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Nuggets, Suns could rival Blazers in Kevin Love sweepstakes

Kevin Love, Nuggets, Suns, Cavs, Blazers

The Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Suns could rival the Portland Trail Blazers, should they decide to kickstart the Kevin Love sweepstakes as the trade deadline approaches, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. The Blazers have been linked to the Lake Oswego native for quite a while now, and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ recent willingness to “listen” to offers for their star big man has opened the door for teams that have struggled to find their groove thus far into the season.

The Blazers acquired Carmelo Anthony last month to give them a jolt of energy upon a 5-9 start, but they have hobbled to a 4-6 mark since acquiring him, clearly in need of more help.

Love offers elite 3-point shooting at the power forward position, something not only the Blazers could use, but also others vying for that missing piece.

The Nuggets have played well defensively, but their offense has been iffy at best, with Nikola Jokic feeling the brunt of it. Paul Millsap’s expiring contract makes for a good matching contract that would give Denver long-term security in the frontcourt next to Jokic — putting two of the best-passing big men next to one another.

The Suns could use Love next to Deandre Ayton or Aron Baynes, or play a fast-paced small ball with Love at center. The backcourt duo of Devin Booker and Ricky Rubio would benefit from Love’s shooting, and Phoenix has plenty of interesting pieces to bundle up in a potential trade.

Cleveland won’t let Love walk away for cheap, so this could easily be a three-team war of assets and compensation, with the Blazers having the edge only by means of sentimental value for the Oregon-raised Love.