5 Potential Homes for Kevin Love
The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly ready to listen to trade offers for All-Star forward Kevin Love. League sources have said that the team is looking for a package of young assets and/or future draft picks prior to the trade deadline.
Despite his age (31 years old), Love is an appealing target for a lot of teams across the NBA, as he hasn’t relied purely on athleticism which makes it fairly safe to say that he still has several solid seasons in front of him.
More than likely, most rebuilding teams will not be interested due to his age and the size of his contract (3 years, $90 million remaining). However, for a team with playoff or title hopes, he could play a key role in solidifying those hopes.
In 22 games so far this season, he’s making 2.1 triples on 36.5 percent accuracy and averaging 16.2 points and 10.8 rebounds in 30.5 minutes per game. He’s showing he still has it and that’s on a bad team. Put him on a good team, with the right supporting crew, and he could be even better.
Bottom line: If the Cavaliers are shown a relatively good offer, we will see Love sent to his next NBA team and that could be sooner rather than later.
Let’s take a look at some possible trades and new homes for the veteran All-Star.
Note - The Celtics will be mentioned as a potential suitor for any star, so I won’t bother talking about them.
#5 – Minnesota Timberwolves
A re-trade if you will. These do not happen often in the NBA. However, why not?Seriously.
For the Timberwolves, they use the surprisingly hot start of Andrew Wiggins this season and capitalize on it by bringing back one of the best players in franchise history in Kevin Love. A frontcourt of Love and Karl-Anthony Towns could be interesting and as much as it might falter on the defensive end, offensively, could you stop it?
For the Cavaliers, they finally get to see what Andrew Wiggins could do for them, after all these years. He’s still only 24 years old, would arguably be their best young player and is averaging around 25 points per game. They can play him at small forward, consistently start Larry Nance Jr at power forward where he fares better and improve their roster.
#4 – Indiana Pacers
This deal is fairly interesting. Would Indiana be willing to give up on Myles Turner? That’s the most important question and I don’t think they are yet. However, both Turner and Domantas Sabonis seem to play better at center and I don’t think they can both reach their peaks playing next to each other.
For the Pacers, they get a more natural fit at power forward in Love and they also shed Doug McDermott to clear out their wing rotation when Victor Oladipo returns. At the same time, they have a few veteran wings and can bring in a flashy guy with a lot of potential in Kevin Porter Jr., who can develop more slowly for the future.
For the Cavaliers, Tristan Thompson will likely be given a lot of attention in free agency and Cleveland might not want to pay him the dollar amount he might command to re-sign. Bringing in Myles as their man in the middle would be a strong move and it could be fun to watch him next to Larry Nance Jr. Also, “McBuckets” would provide additional offense at the three.
#3 – Atlanta Hawks
I know. The Hawks are a rebuilding team and Kevin Love has been stated to want to go to a team in the hunt. However, I also know that young rising star Trae Young had a bit of an emotional meltdown in the locker room and was told that he’d get help. It sounds like Trae could use a little Love. See what I did there?
John Collins is Atlanta’s big man of the future and a solid pick and roll partner for Trae. He could use some help and a mentor, though. I’m not sure if the Collins and Love frontcourt could work but it’s worth giving a shot. I doubt the Hawks could win less than they are now. Also, they get a proven All-Star who could help them get back into the playoffs over the next couple seasons.
For the Cavaliers, they get a large expiring contract in Chandler Parsons, which will really help them financially this coming summer. They also get a defensive-minded wing that has shown the ability to be able to do just about everything on the court if he develops in Deandre Bembry. Also, to make this deal work, Atlanta would probably include a first round pick.
#2 – Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns are having a better start to the season than anyone could have imagined, especially considering how horrific they were last year. In 2018-19, they didn’t pick up their 10th win until January and finished with a total of 19 wins all year.
This season is at the quarter mark and though early, the Suns are looking at a playoff spot right now. Bringing in Kevin Love would definitely help that view become much clearer. He’s an All-Star, he’s an upgrade over Dario Saric who has played well and could be moved into a solid bench role for the team and Dario could learn from Love as could the rest of the youth. Look what the likes of Ricky Rubio and Aron Baynes have done for this club then look me in the eyes and tell me Love won’t help.
For the Cavaliers, Tyler Johnson is a large expiring contract that could bring veteran leadership and a solid work ethic to the youth there. Kaminsky could be a welcome addition as a shooter and play the four and five. Okobo could become a legit three-point threat and backup point guard for the club as well.
Granted the Suns would likely have to include a future pick, but I think it’s worth the gamble here. The payoff could be such a great reward.
#1 – Portland Trail Blazers
This is my preferred destination for Kevin Love and probably Damian Lillard’s preferred destination for Kevin Love. The Blazers have a very disappointing 10-16 record as of Saturday night and the team could use a spark plug to jump-start their season onto a better path.
Look at how much the addition of Carmelo Anthony helped when he was first signed and then think how much a trade for Kevin Love could help if it went down. Love next to Hassan Whiteside could be a great fit and he’s a veteran All-Star, exactly what the franchise could use right now.
Kent Bazemore is an expiring contract that would really help Cleveland financially. Skal Labissiere could provide some shooting and a scoring punch off the bench for the Cavaliers. Mario Hezonja has been hot and cold, so maybe a chance at the starting small forward spot could do wonders for him. If not, he’ll always have that block on LeBron. The Blazers would likely have to include a future pick in this scenario.
These are my top spots for a future home for Kevin Love and possible trade scenarios to help him get there. It’s anyone’s guess so stay tuned and we will soon see.