Blogtable: Your Franchise PF

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

The Suns with Pau | The Wizards? Really? | Blake, Kevin or L.A.?

VIDEO: Blake Griffin’s top 10 plays this season

Start a franchise: Blake Griffin, Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge?

Steve Aschburner, This is a Goldilocks choice for me. Griffin is a beast whose offensive game has broadened in Chris Paul‘s absence, but a heavier diet of face-up work doesn’t mean he’s all the way there yet as a shooter. Aldridge doesn’t put as much power in this power forward spot but he’s the longest of the bunch, craftier inside of 15 feet and probably the most committed defender of the bunch. But Love, to me, has the best – and rare – combination of skills, a “stretch 4” all the way to serious 3-point range who bangs inside for garbage points too. At 25, he’s negligibly older than Griffin (24) but three years younger than Aldridge, so my hypothetical team-building would have more legs. (Bonus points for Love: With 31-17 against the Lakers Tuesday, he posted his 25th game of 30 points and 15 rebounds, snapping in less than six seasons the Timberwolves’ record Kevin Garnett set in 12).

Fran Blinebury, If I’m building a team today, I assume you want me to get better in the future. That means age is definitely a factor. So no offense, LaMarcus, but at 28, the oldest player doesn’t make the cut. I have questions about both Griffin and Love as my franchise foundation. Still not sure that Griffin doesn’t get too easily distracted and thrown off his game by some of the tactics used by opponents. Love has been disappointing this season with his play at end of close games and hasn’t been able to prod what should be a contender for a playoff spot to play hard every night. I’ll give Love the nod for his more varied offensive skills and better nose for rebounds.

Jeff Caplan, Wow, tough one. I’ll start with eliminating Kevin Love, sorry Minnesota. I love LaMarcus Aldrdige’s game. There might not be a sweeter fadeaway jumper this side of Dirk Nowitzki. He’s really matured and there’s just so much to like. My choice, though, is the 24-year-old from Oklahoma. Blake Griffin is averaging 23.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg and 3.5 apg while shooting 53.1 percent. It’s all coming together, the overall package, inside, outside, offense, defense, free throws, you name it. He’s been stellar in Chris Paul‘s absence. And, as I mentioned, he’s 24. Critics love to pile on, but if there’s a power forward with the combination of size, strength, power and skill in the league today at such a young age and with such potential to grow, I haven’t seen it.

Scott Howard-Cooper, The fact that I changed my answer in my head several times before starting to type is a sign of being torn. Tough one. I was thinking Love because his passing ability is a unique dimension that makes teammates better, in addition to his own scoring and rebounding. Griffin deserves a lot of credit for expanding his offensive game to be more than a dunker, no matter what his reputation says. But if Aldridge is going to rebound like this, with a nice increase for the second season jun a row and a current slim lead over the other two candidates in percentage of rebounds per chance, that’s a difference maker. But, really, you can’t go wrong with any of the three. If one of them breaks out defensively in the next season or two, that’s the real winner. And with his athleticism, it could be Griffin.

VIDEO:LaMarcus Aldridge’s top 10 plays this season

John Schuhmann, NBA.comKevin Love, though it’s a very close call between him and Griffin. Griffin is obviously the better athlete, is the better passer, and the better defender. But shooting is so critical in this league and Love can space the floor a lot better than Griffin can. Aldridge is more than three years older than both of the other two, with about twice the NBA mileage (20,000 minutes vs. 10,000 minutes). He’s a great offensive player and I might take him if I had a decent point guard and needed one basket on one possession. But long-term, I’d prefer one of the other two.

Sekou Smith, NBA.comI love these sorts of 1-percenter questions. “What’s your favorite car in your collection … the Mercedes, the Jag or the BMW?” This would be an excellent problem to have for any general manager. All that said, Blake Griffin is my pick. He has the box office appeal to go along with the All-Star credentials and the ceiling to get better over the next three or four years in ways that the other choices do not. LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love are All-Stars as well and well established as elite power forwards in this league. And you can clearly build a winner around Aldridge, as we’ve seen with Portland this season. But Griffin has that mix of star power, jaw-dropping ability and skill that is hard to find in a player that’s just 24. Love is only a year older and is arguably the most complete power forward in the league, save for his work on the defensive side. If Aldridge was 25 instead of 28, he’d be hard to pass up when you’re talking about starting a team from scratch with one of these guys as the first pick. But in the end, Blake’s entire body of work, so far, combined with his potential on and off the court makes him hard to pass up as the first block of the foundation of my new team.

Lang Whitaker, All Ball blog: I love Aldridge’s game and his leadership, but if I’m drafting for the future, he’s 28 years old, so I’d go with either Griffin and Love. Those guys have both had injury issues, but they’re a couple of years younger than LaMarcus. Of those two, I guess I’d go with Love. He’s not as athletic or powerful as Blake, but he’s so versatile, and a guy you can build around.

Simon Legg, NBA AustraliaCan someone else make this decision for me? Right now I think LaMarcus Aldridge is a more complete player, one who’s been in the MVP conversation all season, so if you want me to pick someone for one season it’s him. If I’m building for the future and looking ahead to multiple seasons then I’ve probably got to take the 24 year-old Griffin over the 28 year-old Aldridge. There’s heaps of upside to Griffin right now and I think he’ll continue to improve. This season alone he has become a better passer, his post game has developed nicely and he’s become a more active defender. The injury to Chris Paul has allowed Griffin to flourish and mature as a player and I anticipate him only getting better. It’s a great dilemma to have though because Kevin Love would fit nicely into most teams too!

Selçuk Aytekin. NBA Turkiye : I would go with Blake Griffin first for two resasons: star factor and toughness. I’ve loved to watch him battle this year, especially with CP3 out, and I really like his acrobatic basketball style. Who doesn’t? We should never forget that this is a just a game and basketball should be something that we love to watch. After that, I’d choose Kevin Love for almost the opposite reason: because of his fundamentals, his technique. LaMarcus is doing a great job right now, but I do want to see if he can maintain his current performance.

Davide Chinellato, NBA ItaliaCan I have them all? 2 of 3? No? I’ll go with Kevin Love then. We’re talking about the best 4s in the league, and all three would be the cornerstone of the big men department with a lot of points and a lot of boards any given night. But Love is also a menace from 3-point range, one of the most important aspects of the game nowadays. It would be tough to give up on Blake’s unbelievable dunks or on Aldridge’s consistency, but I’d pick Love.

VIDEO: Kevin Love’s top 10 plays this season


  1. xyz says:

    I disagree Griffin has absolutely no upside; he’s one dimensional and will not get any better at things fundamental to the game. Besides it’s hard to grow brains anyway and that’s what he’s mostly lacking 🙂 (no offense, I apologize deeply if any is taken)

  2. jdub455 says:

    of course kevin love, then aldridge, then griffin… but if your a risk taker, then griffin goes b4 aldridge, i think aldridge has peaked, while griffin is full of potential. but all around brilliance goes to love…

  3. kenny says:

    I would pick Love but Ibacka would be good to I don’t know why they didn’t put him in on this to

  4. tsering says:

    building for the future? love, more versatility and a better all round player.

    best player among the three at the moment: Aldridge. which begs me to ask the question, why put a 28 year old in a discussion of starting a franchise.

  5. Easy. Kevin Love’s the best Power Forward *in the game*.

  6. dustydreamnz says:

    I agree with the guy who said Anthony Davis, he would be best to build around.
    Choosing between those 3 are tough-I’m going for the player I’m least a fan of to be honest. I have Aldridge’s jersey but he’s a bit older, it’s a toss up with Griffin and Love but I’m going Griffin only because Love has a poor record of injuries.

  7. K says:

    LaMacus Aldridge has peeked. When Blake Griffin peeks, he will be the best player in the world. With that being said, kevin Love can not win stuffing the stats the way he does. it is not team ball. That explains why Love can get a 30 and 20 game and his team continue to not make the playoffs. Heck, nash could have stayed with the suns and stuffed the stats until he retired. However, Nash wants to win. Too bad it didn’t work out for him. Griffin is the only choice! Like i said. When Blake Griffin is 28 (the age where his BB IQ still matches his athleticism), he will be the best in the NBA. No one can stop him. He is bigger and stronger and more athletic than Labron James! Blake used to play Point Guard in high school. Trust me, this guy has the most potential of the three. Once again, Aldridge has reached his potential, it is all down hill from here. Blake has 4 years to reach it. Love just stat stuffs and would not have the same numbers on any other team (just like Steve Nash).

  8. lol says:

    LMA is lazy and jacks up tomany shots he is the reason portland lost their 8 last games

  9. unbiased portland fan says:

    This question is stupid. Lamarcus Aldridge immediately gets disregarded because he’s “old”, and that logic doesnt even allow the fact that he’s having an MVP season come into play. Kevin Love? Are you joking me? Big numbers, but where is he in cunch time? Deferring to Kevin Martin or Nikola Pekovic. He also guards the worst big man on the opposite team. I’d love to see him actually play defense on Lamarcus once. That would be hilarious. Blake Griffins defense is non existent too, and his offensive numbers are inflated by Leagues pampering of him and putting him on the free throw line if you so much as look at him. Wow, his offensive game has expanded SO much he can actually convert a decent amount of free throws. What an unprecedented notion!

  10. Shawn Kemp no. 1 says:


  11. fred says:

    Bake- 1 dimensional player whose game isn’t suited for a looong play off run.

    Love- Isn’t a leader, 2nd option at best, thats why his team is at the bottom of da map.

    LA – Elite team portland….yea I’ll take the winner.

    • BBMcGee says:

      Blake is not tough, and given his athleticism, he could do better defensively, if not in rebounds then at least blocks. His game is not all above the rim, but its clearly where he’s most comfortable. He needs to mind his T/O ratio and silly fouls. I agree he has more room to grow, but not as much as people believe. You gotta wonder how an injury would affect him.

      LA is a solid veteran who can go off on any given night. But he sells steaks, not sizzle to me. He’s been doing great this season in particular, but he’s on a team loaded with guns so that helps. He, like all 3 could do better defensively.

      KL is a good shooter and rebounder (especially for a “stretch 4” who plays horrible D). Injuries to himself and teamates have really made me wonder how he would look in the playoffs which is where the great are tested.


    • Pakyaw says:

      FYI, Portland is not an elite team..

  12. NBA FANATIC says:



  13. Let’s break this down:

    Blake Griffin: The most efficient offensive player of the group (shooting 53%), but the worst defender and rebounder. Averaging 3.37 fouls and 9.62 rebounds per 36 minutes. The most athletic player of the group but the least skilled and skill travels much better with age than athleticism, so I can’t give Blake the keys to my franchise.

    Kevin Love: Best shooting range (38% from three) and rebounder of the group (13.09 rebounds per 36 minutes). Worst shooting % of the group at 46%, but that can be attributed to him shooting 6.1 threes per game compared to the 0.7 combined three point attempts per game from Griffin and Aldridge. Everyone is falling in love with the “stretch 4” these days, but if I’m trying to win, I don’t want four players on the 3 point line and my center left alone in the paint for the majority of the game. If I were trying to win (which I always am) and Kevin Love were on my team, I would either move him to the 3 and let him shoot his six threes, or keep him at the four and have him take closer to two threes a game, forcing him to work in the paint where he’s best. There are plenty of players who can shoot 38% from three… my power forward who is the best rebounder in the league doesn’t need to be one of them. I can’t give Love the keys to my franchise just yet.

    LaMarcus Aldridge: He is three to four years older than the other two players, but he’s simply better right now (he’s still only 28). He’s the best defender of the group (fouling the least and blocking the most shots) and his combination of size and skill translates well with age. Additionally, he only averages 1.76 turnovers a game compared to 2.68 and 2.28 from Griffin and Love, respectively, showing he makes better decisions (this may be attributed to experience). Ultimately, If I’m building my franchise around a player, I’m asking myself, “Can this guy be effective at age 35?” The only guy of this group that I could confidently answer “yes” to right now would be Aldridge. Nothing about Aldridge makes you say “WOW” but his size, minimal body effort on his jump shot, defense, and 11.3 rebounds per 36 minutes make him the best long term option, so I’m taking LaMarcus Aldridge.

    • Caldron Pool says:

      You didn’t mention that Blake’s frontcourt teammate is the leading rebounder in the league, so of course Blake doesn’t need to rebound as much as LA . . . even still LA average about 1 more rebound per game. If LA played with Deandre Jordan he would grab less rebounds too. Also, Blake is shooting 38% from 3 just like Love is, he just doesn’t need to rely on 3’s.

      Also, disagree about skill traveling better with age than athleticism. Loot at Pau Gasol, most skilled big man of his generation, but when his athleticism went he became ineffective, very ineffective. If skill was the dominating factor then Duncan would still be the best PF in the game, but he can barely move now.

      Lastly, if Aldridge’s defense is so good then why is Portland’s team defense so bad? He is supposed to be anchoring that ship.

      Seems like you’re ignoring a lot of details in order to justify your pick.

    • roneb says:

      Well stated Jason Brendel

    • juggernaut584 says:

      Broken down beautifully. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  14. rn says:

    U guyz are wierd just wierd black way better than love just look what bg did when paul got injeurd
    I know love shoot 3s but look at his team record tho they have gd players
    On the other hand lA best pF this year black is clause second

  15. Mark Legaspi says:

    kevin love in all aspects of being a power foward.. you dont have to athletic(griffin) to be the best.. He can be on top in 2 categories if he’s so healthy..

  16. Emurph413 says:

    Do we really have to pick from three dudes that play no D whatsoever?

  17. Jake says:

    Blake Griffen is not on the same level. Love has deeper range while LA has a more variety of moves. Griffen gets the nod on defense but love is clearly the worst defense of the 3. I think it comes down to coaching style, if you want your center to be more involved with the offense you pick love, if you like your center to play more pick and roll and want your center rebounding off side to your pf, Aldridge is the guy you should go with.

  18. Orlando says:

    The real question is which one of them will be able to come back from a bad injury. Take away Blakes legs and his is no longer a all star. Take love’s or lamarcus’ legs and they still score 20 a game

  19. CL1 says:

    If you want to win games -> Aldridge
    If you want to make money -> Griffin
    If you want lottery picks -> Love

  20. spermspray says:

    love has the most points and rebounds, and if you down by 3 with 3 seconds left, he can hit a 3.

  21. Irony says:

    the question is flawed. of course they’re going to pick the younger legs because they’re building a future team, but talent wise and attitude, LA has them beat. LA never showed displeasure and LA already has made post season more times than BG and Love combined.

    • Bballfan says:

      We’ll that isn’t fair Blake hasn’t been in the league as long as LA. And Love’s team always had injuries holding them back

  22. Tyson says:

    I would choose Anthony Davis

  23. KingKaash94 says:

    If Kevin Love is guaranteed to stay healthy all season, then no doubt I take Kevin Love! He can score, shoot 3s, and rebound. Everything you want in your big man

  24. Jerry says:

    Thanks Herr, I approve your message.

  25. lakers777 says:

    kevin love is this time the best power forward in nba

  26. KamasutraGuru says:

    Love is a monster! Of course you pick him. And its not jsut the points. You could say, oh well he scores a lot but he might also shoot a lot. Like Kobe.
    But Love atually rebounds a lot too. His Team doesnt win, but we cant blame him. And Im usually suspect of players who put up great numbers in losing-teams, but Love is legit. The answer has to be Kevin Love!

    Ask me which PF I want in the Playoffs 2014, the answer is still Dirk Nowitzki!

    • asdf says:

      You can blame him for his team losses since he’s good on offense but bad on defense and both sides count.

      Aldridge is the best PF to build around if we talk about now because his skillset, other than the 3-point shot, is way more developed than Love’s, he showed this past month that he can rebound like crazy and he’s the most clutch out of the 3.

      If we’re talking future, Griffin wins easily, Love might have better stats but first, Clippers have more scoring options and a more balanced attack and two, he’s not playing along the league’s best rebounder in Jordan. Finally, I think Love is not gonna get much better, especially on defense, while Blake might become even more dominant since his ceiling is way higher because of his athleticism.

      Love just doesn’t cut it and I think people get overhyped with his rebounding and 3-point shooting and ignore his pretty bad defensive play.

  27. Herr says:

    No one picked LaMarcus Aldridge yet he’s much more clutch than all 3, has 3 of the 7 20-20 games so far in this season, and has been the go-to guy and leading his team to victory. Really all these guys on are like everyone else. Has an opinion that is generally biased and wrong. The only difference is they get paid more and casual fans read their garbage thinking it’s real.

    • hacksaw in portland says:

      When is somebody scream race? 1 kevin 2 la marcus 3 blake

    • kevin says:

      totally agree…and that one writer said blake is tough…really we watching the same guy

    • jOLAN says:

      I don’t think opinions can be wrong. And if you actually read all of this, Scott HC said he would pick him. Also they all said no to him because of his age, they are building a franchise right now, so the future counts a lot.

    • Charlie says:

      Keep in mind the question poised was who to build a team around. If the question was who is the better bf the Aldridge would be the obvious choice currently.

      Personally, I wouldn’t “build” a team around any of the three. These guys, in my opinion, are in the category of superstars that will go nowhere on their own merit.

  28. steppx says:

    box office appeal? WTF??

    • this blog is a no brainer….love is posting MVP numbers…he should be the only answer to this question

      • pKone says:

        The T-Wolves pretty DID decide to build around Love and the Clips definitely decided to build around Griffin…

        Which team is headed to the playoffs?

    • jrock says:

      Kevin Love needs to get out of Minnesota before he repeats KG’s career. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME HOW BROW GOT ON ALL STAR TEAM BEFORE D COUSINS? its a no brainer he will be the elite post forward/center once griffin n love r past their prime. He would abuse Davis one on one the only player that can defend him is D. Jordan. Good pick Adam Silver lets go with the clean cut Davis over the better player Demarcus for most improved player no brainer