It’s not fair, but the Cleveland Cavaliers need to make a change to beat the Golden State Warriors. Here are five teams they could trade Kevin Love to.
It’s a harsh reality, but the Cleveland Cavaliers have to mix it up with their current group to have any shot at beating the Golden State Warriors at any point in the next few seasons. We’ve seen the Cleveland bench struggle to show up to provide LeBron James the support he needs to beat a juggernaut to win a championship. However, is there anything Cleveland can do to inch closer to Golden State?
Well, there is one avenue the Cavaliers could explore: trading power forward Kevin Love. His stock has never been higher since arriving in Cleveland in summer 2014. Though it’s debatable if he’s as good as he was when he was with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Love has proven that he can be a top-three player on a championship team. He can also be a franchise cornerstone, maybe for a club that can win 50 games and make the NBA Playoffs?
2016-17 was easily his best year in Cleveland, as Love averaged 19.0 points and 11.1 rebounds per game for the Cavaliers. Love is a near-superstar player that could help Cleveland land another top-25 player in the league to give title contention another shot. He played really well in the Finals but the Cavaliers need shooting and wing defense more than they need his shooting and post game.
Obviously, James controls his own destiny and point guard Kyrie Irving isn’t going anywhere. That means trading Love is unfortunately Cleveland’s best shot at recalibration on the fly. Here are five potential trades that could make sense for both parties, Love and the Cavaliers.
Normally it would be strange to trade a star player within the division, but the Cavaliers would need to vet all options in attempting to get better. One team that the Cavaliers could orchestrate a trade with involving Love would be the Chicago Bulls.
The idea would be to include Bulls starting shooting guard Jimmy Butler as the primary asset coming back Cleveland’s way. Butler for Love straight up could be considered, but this would certainly feel like a multi-player trade.
Butler would give the Cavaliers some much-needed help out on the wing, as James would kick down to playing as the stretch four/point forward he has already started to become. As for Love, he’d be an ideal player for what Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg wants to try to do on both ends of the floor.
Love could play with pace and space the floor with his smooth stroke from 3. He could go to work on the glass defensively. Maybe he goes back to being a back-to-the-basket offensive weapon for the Bulls? As the team’s new star player, he could easily average 20 points and 10 rebounds a game.
Though Chicago wouldn’t contend for a title right away, landing a determined and unencumbered Love could make the Bulls a compelling watch for years to come. Butler to Cleveland would help make the Cavaliers more competitive out on the wing with the likes of Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant when facing off with the Warriors.