trade of epic proportions, impossible to anticipate until it happened. That leaves LaMarcus Aldridge as the only reasonable offer at this point.
Though I can already hear indignant squeals rising from Portland fans (maybe some from 'Wolves fans as well), an Aldridge-for-Love swap meets several criteria. Both play the same position. The salaries match almost exactly. Love would likely re-sign with the Blazers. His game would fit Portland's offense just fine...better than Aldridge's in some ways. Both teams could walk away happy.
The sticking points for Portland would be injury history and chemistry...Aldridge having turned out so good in that department this year. The sticking point for Minnesota would be LaMarcus re-upping with the team. On the surface they might have others, but frankly I think those would melt away once they got a look at the banquet of low-budget, mismatched offers coming their way. Few teams can offer them a bona fide star at a position of weakness for them. Al Jefferson, David Lee, Chris Bosh, Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan, and DeMarcus Cousins comprise the cream of the crop. They aren't that creamy.
I am loathe to answer this question on my own, so I'm going to throw it to you, our faithful Blazer's Edge readers. Here are two possibilities:
--Aldridge for Love straight up. (I know some folks on Portland's side would jump at that, particularly with Aldridge headed for free agency no matter what next season.)
--Aldridge for Love but Minnesota does not move up from the 13th pick, receives no other suitable offers, knows they have to dump Love, and offers to exchange Portland's 2015 first-rounder for the 13th pick in this year's draft. (This is far-fetched right now but it'll add an interesting decision point for the "not trading Aldridge" folks. If you could get Love plus a low-lottery player in 2014, perhaps shoring up a bench position, would that change your mind?)
Let us know what you think in the comments and the poll below!
--Dave email@example.com / @DaveDeckard