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Mike Krzyzewski: ‘I’d Trade For Kevin Love Right Away’

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Coach K and Kevin Love (Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Coach K and Kevin Love (Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

According to reports, the Cleveland Cavaliers are willing to offer Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a future first-round draft pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for All-Star power forward Kevin Love.

If Mike Krzyzewski – who has coached Love and coached against Wiggins – were the Cavaliers’ general manager, he would make that trade in a heartbeat.

“I think there’s absolutely not one second of hesitancy,” Krzyzewski said on The John Feinstein Show. “I’d trade for Kevin Love. That’s not saying anything about any of the other (players involved in the deal). Love’s an All-Star.”

Actually, he’s a three-time All-Star – someone who averaged a career-high 26.1 points this past season to go along with 12.5 rebounds. In fact, in his last three full seasons, Love has averaged a double-double while also making at least 37 percent of his three-pointers.

“He’s a double-double guy, but he’s a double-double guy that can spread the court,” Krzyzewski said. “There aren’t many double-double guys, if any, who spread the court. He can go inside and outside. There may be a low-post player that gets you a double-double, but Love does it and you can do a lot of different things with him.”

Krzyzewski knows firsthand.

“I mean, I’ve coached him on two teams,” he said. “No pun intended, but I love Kevin Love. He’s young, too. He’s 25. He was 21 (when I coached him). We had six 21-year-olds on our 2010 Istanbul team, and Kevin was one of them. He’s grown. He’s terrific. I would make that trade right away.”

It’s also worth noting that LeBron James – who wants the Cavs to acquire Love – turns 30 in December.

“You look at LeBron and you have the best player in the world,” Krzyzewski said. “He’s 29. I’m not saying he’s at the end of his career, but he’s in the second half of his career, let’s put it that way. And in the first half of his career, he was becoming a great player. He was a great talent becoming a great player. That takes time – just like if Wiggins or Bennett are going to be great, it’s not going to happen right now. They’re great talents. LeBron is a great player right now. You do not want to waste any year of a great player’s career.”

James, a four-time league MVP, has played in the NBA Finals in five of his 11 NBA seasons. Love, meanwhile, has put up great numbers for a sub-.500 franchise in a loaded Western Conference. Acquiring Love would make Cleveland the odds-on-favorite to win the East.

“Love is close to being (a great player),” Krzyzewski said. “He’s not as great a player as LeBron, but . . . you know who Love is right now. They’re always developing, but he’s developed. He’s a consistent, outstanding player.”

James would obviously make Love a better player – and he’s already going to make Kyrie Irving a better player. But imagine how much faster Irving would develop if both James and Love were his teammates.

“(Irving would) get there quicker,” Krzyzewski said. “You’re influenced by your environment. We all are.”

 

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