The possibility of Kevin Love teaming up with LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers is the talk of the NBA right now, and with good reason. It's not often that an NBA franchise has the potential opportunity to acquire not just one but possibly two players capable of creating an instant dynasty.
The trade, as reported by Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, would see Love go to the Cavaliers in exchange for Andrew Wiggins, the 2013 No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett and a protected 2015 first-round pick.
The blockbuster deal still has some potential pitfalls. The Cavs have had to tightrope around any promises of a lucrative contract offer for Love, which would violate the league's collective bargaining agreement, per ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein:
The Wolves were infamously sanctioned heavily in 2000 after it was discovered the club had promised a lucrative future contract -- in writing -- to Joe Smith, incurring a fine of $3.5 million and the loss of four first-round picks, as well as suspensions for owner Glen Taylor and then-GM Kevin McHale. Sources confirmed to ESPN.com that the Cavs and Love can make no such arrangements about the future, even verbally, without violating salary cap circumvention rules in the league's collective bargaining agreement.
It would be quite the controversy if the Cavs did get punished for such a situation, but this is highly unlikely as the teams involved have stayed quiet on any official description of the possible trade.
If all goes according to plan, LeBron James could get a near-perfect superstar partner heading into the 2014-15 season. He recently gave his opinion on why he would be excited to play with Love in Cleveland.
"If it happens, I'm very excited," James said, via Fox Sports Ohio's Zac Jackson. "I don't really care about the 26 (points) and 12 (rebounds Love averaged last season). I care about the basketball IQ."
Indeed, Love has proven during his time in the NBA that he has a few preternatural basketball abilities that are hard to find in most players.
He has excellent court vision for a big man (4.4 assists per game last season), an incredible knack for judging the path of the ball after errant shots (12.5 rebounds) and rarely gets into foul trouble, averaging just 1.8 per game in 2013-14.
Make no mistake about the ambition of the Cavaliers, as the trade for Love might not even be the final piece in the championship puzzle.
According to Windhorst and Stein, the Cavs are looking to entice a couple of notable NBA veterans with the addition of Love: "Sources say the Cavs, meanwhile, are already touting Love's arrival as a lure in hopes of closing free-agent deals with Shawn Marion and Ray Allen."
Marion has been a dynamic defender for the majority of his career, and he proved last season with the Dallas Mavericks that he is still capable of contributing to a playoff team. The Matrix averaged 10.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals per contest during the 2013-14 campaign.
Of course, there have been mixed reports regarding Allen's willingness to play next season. ESPN's Chris Broussard tweeted that Allen was likely to play next season, with Cleveland having the best shot:
Source: Ray Allen has told those close to him that he'll play next season. Cleveland frontrunner but not 100 pct definite— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) August 9, 2014
But Allen's agent apparently refuted that claim, per Wojnarowski.
Agent Jim Tanner tells Yahoo that his client Ray Allen is still undecided on whether he will return to play another season in the NBA.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 10, 2014
Even at the age of 39, Allen is still a useful player. He averaged 9.6 points and 2.0 rebounds last year along with 37.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Which player would be the better fit for the Cavaliers?
The additions of Allen and Marion would give James the same relatively inexpensive veteran assistance that turned the Miami Heat into a perennial contender. The likes of Allen, Shane Battier and Chris Andersen were instrumental to the success of James' former franchise.
Allen and Marion would also add plenty of depth off the bench, backing up a potential starting lineup of Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, James, Love and Anderson Varejao.
It could pose a challenge for first-year head coach David Blatt to navigate all of these choices and convince the veterans to buy into his system, but he brings a sterling resume from his time in Israel.