Kevin Love has been one of the most talked about names over the past couple of years when it comes to trades. He has been linked to many different teams, although perhaps the one team that has been the most intriguing is the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have had a great season, but are struggling in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. Love has been a non-factor against them and has been a bit inconsistent at times throughout the playoff run. That could make the Cavaliers consider dealing him for the right price.
Los Angeles is set to undergo a major change with Kobe Bryant retiring. They need to find a new leader and franchise player. That is exactly why the Lakers should try to acquire Love from the Cavaliers this offseason.
Throughout the course of the 2015-16 regular season with the Cavaliers, Love ended up averaging 16.0 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. He shot 41.9 percent from the field overall and knocked down 36.0 percent of his three-point shots.
At 27 years old, the Lakers would be able to build around Love for the foreseeable future. He would immediately take the lead scoring role for the Lakers and would be the dominant big man that the team has needed for the past few seasons.
Luke Walton would be ecstatic to have Love on his roster. Having a veteran scorer like Love would help balance out the young roster that Los Angeles will have next season. D’Angelo Russell is the point guard of the future and has legitimate star potential, while Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson both have a lot of potential to work their way into NBA stardom in the coming years.
Many believed that Love would sign with the Lakers last offseason in free agency, rather than re-signing with the Cavaliers. That didn’t end up being the case, but it definitely doesn’t mean that the interest wasn’t there from the Lakers.
What would the Lakers have to trade in order to bring in Love from Cleveland? There are a few different pieces that could interest the Cavaliers.
Obviously the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft would be of interest to the Cavaliers. Los Angeles might not be willing to deal that pick, but if they were open to the possibility, they could snag Love. If they do not want to move the pick, they could entice the Cavaliers with a future pick or a young talent like Randle.
There is no telling what it would take to get him, but the Lakers have assets. Getting back into Western Conference playoff contention is the goal for the Lakers. It has been quite some time since they have been viewed as a legitimate playoff team.
Acquiring Love wouldn’t make them a playoff team by itself, but it would speed up the process. Los Angeles is going to have a lot of money to spend this offseason and could still bring in a max free agent if they acquired Love. Perhaps acquiring Love and signing a player like DeMar DeRozan could make them a postseason contender in the next year or two.
Expect to see the Lakers take a very aggressive approach to the upcoming NBA offseason. Now that Bryant is gone, the pressure is on for them to put a winner back on the court. Love will not replace Bryant in any way, shape, or form, but he would give the fan base a proven star to root for.
Do you think the Los Angeles Lakers should look to acquire Kevin Love from the Cleveland Cavaliers? Would he be the piece that helps power the Lakers back to the NBA postseason? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[AP Photo/Aaron Gash]