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NBA / Nov 11, 2010 / 10:00 am

Kevin Love is destined to play for the L.A. Lakers

For certain sports franchises, players are not so much developed as they are born. Randy Moss was born to be a Raider (he just got there at the wrong time). Derek Jeter is a natural Yankee. Jon Scheyer couldn’t have played anywhere but Duke. Kevin Nash was the perfect fit for the New World Order.

The Lakers are one of those iconic franchises for which certain players appear destined to play. It may not happen on Draft Night — it may not even happen within the first 10 years of their career — but one way or another, he will eventually suit up for the purple and gold, and don the Sunday whites.

Kevin Love is destined to play for the Lakers.

Now, I’m not trying to antagonize Minnesota Timberwolves fans. And there’s nothing scientific at all to back up my prediction. I haven’t talked to the Secret Scout, or hit up my man Sources Close To The Team to get a trade rumor. It’s purely a hunch, based on three main points: (1) Legacy, since Kevin’s father Stan Love is a former Laker who used Lakers/Celtics tapes to school Kevin on the game; (2) Location, since Kevin attended UCLA and was born in Santa Monica; and (3) Limelight, since Kevin clearly wants to tap into the Hollywood celebrity circle, with his multiple appearances on HBO’s “Entourage” and the blog he’s been keeping for GQ.

Watching K-Love (whose high school team in Oregon was nicknamed the Lakers) put up 23 points and 24 rebounds at the Staples Center earlier this week against the Lake Show only reinforced what I’ve been envisioning.

“If you can’t get up for playing the Lakers, you might as well go home,” Love told reporters after the Wolves’ loss.

It doesn’t help matters (if you’re a Wolves fan) that Love and Minnesota coach Kurt Rambis are engaged in a beef just a couple of weeks into Rambis’ second season with the team.

After coming off the bench much of last season and making it clear he didn’t like it, this was supposed to be the year Love got his shot at being the Wolves’ franchise centerpiece, with Al Jefferson gone to Utah and Michael Beasley as the only other T-Wolf resembling a potential superstar.

But after an impressive preseason, Love has again seen his playing time go up and down at Rambis’ confusing whim. During crunch time of the season-opening win over Sacramento, Love was on the bench while Rambis went with Darko Milicic and Anthony Tolliver. It wasn’t until the season’s fifth game that Love cracked 30 minutes in one night. Even after his career night against the Lakers, Rambis was almost backhanded in his compliments. (“Over last couple days, he’s really made some strides in terms of his effort,” said Rambis.) In last night’s win at Sacramento, Love had a modest 8 points and 9 rebounds — leaving his averages at 16.5 points and 12.1 boards per game — and didn’t make any impact until the fourth quarter.

Don’t discount the fact that Rambis is a former Lakers player and assistant coach. If he confides in Phil Jackson or Mitch Kupchak that K-Love doesn’t fit what he’s trying to do, they’ll gladly devise a plan to take the 22-year-old power forward off Minnesota’s hands.

Basketball-wise, Love just fits with the Lakers. Even if the next coach after Jackson doesn’t run the triangle offense, Love’s ability to dominate the offensive and defensive glass, hit jump shots, and start fast breaks with pinpoint outlet passes complements a veteran group that knows how to play together and thrives on strong interior basketball. Love would instantly make Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant‘s lives easier. Put it this way: If you’re running the Lakers and you could trade Andrew Bynum straight-up for Love, would you do it? I would.

The tricky part would be making it happen. A trade for Bynum isn’t realistic because the salaries are too far apart, although I’d never underestimate Jerry West‘s Corleone-esque way of making the impossible possible. Still, Bynum is making superstar money, whereas Love is still on his rookie contract that pays him an average of $4.1 million over this season and next. What L.A. could do next summer is send inconsistent Lamar Odom to Minnesota for K-Love and, say, Luke Ridnour. Convince Wolves GM David Kahn that his young team needs a two-time (three-time?) NBA champion like Odom to instill a winning culture, that Ridnour is expendable since Ricky Rubio is (supposedly) coming to Minnesota soon, and Love isn’t worth the chemistry problems if he’s not getting along with Rambis. Odom can rebound, and alongside Beasley the two left-handers would create a slew of matchup nightmares for Wolves opponents.

Of course, Kahn would need a reason to entertain K-Love trade pitches in the first place, which K-Love would take care of by making it clear he doesn’t want to be in Minnesota. Which is as easy as a few strategically-placed quotes in the media and one Lakers hat covering his head at the next “Entourage” taping.

Granted, that’s far-fetched. K-Love doesn’t have to try that hard to force a trade, because one way or another, it’s happening. Kevin Love will be on the Lakers sooner rather than later. Just watch.

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  • Max

    Jerry West no longer has any association with the Lakers so I’m wondering how his Corleone-esque way of making all things possible would help in this situation.

  • Ian

    Jeter is lucky he’s a yankee cuz no one would know him had he played for the royals or pirates.

    Sorry austin couldn’t help myself.

  • D.I. Dollar

    Bynum for Love straight up? Inconsistent Lamar Odom? Jerry West’s Corleone-esque way of making the impossible possible? When was this article written 1998? We are all dumber for having read this.

  • Scott

    I like the premise of the article…

    buuuuut, ya Bynum when healthy is much more valuable than Love… Lamar’s do-it-all ability’s will keep him in a Laker uniform for years… aaaand when did West start working for the Lakers again? Mitch Kupchak was the one who raped Memphis for Gasol, fyi.

    All that said, Love would look great in a Laker uniform.

  • ninedays

    Love is great rebounder and sometimes an efficient scorer, but did you see him defend anyone? It’s practically non-existent. That’s why his minutes are going up or down. If you just look at the stat sheet you won’t see it, but Tolliver is much better defender than Love that’s why his minutes is fluctuating..

  • drew

    why am i not surprised to see austin burton’s name on an article from left field once again…

  • nizzio

    Bynum is big and tough. The Lakers need him. And Lamar averages 16 points 11 rebounds and 3 assists as a starter and he is the most versatile player in the NBA. Besides, Love plays the same position as Gasol, so he will once again come off the bench and will be pissed off. And Love is soft

  • LMNOP

    I dont think any corleone-esque tactics are needed from the lakers. They just have to rely on Kahns homer simpson-esque ability to fuck shit up. Kahn would trade Love, the rights to Rubio and a first round pick for Luke Walton and Vujajajajacic.

  • Joe’s Momma

    Bynum for Love straight up? That must be a joke right? Without Bynum, the Lakers got crushed by the Celtics in 08, Kevin Love doesn’t provide the size that will allow Pau to play the 4, nor the shot blocking ability to protect the paint, nor the low post scoring ability that helped win the battle of the paint.

    The Lakers aint trading a 7 footer with low post ability for an undersized power forward whose best asset is the outlet pass.

    Love is a good player, but that is just silly.

    With this Laker team, I wouldn’t trade Love for LO straight up, LO does things that don’t show up on the stat sheet, like rebound and take off the other way. If Minny wants Walton and the rookie Caracter, LA will take Love off their hands.

  • Untraceable

    Rambos is trying to emulate the lakers in mn, but the reason his min are up and down are loves fault. People love to hype him up but he can’t play any defense, can’t get his shot off in the post, no athletism what so ever. He would be really good off the bench in LA. He thinks he is the best player on the team but he is on the floor when teams go on the 30pt runs in the first quarter.

    Kahn is all about value, Bynum and a pick will get you love from mn. No way Kahn does it straight up let alone love and ridnour for the oft injured under performing bynum

  • Ross

    Worse article written in a long time. Period. No validity whatsoever.

  • LakeShow84

    If you guys think Jerry West got to WORK for the franchise to make something happen you seem to underestimate the logo lol

    But still wont happen.. maybe when we need pieces again in like 5-6 years..

  • laballer

    yup i dont think we really need this to happen anytime soon..i like the team the way it is..8-0 starts kinda make u wanna not change a damn thing ya kno?

    and we didnt get killed in 08 cause of bynum being out..it was moreso Ariza being out and NO ONE being able to guard wheelchair pierce…he rocked that finals the entire time..that was the bigger reason imo…that..and everyone on the team besides kobe being pretty damn soft

  • control

    Joes Momma

    “LO does things that don’t show up on the stat sheet, like rebound”

    I might just be trolling ya, but rebounds do sometimes show up on a stat sheet, unless your name is Amare.

  • sh!tfaced

    Kevin LOVE should be playing with Rudy GAY… and with somebody like Ramon SESSIONS, Derrick FAVORS, DeMarcus COUSINS and the like….

    Now that is damn DESTINY…

  • datdood

    LO is pretty valuable to the lakers. that guy can do it all, i dont see them giving him up, especially if he helps them win 3 strait rings.

  • http://www.kb24.com kobe

    we’ll give you sasha for k-love!

  • Joe’s Momma

    @ control

    You damn troll, haha

    I meant that LO rebounds and takes off the other way in transition, instead of rebound and look for the outlet pass.

    And why you gotta take a jab at Amare? His #’s are at an all time high, have you seen his turnovers thus far?

  • asmatic asiatic

    LO has been ballin’ this season from what I’ve seen….at least double doubles in most games….

  • Joe’s Momma

    lol @ wheelchair pierce…

    He is never gonna live that down, especially after going on Jimmy Kimmel’s show in a wheelchair. But at least he had the Bill Russel Trophy to lean on.

    Him and Vince Carter always act like they got flagrant fouled if someone sneezes on them.

  • lakerfan

    this is the stupidest article i have ever read. who are you austin? do you watch the nba? do you know the rules of basketball? kevin love is undersized as all hell and will never make it. i dont care if he got 24 rebounds, 12 of them were his own misses. love and ridnour for bynum and lamar?? ROFLMAO you ignorant, blather-mouthed douche

  • 45%

    …….no validity.

  • johnsacrimoni

    I think a better trade scenario for Love would be to the Thunder for a package involving Jeff Green. Love would fit perfectly as a third banana to Durant and Westbrook.

  • ENEW

    As a Celtics guy Love would fit in real well with the team oriented style the Celtics play and his lack of athletic ability would be less exposed because of it. Problem is besides Avery Bradley and future draft choices they are limited in trade pieces.

    Interesting to think about him in LA. While Bynum is a much better shot block and post player, he can’t stay healthy and Love would space the floor better for Gasol to operate on the block. Whatever is going on with Rambis and Love in Minnesota needs to stop as he needs to be on the floor for 30 plus minutes per night so that team can compete. I don’t care if he is not a great athlete, if you can’t rebound as a team, you can’t compete as a team.

  • htown

    Lamar Odom is one of two reasons (Pau being the other) that makes the Lakers the hardest team to match up with in the NBA. they move, shoot, and pass really well for such tall guys, yet still rebound and block shots really well. how the hell r u going to trade LO away?

    kevin love doesn’t play defense. lakers do. case closed.

  • Bilal23

    its funny that this “article” get posted the same day as trade rumours of Love going to houston or portland.

    “Location, since Kevin attended UCLA and was born in Santa Monica” on that basis a guy born in Ohio and drafted by cleveland should still be there right?

  • jdstorm

    Book it. MInnesota is far enough under the cap to be able to take back up to 11 million difference.

    LA will probably trade Bynum for Love, darko who can be a rotation big on a championship team, and a wing Minny gave up on like Corey Brewer.

    In other News. LA just became Unbeatable.
    Starters, PG fish SG Kobe SF artest PF pau C darko (because if he is on the bench he will check out.)
    Bench PG Blake SG Brown G/F Barnes, G/F Brewer, PF Love F Odom.

  • Stunnaboy2K11

    I love Laker fans.

    Someone just proposed a Bynum for Love/Darko/Brewer trade. Really?

    Ever since the Gasol robbery you think every team bends over backwards for you guys. You realize this is the team that traded AL JEFFERSON for nothing, so what makes you think they would want Bynum and his crazy ass contract? MINNESOTA ARE REBUILDING. taking Bynum’s 15 mil a year injured ass for their best player, their GM’s favorite player and Brewer is RETARDED. Bynum is effectively untradeable.

    Mad reach because you reason is basically he was born there so he should play there. Really?

    Love ends up in Portland/Houston before his ass ends up in LA. Shit I’m even expecting a Love to OKC trade.

    Meanwhile I’m working on a trade that sends Chris Paul to La for Ratliff and Barnes.

  • http://facebook.com Doc Rock LBC LA

    this article must’ve been written a few years ago because a lot of this stuff is inaccurate btw!!! healthy bynum > Love. Jerry West doesn’t call shots it was Mike Kupchak.. Lamar Inconsistent? Have you been watching our last 8 games cuz you got to be shitting me.

  • http://kapatid7799@yahoo.com bucks fan

    you forgot anther point… lakers use to be a minisota team before movin to LA

  • http://www.chess.com smoove chips

    dude, aint no freaking way i’d trade odom right now. Nobody,least of all kupchak wants to tinker with that roster for shyt.you don’t become a multiple world champ by mixing it up just for the hell of things…

    that is how you become the twolves.No disrespect meant to the twolf fans, but f*ck Kahn!