The Denver Nuggets have long represented the dark horse in the Kevin Love sweepstakes. Their name has been mentioned here and there as a potential destination, but not to the extent that teams such as the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers have been linked to Love.
Still, it appears Denver remains in pursuit of Love, despite no assurances that he will sign a long-term extension with the team, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.
Love holds more than the usual sway in terms of where he winds up thanks to his ability to become a free agent in July 2015. Apart from the Denver Nuggets, who have continued to pursue a trade for Love even though sources say they have little hope of securing a long-term commitment from him, it’s believed that no team in the hunt for the 25-year-old is prepared to surrender its most valuable trade assets without assurances that Love wants to play there and stay there.
That’s certainly a risky game for the Nuggets to play, especially considering they were recently burned by Andre Iguodala last offseason in a similar situation.
If Denver were to acquire Love, one would think they’d have to make a deep playoff run next year for the two-time all-star to consider sticking around past next year. That’s an enormous gamble, given the Nuggets would likely have to surrender top assets such as Aaron Afflalo and Kenneth Faried to land Love. aAcore of Ty Lawson and Love is no lock to do a lot of damage in the Western Conference playoffs.
Acquiring Kevin Love is obviously enticing for Denver, but the team might be better off if the Wolves accept a package from another team.