Brooklyn Nets: Sean Marks should re-sign Blake Griffin, not add Kevin Love

CLEVELAND, OHIO - MAY 12: Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - MAY 12: Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets have reinvented themselves as a championship contender thanks to Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden, and this new look could make them a haven for ring-chasing veterans.

They already added one last year in Blake Griffin, and they might be considering adding another in Kevin Love.

Originally acquired from Minnesota to be the tertiary scoring option next to Irving and LeBron James as LBJ finally brought his local team a title, Love looks like a dead man walking with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The direction of the team and some petulant outbursts prove that he’s had it with playing in northeast Ohio.

Love’s exit from Cleveland appears to be a matter of when, not if, as the presence of Jarrett Allen and the potential draft selection of USC center Evan Mobley could help the Cavs once again get younger and build for the future.

While the Warriors have expressed interest in bringing him to Golden State if he gets bought out, Brian Lewis of the New York Post is reporting that the Nets might have some interest as well if he hits the open market.

Considering that DeAndre Jordan and Nicolas Claxton are still in town, the Nets likely won’t be able to sign both Love and Griffin this offseason. If they can only pick one, Griffin looks like the better option of the two.

The Brooklyn Nets should prioritize Blake Griffin over Kevin Love.

Nets fans should take note of the fact that Durant and Love will be together for an extended period of time with the US Olympic team. Considering how many backroom deals and handshake agreements go down on teams like this, KD might be trying to sell Love on the idea of playing with the Nets.

While Love might marginally improve the offense as a small-ball center off of the bench, Griffin can do the same thing for an economical price, all while showing off glimpses of the leaping ability that made him must-see TV in his youth. Love, at this point in his career, is not that type of player.

In many respects, the two players are on identical trajectories. They put up eye-popping stats in their prime, started off their second act in the Eastern Conference fairly well, but devolved into shells of themselves for two bad teams. Love’s 2020-21 12.2 points per game average ended up as his worst since his rookie year, and his shooting percentages were also his second-worst ever.

Griffin put up similarly poor numbers with the Pistons, as he was failing to make even 40% of his shots in Detroit while showing none of the verticality he had with the Clippers. While he didn’t set the world on fire with the Nets, 10.0 points per game as a regular starting center with his most efficient shooting percentages since his Los Angeles days proved Griffin had gas left in the tank. 

Griffin isn’t the picture of health, but the Nets were able to lean on him to show up consistently. Love is damaged goods right now, as he has played in just 103 games over the last three seasons. Considering Love and Griffin are both net negatives on the defensive end, though Griffin is slightly better, the former UCLA star comes with too much risk attached.

At the end of the day, both of these two are poor defenders at this point in their careers, and their value lies in how they can help space the floor and finish inside. Griffin is slightly better than Love in both of those areas, meaning Marks shouldn’t be seduced by Love’s credentials, as he’d be signing a potentially more expensive downgrade when compared to Griffin.