Thursday, January 19, 2012

Love in the Shower

Everybody's favorite Right Guard spokesman Kevin Love is going to receive a maximum value contract extension for 5 years from the Minnesota Timberwolves. This is great news for the Wolves. Love was recently voted the player "who does the most with the least" by NBA GM's. This probably translates to "is white and plays basketball well," but clearly shows perceived value around the league for Love. He would be a restricted free agent after this season and I could very much see teams throwing some insane offers at him, especially with his much improved conditioning. Might as well make sure to keep your star player around.

And a star he is. Yes, he may not look like a typical franchise cornerstone, but Love is someone you can build around. He's a double-double machine who has never posted a PER lower 18.23. His defensive rebound rate leads power forwards (who play more than 15 minutes, sorry Yi), and he's top 5 in offensive rebound rate and total rebound rate. He also leads power forwards in points per 40 minutes, ahead of guys like Dirk, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Blake Griffin. He's not necessarily and isolation threat and won't kill you passing, but with Ricky Rubio to set up shots, he should be fine in Minnesota. If there's a slight concern it's that he's attempting 5 three pointers a game and his percentage has dipped to 36.1 from 41.7 last year. He's a threat beyond the arc, but maybe shouldn't be forcing so many.

Minnesota can finally have something to be excited about under the wrath of Kahn. The core of Love-Rubio-Williams-Johnson is certainly enough to keep them competitive going forward. I haven't even given up on Anthony Randolph, though this may be his last stop if he can't start producing. In 2013, Beasley, Webster, and Pekovic come off the books and maybe the Wolves can bring in a few pieces to help them contend for real. We'll just hope in the meantime they stop signing every point guard available.

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