NBA rumors: Arguments for and against Trail Blazers signing Kevin Love

Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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It appears the 2023 NBA buyout season is about to get a boost.

According to Shams Charania, NBA insider for The Athletic and Stadium, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Kevin Love will reach a buyout agreement to make Love a free agent.

Love grew up and became a high school star in Oregon before remaining on the West Coast to play collegiately at UCLA.

Should the Portland Trail Blazers bring the 34-year-old forward home? Or are there reasons to keep the roster as-is and just play out the rest of the 2023 season?

Reasons why the Portland Trail Blazers should try to sign Kevin Love

The romantic nature of a homecoming would be a positive storyline in an otherwise dreary season.

Apart from what may be Damian Lillard’s best year as a pro, Blazers fans haven’t had much to jump up and down about. Anfernee Simons is in the midst of his breakout campaign. Shaedon Sharpe is showing more and more flashes of his potential as an all-star caliber player. Jerami Grant has fit in nicely.

After that…Drew Eubanks has been alright as a backup center? Trendon Watford has played well in his role? Portland acquired Cam Reddish and Matisse Thybulle? Not necessarily headline grabbers.

The Blazers are 28-30 at the all-star break, despite Lillard’s constant heroics. They’re a half-game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the final play-in spot and 1.5 games back of the New Orleans Pelicans for the No. 8 seed.

Love coming back to Oregon would be more than just a fun story, though. Despite all the grays in his hair, the 15-year vet has shown he can still contribute to a winning team.

Love has played in 41 games this season, averaging 20 minutes a night for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have a chance to host a home playoff series.

In a reserve role, the five-time all star is averaging 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds while connecting on more than 35 percent of his five threes per game.

He dealt with a thumb injury early in the season and hasn’t played since Jan. 24, which has allowed him and Cleveland to work through this buyout scenario.

Portland is desperate for size. Jusuf Nurkic could return soon, but that still leaves Eubanks and Watford as the reserve big men.

The Blazers are 25th in the league in rebounding – even an aging Love would help that. And he’s still a threat from deep who could space the floor as part of a bench unit that remains last in the NBA in scoring.

The Oregonian and NBA champion would help Portland push for a playoff spot and potentially avoid a completely wasted season.