OTG's Trade Deadline Marathon: Phoenix Lands a Star
Phoenix receives: PF Kevin Love
Cleveland receives: SG Tyler Johnson, PF Frank Kaminsky, PF Dario Saric, 2022 first-round pick
Kevin Love’s desire to leave Cleveland may be the worst-kept secret in the NBA. However, I’m not even sure if it’s supposed to be a secret. Over the past month or so, there have been numerous occasions of Love expressing his frustration with the organization and his teammates. Love might need to exercise some patience; finding a trade partner willing to absorb his $120 million contract over the next four years will be a challenge.
At 31-years old, Love is still a dynamic scoring big man, but injuries and production dropoff are at the forefront of concerns. But the above trade still makes sense for both organizations.
For starters, getting Love would vastly improve the Phoenix Suns and likely vault them into playoff contention. Adding him alongside DeAndre Ayton in the frontcourt, and giving Devin Booker a proven scoring option is exactly what the doctor ordered. The package being shipped off is worth the investment for Love. Frankly, the Suns just need to continue to add quality pieces. This move fits the bill.
There is a dissonance between what Cleveland believes they can get for Love, and what they actually can yield. In this move, the Cavaliers pull in a desired first-rounder, but it won’t be one for this draft or next. Frank Kaminsky is a relatively young big who has shown this season why he can be a serviceable piece. Tyler Johnson is averaging a mere 5.8 PPG, while only playing 17 minutes a night, but his salary is needed to make the trade work and he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Dario Saric is the reason why Cleveland pulls the trigger. The 25-year-old Croatian is averaging 10.1 PPG (44/33/84 shooting splits) and 6.4 RPG. Despite him becoming an unrestricted free agent in July, he gives the Cavs a quality young forward who can stretch the floor.
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