NBA trade rumors continue to follow the defending NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers as they try to keep pace with Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors. A new trade scenario has surfaced that could propel the Cavs past the Warriors this coming season.
According to Sportsblog, Cleveland and Sacramento are discussing a trade that would bring center DeMarcus Cousins and small forward Rudy Gay to the Cavaliers. The Kings would receive power forward Kevin Love and forward/center Tristan Thompson in return as they attempt to move forward from their disappointing 2015-16 campaign.
— Snooky Grawls (@odnewsonline) September 13, 2016
One would think that the reigning NBA Champions would not be looking to make any major changes, but once Kevin Durant joined forces with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and the rest of the Warriors, the Cavs could no longer afford to stand pat. Cleveland has been beating the bushes to find at least one deal that would elevate them to Golden State’s perceived status, and this potential trade with the Sacramento Kings might be just what LeBron James and company need to keep the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy for another year.
Despite winning the NBA title earlier this summer, the Cavs and Kevin Love were never a great pairing. Love struggled to find his niche in the Cleveland offense, and his teammates also had difficulty getting him the ball in ways that he could be most effective. Kevin Love is a very good player, but the Cavs have been keeping their eyes open in case a deal comes along that would allow them to move Love and become an even stronger team at the same time.
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DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay have both been regulars in the NBA trade rumor mill this off-season. Cousins is one of the most talented players in the league, but he also carries a lot of mental and emotional baggage that tends to cause headaches for teammates, coaches, and management. The team is in shambles after their poor showing last season, so beginning a rebuilding phase by trading their star player is something the team must consider if they can get a fair package in return.
Rudy Gay has suffered much the same fate as Kevin Love — a quality player who just isn’t a good fit on his current team. The chemistry between Gay and his teammates has not been up to par, and Dime Magazine has reported that Gay has requested a trade. The Kings have been trying to accommodate Gay’s request, but they have not found the right deal to this point in the off-season.
If this rumored trade does indeed take place, it would appear that the Cleveland Cavaliers would benefit from the influx of talent that Cousins and Gay would represent. Cousins would be a massive upgrade over Tristan Thompson, and Rudy Gay would see significant playing time as a part-time starter, at minimum. If the Cavs are unable to re-sign J.R. Smith, Gay would likely play an even larger role for the defending champs.
Kevin Love would instantly become Sacramento’s go-to guy as a result of this swap. The Kings are solid at the center position (with Willie Cauley-Stein and Kosta Koufos) and could compensate pretty well for the loss of Cousins if this trade becomes official. Tristan Thompson would only play a supporting frontcourt role for the Kings, but his championship experience and ability to contribute without needing the ball would be pluses for the team.
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Aside from Thompson being somewhat redundant on Sacramento’s roster, the other issue for the Kings would be covering the small forward position if Rudy Gay is dealt. The team recently signed veteran Matt Barnes, who would be the new starter if Gay is sent out. However, Sacramento would basically have no depth behind Barnes as a result of this trade, so more moves would have to follow in order to shore up the backup spots behind Matt Barnes.
The latest NBA trade rumors are pointing toward a four-player deal centered around DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Love. Assuming the right chemistry can be found, the Cavs would improve if this trade goes through. This is not a bad deal for the Kings, but there seems to be enough downside and uncertainty attached to this trade scenario that the team would likely pass on this opportunity — even though Cavaliers general manager David Griffin would certainly do his best to sell this idea to Vlade Divac and the Kings.
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