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ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski & Zach Lowe say Portland must strike now for Kevin Love

Blazers, Kevin Love

The Portland Trail Blazers are likely to make some moves in the offseason, yet the majority of them are likely to come via trade rather than free agency, according to general manager Neil Olshey.

If that is indeed the case, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe discussed how the Blazers will need to strike now and make a move to acquire Kevin Love, as they noted in their Woj & Lowe offseason show.

Trancript per Tim Brown of The Oregonian:

“If there’s another team that should make a Utah-like, ‘lets go for it’ move, it’s Portland, because they have Lillard and McCollum square in their primes,” said Lowe. “Nurkic, they have to figure out when is he gonna come back. What condition will he be in? Is he ready for the playoffs? This is a team… they cannot just look at their team and say, ‘We made the Western Conference Finals, we’re fine, let’s sit on our laurels. And indications are that they are not going to do that. They are one move away from being really, really good.”

The Blazers already made bold moves by re-upping coach Terry Stotts’ contract and doing the same with Olshey’s days before that. They started their offseason by trading Evan Turner for Kent Bazemore as an insurance play in case Rodney Hood leaves as a free agent.

Now they must secure the immediate future of this team by bringing Lake Oswego’s own to the fold. Wojnarowski seems to think so.

“Portland’s been on that search for that third star, that third impact player. Zach Collins is another players who they loved when they drafted him and thought that he was going to be an impact player. They have pieces now, that if you’re looking to move an All-Star player, a veteran player somewhere… Simons, Little and Collins, those aren’t players you will easily want to part with in Portland. But now they’re starting to have the pieces, and they’ve developed the pieces, to be able to go out and get that third player. That may not be something they do until maybe December or January, next year.”

The Cleveland Cavaliers have seen Love’s trade value vary since giving him a four-year, $120 million extension early in the season. Some view those $30 million per year as a lot for a player that only played 22 games last season and has had an injury history through the course of his career.

Yet desperation is a powerful tool, and adding a stretch-four of Love’s caliber to a team that was within striking distance of an NBA Finals bid is a deal the Blazers can’t resist at this point.

It’s unlikely Kevin Love will want to stay as the centerpiece of a rebuilding team at the age of 30, and what better than to go back home to Oregon and join a team with championship potential. It doesn’t take a Woj & Lowe to see that happening, but if it does, they surely agree with that sentiment.