Portland Trail Blazers: 3 options to add a third star next to Dame, CJ

Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards looks on during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards looks on during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers posts up against Al-Farouq Aminu #8 of the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

3. Kevin Love

What it could look like:

Kevin Love to the Blazers has been a popular idea that’s been floated dating back to his second year in Cleveland, a big factor being that he grew up in Oregon. He also fills a position in which the Blazers could look to upgrade.

The problem is that Love isn’t the upgrade he was once thought to be. His production has steadily declined since arriving in Cleveland as well as the amount of time he’s been able to stay on the court. Another problem is he’s entering the 1st year of a four-year, $120 million extension he signed last offseason.

Cleveland gambled that Love would return to being Minnesota Kevin Love after the departure of LeBron James and in turn make that a value contract. Unfortunately, a return to stardom just wasn’t meant to be. Love played in only 22 games last season and didn’t exactly produce at the level he did when he was in Minnesota when he was on the court..

There’s still a small chance he could return to being Minnesota Kevin Love, but the door seems mostly shut on that. Even when his role increased after the departure of Kyrie Irving his stats didn’t trend upward in the way you would expect when a player goes from being the 3rd option to the 2nd option.

That could be contextual based on what his role entailed playing with James. Love was always going to be more of a spot up shooter than the hub of the offense playing next to him. But when it’s been years since a player has played even close to his peak level, he’s unlikely to return to it.

This isn’t to say that Love wouldn’t be useful on the Portland Trail Blazers, he’s just not a game changer. At his best, he would provide them an established 3rd option who could space the floor and be utilized as a playmaker in the same way that was outlined for Griffin, though he’s not the off the dribble threat that Griffin is.

But at this point, given his contract, injury concerns, and production he’s someone the Blazers should consider taking a flyer on as opposed to someone they should give up actual value for. The way he’s declined it’s reasonable to question whether he can even maintain the level he’s been at in Cleveland.

Next. Grading CJ McCollum's extension. dark

It could get to that point for Cleveland who is in beginning stages of a full on rebuild. Love makes no sense on their roster. He makes some sense in Portland, though the Blazers should explore other avenues of upgrading their talent before landing on Love.