The 2021 NBA Draft is a little more than three weeks away, meaning the rumor is about to heat up. With two lottery picks and their championship core hopefully healthy for next season, the Golden State Warriors are one of the teams to watch leading up to July 29.
The Warriors hold picks Nos. 7 and 14 and are looking to fill out the roster with the right pieces to surround their championship core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
Outside of the draft picks, general manager Bob Myers doesn’t have much financial wiggle room to add some pieces this offseason. The Warriors have the $5.9 million midlevel exception as well as their $5.8 million cash that they can send or receive in a trade.
Adding bonafide veteran talents on cheap contracts would be a big win for the franchise going into next season, and there could be one player who fits the bill for what the Warriors are looking for.
Rusty Simmons of the SF Chronicle reports that the Warriors would be very interested in pursuing five-time All-Star Kevin Love if the Cleveland Cavaliers buy out his contract.
“The Warriors have been flirting with the idea of adding Kevin Love to their roster for years, and that courting might turn into a full-court press this month,” Simmons wrote.
“There is growing sentiment around the league that Love will negotiate a buyout with Cleveland and sign a veteran-minimum contract with a contender, with one of the options being the Warriors.”
The 32-year-old Love is currently getting ready to represent Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics. Love put up 12.2 points and 7.4 rebounds while playing a career-low 24.9 minutes per game for bad Cavs squad last season. Those numbers are far below his career averages of 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Love’s passing ability makes him an intriguing fit with the Warriors. He and Green would give the Dubs the best passing frontcourt in the NBA.
The Cavs were a more efficient team with Love on the court last season. The team’s net rating was 2.5 points better with Love in the game.
Love’s defensive abilities have taken a hit in recent seasons. His 113.4 defensive rating was tied for fifth-worst on the Cavs during the 2020-21 campaign.
The Warriors have seen plenty of Love over the years. He was a part of the Cleveland teams that took on Golden State in four consecutive finals from 2015-2018.
Depending on what happens with the remainder of his deal, Love will have earned north of $266 million during his NBA career, so he could be willing to sign for the veteran’s minimum, which would be a huge plus for a Warriors squad that is deep into luxury-tax territory.
The Warriors already have Green, James Wiseman and Kevon Looney under contract for next season, but Love would provide a significant talent boost to the frontcourt.
Do you think the Warriors should pursue Love if he’s willing to sign a cheap deal?
On to some links:
Klay Thompson’s father believes the Warriors are in a good position to contend next season. Mychal Thompson also spoke about why James Wiseman should take not a from a Phoenix Suns’ big man to take another step in his development next season. (NBC Bay Area)
If the Warriors keep both of their lottery picks, which prospects should they be keeping their eyes on? Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman released his latest mock draft and has the Dubs taking a guard at No. 7.
Kelly Oubre’s impending free agency is another hot topic in league circles. Oubre’s agent says his client and the Warriors are on the same heading into the official start of the offseason. (Mercury News)
What can the Warriors expect from Klay Thompson once he returns to the lineup? NBC Bay Area’s Grant Liffman looks at how a pair of NBA players performed once they returned from an Achilles injury.