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Yet again, a post has spawned from an excellent comment by Joe on a previous post.

If you missed the conversation, Joe provided a link to a podcast on DraftExpress in which the possibility of the Sixers trading up to the #5 spot was mentioned. The Memphis Grizzlies hold the #5 pick, and this could be a match made in heaven when you look at the bigger picture. The Grizzlies are still looking to dump salary, they like Rodney Carney, or at least have been rumored to in the past, and the Sixers are basically the only team who can provide them some cap relief.

The trade Joe proposed was the #5 pick, Mike Miller and Brian Cardinal (roughly $15M in 2008-2009 cap dollars) for the #16 pick, Rodney Carney, Jason Smith and cap space (The Sixers will have between $10M-$12M, depending). Cardinal is garbage, it wouldn't shock me if he was bought out immediately if the Sixers did trade for him. Both Miller's and Cardinal's deals expire after the '09-'10 season, meaning the Sixers would clear $16.5M in cap space that Summer. Andre Miller's deal will clear $10M after next season.

Needless to say, this rumor got me thinking. My original thought was Kevin Love at the #5 spot, then I started looking at some draft boards, especially at the rankings for power forwards. Pretty much unanimously, people have Beasley as the #1 PF, projected to go in the top 2. Then they have Anthony Randolph, from LSU, as the #2 power forward, project to go in the top 10. Then Love, projected to go late in the lottery.

The typical response to Love we've all seen is that he's fat and he's not very athletic. Armed with this information, I decided to see exactly how athletic Randolph is, in comparison to Love. Luckily DraftExpress has the handy chart of the NBA Pre Draft Measurements, so all the data was in one place. I was more than a little shocked to find out that even though Love's body fat is nearly 3 times as much as Randolph's, the unathletic white guy beat Randolph in every single athletic measure on the chart. Love was not only stronger (19 reps @ 185lbs to 7 reps), but he was faster in the 3/4 court, and his agility time was nearly a full second faster than Randolph's. Love even beat Randolph in vertical leap.

Randolph is 3/4 of an inch taller, he has a freakish 7'3" wingspan, a higher standing reach and only 4.7% body fat, but all of those numbers make it even more unbelievable that Love is faster, quicker and can jump higher. Based on these numbers, I don't think it's Love's athleticism that should be concerning execs in the league.

Of course, none of us really know what these numbers equate to. I went back through some previous years' charts to see how Love's numbers stacked up and found some pretty unbelievable comparisons. Here are a few examples:

  • Chris Paul ran a 3.22 in the 3/4 court sprint in 2005, the same exact number as Love.
  • Love's vertical leap was actually a half inch better than Andre Iguodala's was in 2004. (Plus it says Iguodala could only bench 185lbs four times, which just can't be right)
  • Love put up better numbers than Chris Bosh did in 2004 in every performance category.
Like I said before, no one know how much weight to put on these numbers. That being said, though, Love's performance at the workout had to open some eyes especially because the talking heads have all been saying don't be fooled by Love's numbers in college, he isn't athletic. Maybe dropping a few pounds warrants rising a few slots in the lottery. There was another PF who had a weight problem coming out of college about 25 years ago who shed the pounds and went on to dominate (before eventually putting them back on.) We knew him as the Round Mound of Rebound, Sir Charles.

So, in summation. If this hypothetical trade did take place, and the Sixers found themselves picking at #5, I'd probably take Love, especially if the deal brings Mike Miller in return and the SG spot is sewn up for the next two years.

Who would you guys take?
by Brian on Jun 5 2008
Tags: Basketball | Kevin Love | Memphis Grizzlies | Offseason | Sixers | Trades |