Kevin Love had a strong season this year despite dealing with some injuries and also being mentioned in trade talks since the start of the season. Love averaged 17.6 PPG and 9.8 RPG while shooting 45.0% from the field in 31.8 MPG. Clearly close to All-Star production, Kevin Love has plenty of offer NBA teams because he is a natural shooter and rebounder at any frontcourt position. Love’s championship experience is also critical for some teams to build winning cultures which is invaluable in a young player’s league.
The teams most interested in Love either need his versatile skillset and veteran leadership because he brings both immediately to any squad. Love also showed he can be unselfish and sacrifice his own statistics to help his team win games, something that is necessary for some NBA teams. The following teams can offer attractive trade packages to the Cleveland Cavaliers to acquire Kevin Love in a major trade deal.
5. New York Knicks
Trade Package: Julius Randle, Taj Gibson, 27th overall pick for Kevin Love
The New York Knicks lack big names at the moment, and former NBA champion Kevin Love can come in and address that immediately. Love had a strong season yet again despite not fitting into the Cleveland Cavaliers plans for the future and has kept his head down to continue to produce at a nice level without talent around him. Love’s shooting and offensive rebounding proficiency will help the Knicks be more formidable on offense even if they lose Julius Randle. Randle fits Cleveland rebuild plans as they look to tank and moving away from Love while adding a young player is a major plus for them.
Kevin Love will at least bring championship experience to a Knicks locker room that needs clearing out in the first place. The Knicks can solidify their front-court with a Kevin Love trade, improving their size and perimeter shooting at once. The Knicks should do their best to develop Barrett while fighting for the playoffs, and Love will be a major leader for the franchise with possibly a chance to attract free agents.
4. Houston Rockets
Trade Package: Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker, Danuel House for Kevin Love
Love is the perfect big man for the Houston Rockets. Houston has 2 superstars in James Harden and Russell Westbrook, and Love can complete a very efficient Big Three offensively. Love can shoot the lights out from the corner three, rebound well, and add size to a tiny Rockets frontline that needs bigs. Love also has playoff experience and knows how to be effective in critical moments, something the Rockets need desperately.
Cleveland probably needs more perimeter scoring and Eric Gordon can replace Love’s scoring immediately. Tucker and House give Cleveland some cap space relief if they (most likely) don’t re-sign them. Cleveland can start playing fast without bigs while Houston adds an All-Star big man who can spot up for corner threes off Harden and Westbrook feeds. A win-win for both teams.
3. Phoenix Suns
Trade Package: Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, Frank Kaminsky, a future first-round, a future second-round pick for Kevin Love
Phoenix could certainly use Love’s scoring and rebounding ability to help them push for the playoffs. Love is a proven winner and champion and would help the young guys win instantly, not to mention he fits like a glove next to Deandre Ayton. A lineup with Rubio, Booker, Love, and Ayton is a tough lineup to defend against and Phoenix should go for this to keep Booker in a competitive team.
The Cavs will welcome the picks, expiring contract, and a nice young player to build around in Bridges. Bridges seems like a player who can do it all and fits nicely with the Cavs rebuilding plan. Cleveland should only care about ranking and adding young players and picks, something Phoenix can offer immediately. This might be a deal that the Cavaliers simply can’t refuse if they have given up on Love.
2. Boston Celtics
Trade Package: Gordon Hayward for Kevin Love
The Celtics are a very good team, and they are only one big piece away from making an NBA Finals. Jayson Tatum is becoming a superstar before our very eyes and looks to be a franchise leader for the foreseeable future. The Celtics have been very frugal in terms of their trade offerings for too long and might splash to get Kevin Love. Gordon Hayward played like an All-Star at times this season, but Love is more reliable. The Celtics have weaknesses in their frontcourt and Love addresses this issue immediately.
For Cleveland, they can offload Love whose potential is fixed, while taking on Hayward who they hope can be an All-Star again. At the worst, they let Hayward walk in upcoming free agency and clear his salary off the books. The Cavs will benefit by Hayward’s inconsistencies by tanking, or by his All-Star rise by moving him for more trade assets. This deal mainly helps the Celtics and just might be enough to get them to the Finals.
1. Los Angeles Lakers
Trade Package: Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, Avery Bradley for Kevin Love
Kevin Love has been an All-Star a few times in his career, and it is only a matter of time before a top contender snatches him up once and for all. Love has proven he can be a third option alongside LeBron James before, and he can do this again.
The Los Angeles Lakers are in desperate need of a third star since Kyle Kuzma has not been that guy at all. It didn’t affect them this year as they won the chip, but it might affect them in the upcoming season since LeBron James will turn 36 years old and other contenders will get better. Love’s shooting and rebounding make the Lakers touch to defend against, as they have LeBron and Anthony Davis to deal with already. Cleveland gets expiring contracts and young Kyle Kuzma to develop. A massive win-win for both squads although Love might help Los Angeles repeat for their second straight title.