NBA Trade Talk: How the Cleveland Cavaliers Could Land Kevin Love
The Cleveland Cavaliers haven't been one to pull off a blockbuster trade, but one big deal could be too perfect to pull off.
Love has yet to make the playoffs in four seasons in Minnesota and could very well opt out his contract a year early in 2015.
If the T'Wolves feel Love is going to walk or is proving to be a distraction to the team, they may decide to trade him sooner rather than later given his extremely high value.
One willing trade partner could be the Cavaliers, whom Minnesota already has targeted for another potential trade, as reported by 1500ESPN.com.
Cleveland has taken the wise rebuilding route in previous years, collecting high draft picks and young talent while building up a large amount of tradeable assets.
While Kyrie Irving would certainly be off limits, everyone one else should be available if the potential to land Love exists. Love has career averages of 17.4 points and 12.1 rebounds per game. The former fifth overall pick in 2008 averaged a career high 26.0 points per game last season.
Irving and Love would represent a dynamic one-two punch and provide the backbone of a perennial title contender.
So what would Cleveland have to give up in order to get possibly the NBA's best power forward?
Quite frankly, a lot.
Minnesota has expressed interest in Anderson Varejao, the NBA's leading rebounder this season. Still just 30 with a team-friendly contract for the next three seasons, the Wolves could use Varejao on a rebuilding team even after trading Love.
Next, they would want one of the Cavs' young talents to help build around Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams.
This would likely mean either Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller or a combination of the three. I would think it the priority of the Cavs to try to keep Waiters first instead of offering up one of their young bigs.
Waiters (14.7 points, 3.5 assists), Thompson (8.7 points, 8.2 rebounds) and Zeller (7.8 points, 5.2 rebounds) are all currently starting for the Cavs and are all 22 years old or younger.
The third piece Minnesota would want would be draft picks. Luckily for them, the Cavs have quite a few.
Cleveland owns their own and Miami's first-round pick in 2013, along with Sacramento's should they make the playoffs or be the first team out. They also own Orlando's second-round pick in 2013 and 2014, which should land somewhere in the 30's overall.
If the trade for Love goes down this season, the Cavs' own pick in 2013 would carry the most value by far, given their poor record. If the Cavs could somehow hold onto that pick while offering up first rounders in future years or Miami's 2013 pick, they'd really be in business.
Here's how a couple of these deals could be constructed.
Deal No. 1:
Cavs Receive: Kevin Love
T'Wolves Receive: Anderson Varejao, Dion Waiters, 2014 & 2016 first-round picks
In this the Cavs have to part with their second best young player Waiters, which would be tough to swallow due to his Dwayne Wade-esque flashes this season.
If the Cavs push to keep Waiters, a second deal could look like this:
Deal No. 2:
Cavs Receive: Kevin Love
T'Wolves Receive: Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, 2013 first-round pick
In this the Cavs get to keep Waiters, but sacrifice their 2013 first rounder (likely a top-five selection). Thompson and Varejao give the Wolves a nice current and future starting power forward next to Nikola Pekovic. A third option in which the Cavs get to keep both Waiters and their 2013 pick but sacrifice some money could look like this:
Deal No. 3:
Cavs Receive: Kevin Love, Brandon Roy
T'Wolves Receive: Anderson Varejao, Tyler Zeller, Luke Walton, 2013 first-round pick (via Miami), 2014 first-rounder
In this deal the Wolves get to clear some cap space by swapping the injured Brandon Roy (two years, $10 million) for Walton (one year, $6 million) while also collecting two first rounders from both Cleveland and Miami.
Cleveland loses a lot, but also gets to keep Waiters and their 2013 first rounder.
While Kevin Love to the Cavaliers is simply speculation at this point, the dots can be connected to a potential deal. Cleveland has a lot to option in the trade department with young talent and future draft picks.
While it would require a great deal to pull off, any chance the Cavs have at pairing Irving and Love together should be pursued immensely.
It would sure make shooting Uncle Drew: Chapter 3 easier to shoot, too.
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