Kevin Love is struggling to fit on the Cleveland Cavaliers roster: his team performed better in their Game 3 blowout victory without him; his minutes per game have fallen to a low not seen since his second year in Minnesota; he’s gone from a 26 point, 12.5 rebound and 4.4 assist per game beast in 2014, to a 16 point, 10 rebound, 2.5 assist third option on a Cavs team that’s offense grows stagnant when he’s on the floor; and the Cavs treat him as a floor spacer, rather than a go-to guy.
As a result, much of the basketball fraternity is discussing whether Love should be cut loose, and trade him away to allow Lebron James to play at the power forward spot, and bring in a small forward defensive stopper.
I actually think that the Kevin Love experiment should last one more year, and it would be unwise to trade the former All-Star while his value is low.
Having said that, here or some options that Cleveland could realistically explore:
CLE receives: Stanley Johnson, Aron Baynes, 18th pick
DET receives: Kevin Love
CLE receives: DeMarre Carroll, Terrence Ross
TOR receives: Kevin Love
CLE receives: Jae Crowder, Kelly Olynyk
BOS receives: Kevin Love
CLE receives: Trevor Ariza, Sam Dekker, 2017 first round pick
HOU receives: Kevin Love
CLE receives: Michael Kidd Gilchrist, Frank Kaminsky
CHA receives: Kevin Love
CLE receives: Al-Farouq Aminu, Noah Vonleh
POR receives: Kevin Love
CLE receives: PJ Tucker, Alex Len, 4th pick
PHX receives: Kevin Love
CLE receives: Wilson Chandler, Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris
DEN receives: Kevin Love
Personally, I think the Denver trade would be the best bet: Cleveland gets a shooting small forward in Chandler; a rookie center who gained All-Rookie first-team honours last season; and a cheaper and younger shooting guard than JR Smith (who they could re-sign this summer) in Gary Harris. Not only this, Cleveland’s luxury tax once they re-sign LeBron James would be significantly less without Love’s $22 million a year contract, and would open up more minutes for Tristan Thompson and Channing Frye.
Denver would get their first legitimate star and go-to option on offense since Carmelo Anthony, and would make them playoff contenders once again.
Let me know what you think by commenting here or tweeting at me at @skinnersource