Houston Rockets: Kevin Love Could Be the Missing Piece

By Brett David Roberts

Apr 14, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward

Kevin Love

(42) dunks the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Another contender planning aggressive play for a Kevin Love trade, sources tell Yahoo: Houston. Kevin McHale has strong bond with Love.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 18, 2014

With Kevin Love having informed the Minnesota Timberwolves he will be testing the waters of free agency, the Wolves have made Love available and the Houston Rockets are among the teams said to be interested according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

Love would bring a number of elements to the Rockets that would greatly enhance the team. He is a prolific three-point shooter capable of stretching the court.

His shooting would open up driving lanes for James Harden and keep spacing for Dwight Howard in the post. Love is also a superb rebounder, perhaps the game’s best, and together with Howard the Rockets would continue to be a dominant team on the glass.

The Rockets had been linked to Carmelo Anthony, but there are a number of reasons to believe that adding Love would be the far better move. Anthony requires a high usage rate, and Harden is equally as demanding of the ball. Love can flourish off the ball and doesn’t require iso sets ad infintum to get his shots up.

Harden would continue to be the primary focus offensively, while Love and Howard would tag team in the post, beating teams up at the rim. Love is also one of the best outlet passers in the NBA, and his ability to throw it out to Harden, Patrick Beverley or Jeremy Lin could get the Rockets running in transition, which is where the team has been at its best.

If the Rockets were to pursue Love, Chandler Parsons would most likely have to be parted with, as well as Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin. It may require the addition of a first round pick, too. Teams will be making packages for the Wolves power forward, and with as many as five teams already reported to be interested, the bidding may get high. Daryl Morey will have to evaluate whether the potential of adding Love to the Rockets frontcourt makes it worth it to sacrifice depth.