The Dallas Mavericks desperately need another big man. They are last in the league in rebounding and 1.6 rebounds per game behind the Nets, who ranked 29th. Dallas has struggled to protect the rim, and they need a big man that can control the paint.
The Mavs tried to address this need by signing JaVale McGee in the offseason. He was immediately named the starting center, and they believed he could mitigate their rebounding and rim protection issues. McGee struggled to begin the season, and he has been in and out of the rotation ever since. The 35-year-old has been inconsistent, and Dwight Powell is back to starting.
Kevin Love is receiving a buyout (subscription required) from the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he will be free to sign with any team in the coming days. The 34-year-old big man is a five-time All-Star, who won a ring playing next to new Maverick Kyrie Irving in Cleveland. Here is why Love would be a fantastic fit in Dallas.
Dallas Mavericks now have 5-time All-Star Kevin Love as a buyout candidate to improve big man depth
The 6’8 big man is an elite rebounder. He averages 6.8 per game this season in just 20.0 minutes. Love’s 12.3 per 36 minutes would be the best on the Mavericks by a wide margin. JaVale McGee currently leads with 11.4. Dallas loses the rebounding battle nearly every night, and Love would be impactful on the glass.
He also ranks 91st in FiveThirtyEight’s defensive RAPTOR this season, which is above league average. Love is not a massive shot blocker, but he knows how to play defense and make an impact on both ends of the floor. Just last season, Love averaged 13.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 22.2 minutes per game, while shooting 39.2 percent from 3-point range.
If the Dallas Mavericks are going to make a deep playoff run, they need to step up their defense and rebounding. Adding a veteran big man with championship experience would not hurt. Kevin Love can only play 20 to 25 minutes per game at this stage in his career, but he could be an impactful big man off the bench for Dallas.
The Mavericks already signed Justin Holiday in the buyout market. To add Love, they would need to waive someone on a guaranteed contract. That is possible, but it would be a further luxury tax hit for owner Mark Cuban.
Kevin Love figures to have multiple suitors, including the Miami Heat. Would the Dallas Mavericks be able to win the race for his signature? Stay tuned to find out.