Even with Russell Westbrook and Paul George, the Thunder simply do not have enough to compete at the highest level. Despite their regular-season success, they were unable to win two games against the Trailblazers when it counted most.
Thunder GM Sam Presti knows better than anyone that change is often necessary to move forward. The Thunder could make that change happen in any number of ways, including the acquisition of stretch-four star big man Kevin Love. Fansided’s Hoops Habit spilled the tea on a scenario for the Thunder that would involve trading for Love while trimming the cap by sending Steven Adams, Andre Roberson, and the No. 21 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Kevin Love and J.R. Smith.
For Cleveland, Steven Adams provides them with a young, defensive center who’s age aligns with the franchise’s rebuild after the departure of LeBron James. Adams has four more seasons left on his current contract, giving the Cavaliers stability in roster building moving forward. Oklahoma City’s 21st overall pick also gives Cleveland the opportunity to add a cheap, young player to their roster to compliment Cedi Osman, Collin Sexton, Larry Nance Jr., and the team’s selection with their fifth overall pick in the draft.
Meanwhile this trade allows the Thunder to pair Kevin Love — college teammate and roommate of Russell Westbrook — with the Thunder’s core of Westbrook and George.
At 30-years-old, Love’s age and resume are a much better fit in Oklahoma City than Cleveland. Paul George, Russ, and Love would create a roster capable of winning now. For Cleveland, Steven Adams might not be a star, but he would be a great young player to patrol the paint as the younger guys develop.
It might be a longshot trade deal but one way or another, you can expect some moves to go down for both sides, whether they involve each other or not.