Since LeBron James decided to leave the Miami Heat in favor of the Cleveland Cavaliers, it has looked like the Cavaliers would pull off a trade for Minnesota Timberwolves’ power forward Kevin Love. In fact, it is reportedly a matter of “when” and not “if.”
The Cavaliers still have holes and are continuing to search for pieces to fill those holes. Larry Coon of Basketball Insiders believes the Cavaliers need a rim protector like Phoenix Suns’ free agent center Emeka Okafor, with or without Love.
Trade leverage is a fickle thing. The T-Wolves are free to trade Love anywhere without Love’s consent, of course. So Cleveland’s leverage is limited by the existence of other teams who might be willing to take a risk on him as a one-year rental, or by Minnesota’s willingness to take their chances waiting until February. So what Love wants may tip the scales, but it may not.
And Cleveland’s needs in the middle exist whether or not Love is traded there
The Cavaliers have also been tied to Brendan Haywood, Brendan Haywood, Miami Heat center Greg Oden and Milwaukee Bucks’s big man Ekpe Udoh while the Los Angeles Lakers could be interested in Okafor as well.
Okafor missed the entire 2013-2014 season, but played in every game during 2012-2014 season, averaging 9.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 blocks per game while shooting 47.7% from the field and 57.1% from the free throw line. Okafor, who was selected by the Charlotte Bobcats (Hornets) with the number two overall pick in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft (behind center Dwight Howard, who was selected by the Orlando Magic). He played for the Suns (well he’s never appeared in a game), Bobcats and New Orleans Hornets (Pelicans).