Kevin Love Lakers 2014? Pau Gasol, first round pick in play as Los Angeles tries to land superstar before NBA trade deadline? [VIDEO]
The Los Angeles Lakers either haven't given up on this season despite having the league's fourth-worst record, or they're in a rush to build a contender while Kobe Bryant is still in the purple and gold.
According to CBSSports, the Lakers are frantically trying to assemble a trade package for the Minnesota Timberwolves that would net them one of the league's premier power forwards, Kevin Love.
Any deal for Love coming from Los Angeles is said to include power forward/center Pau Gasol, who will earn $19.3 million this season, but whose deal comes off the books after this year. Insiders believe the best shot at moving Gasol, who is currently injured but is expected back soon, is to a team that believes he can factor into their mid-term plans on a medium-sized contract.
The Dallas Mavericks are also rumored to be participating in the Love sweepstakes, although it's unclear what players besides reserve guard Wayne Ellington are both disposable enough and carry enough cache to land a superstar like Love.
Dallas Morning News reporter Eddie Sefko said the Mavs would be loathe to trade shooting guard Monta Ellis, in the midst of arguably the best season of his career, because of his value in helping Dirk Nowitzki offensively.
Also, neither Love nor Nowitzki is well-suited to play center, and both are perimeter-oriented power forwards, so the positional duplication makes a deal unlikely.
On top of that, Love's agent Jeff Schwartz admitted the Lakers "have the best shot" of grabbing the former UCLA standout. He plays a position of need, has L.A. roots, and is averaging 25 points and 13 rebounds this year despite his unhappy situation. He can become a free agent in 2015 when the Lakers can grab him, but by trading for him now they'll be able to offer him far more money.