Over the last couple of days we’ve heard rumors intensify over Carmelo Anthony possibly winding up in Miami to join up with some combination of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Obviously, this would entail some sacrifice by Anthony, and further sacrifice by the incumbent Big Three. This idea is plenty intriguing, but I am here to offer another suggestion: Kevin Love. As we know, Love wants out of Minnesota, and Miami would provide him with income tax-less living and an opportunity to finally win. For the Heat, there’s a lot of on-court upside here as well.
Is this even crazier? Yes. Is this even more impossible? Probably. Do I care? No, not really, especially when the idea of Love playing next to James is so fun. Just think: Love grabs the rebound, and instead of throwing a gorgeous outlet pass to, say, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, lobs a full-court beauty to a streaking James for a highlight reel dunk. Now, you’ve seen what Chris Paul has done for the alley-oop industry in Los Angeles, but picture Love throwing full-court alley-oops to the best player in the game.
Are you excited yet?
In the half-court, the James-Love duo would be lethal. Images of a James-Love two-man game dance through ones head like sugar plum fairies at Christmas (or whenever they dance), as they pick ‘n pop their way to NBA supremacy. Seriously, you couldn’t double team with those two on the floor. If you do, you essentially decide to leave James or Love open; or risk playing them one-on-one and having them beat you that way, or swing the ball to the open teammate. In that situation your only defense is to hope that they miss or throw your shoe at the ball to knock the shot off of its trajectory. Not only would the addition of Love boost their spacing and give them more options offensively, he would also shore up a rebounding unit that has been bottom-five in the league the past few years. That means more second chance points (and fewer for their opponents) and an ability to control the pace of the game even more.
What basketball fan would not be enticed by this idea?
As for how realistic this is to happen…it’s not. Working the trade machine, the only things that work financially are Wade for Love and at least one other contract back, which neither team is going to do. Miami isn’t close to having the necessary assets unless it would substitute James for Wade, and that really defeats the whole purpose of the exercise. On the other hand, since they could technically give back up to about $23.35 million with the 125 percent+$100,000 rule, they could get out from underneath the Kevin Martin contract and a fringe rotation player as a throw-in.
This is such an incredible idea that I can’t believe the Heat haven’t spent the last three years positioning themselves to have the assets to pull this off. I mean, not everyone can be Daryl Morey, I guess.
Don’t get me wrong, Carmelo Anthony could be a lot of fun in Miami, but it stands to reason that Love-to-South Beach could be even more fun. After all, isn’t basketball supposed to be fun? The best part is this is a fun-good idea, unlike the fun-bad idea of Kurt Rambis coaching the Lakers again. And unless the Heat decide to put James on the table for Love (LOLOL) or the NBA decides to absolve all current cap rules, this is never going to happen, ever, but at least we’ll have Team USA to satiate our imaginations.