After firing head coach David Blatt, should the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers continue to make changes in their team? Should the Ohio-based franchise consider trading one of their key players, particularly Kevin Love?
The team features the “Big Three” of James, Love and Kyrie Irving but after about one and half years together it appears a team centered around the trio isn’t good enough to beat the top-tier teams like the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs.
Here are two Kevin Love trades available for the Cavaliers to consider before the trade deadline in February. Most are improbable but possible under the NBA trade rules (all deals checked via ESPN’s Trade Machine):
Cleveland Cavaliers-New Orleans Pelicans Trade:
Kevin Love ($19.6M), Timofey Mozgov ($4.9M) for Omer Asik ($9.2M), Ryan Anderson ($8.5M) and Dante Cunningham ($2.85M)
Why for the Cavs: With a James-centric team, they don’t need another scorer in Love but they need more role players. Asik, Anderson and Cunningham fit the bill as they can efficiently contribute even on a limited role on both sides of the floor.
Anderson, like Love, can stretch the floor and will be an excellent player off the bench and the Cavaliers can give Tristan Thompson the start at the power forward spot.
Financially, the Cavs are better off too; ridding themselves of Love’s huge contract and giving Thompson the workload in trying to prove his own big contract.
Why for the Pels: After this trade, they now have a very potent Love-Anthony Davis frontcourt and could rival the other top big men starting combo in the league.
Love’s poor defense should also be a good complement to Davis, who is known for his versatility and rim protection. Mozgov’s contract will expire at the end of the season but he can still help the Pelicans turn the season around and aim for a playoff spot.
Cleveland Cavaliers-Phoenix Suns Trade:
Kevin Love ($19.6M) for Tyson Chandler ($13M) and P.J. Tucker ($5.5M)
Why for the Cavs: Replacing Love with a defensive-minded center could do wonders for the much-maligned frontcourt defense of the Cavaliers.
Unlike Love, Cleveland doesn’t need Chandler’s offense as much but he will improve their team defense immediately. This move will also allow the Cavaliers to start Thompson and the new frontcourt will improve their rebounding, especially on the offensive glass.
P.J Tucker is a nice option on both wing positions, as a back up to both James and J.R. Smith.
Why for the Suns: The Suns signed Chandler in the offseason with hopes that it would attract then free agent LaMarcus Aldridge to sign in Phoenix. Instead, Aldridge went to San Antonio and the Suns are left without a reliable offensive player in their frontcourt.
Getting Love will be perfect in filling that hole and they can start him alongside young center Alex Len and the team will have a potent offensive team next season when Eric Bledsoe returns from his injury and with the continuing growth of point guard Brandon Knight.
Will Kevin Love still be in a Cavaliers’ uniform after the NBA’s February trade deadline? Should the Cleveland front office consider dealing him this season?
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