NBA trade rumors have followed Kevin Love for the better part of six months now, and even though the 2016-17 season is nearing, rumors continue to swirl that the Cavs’ power forward will be dealt to another team. The latest on the Kevin Love saga has a new team entering the fray in an attempt to pry Love from the defending NBA champions.
According to Headlines & Global News, the Oklahoma City Thunder have made an offer to Cleveland for Kevin Love. The report states that the Thunder are willing to send combo guard Victor Oladipo to the Cavaliers in exchange for their starting power forward. If Kevin Love is truly on the trading block, is this the deal the Cavs have been waiting for?
This proposed trade contains a few interesting angles. Cleveland is trying to re-sign shooting guard J.R. Smith, and the resolution to that situation would have an impact on whether this trade would be attractive to the Cavaliers. If Smith rejoins the Cavs, they would certainly shoot down this offer from the Thunder. However, if the team cannot come to terms with Smith, Oladipo would slide right into Smith’s former role as a result of this trade.
Sending Kevin Love out of Cleveland would leave Channing Frye as the next man up at power forward for the NBA Champions. Frye has been a solid pro for many years, but he isn’t in Kevin Love’s class in terms of talent and productivity. Victor Oladipo could fill a void for the team if J.R. Smith doesn’t return, but the Cavs would be swapping one problem for another by weakening their frontcourt with this trade.
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Another issue to consider is whether the Cavaliers would be comfortable with Iman Shumpert at shooting guard if he is their best option on opening night. Shumpert is not a star by any means, but he is a strong defensive player and has shown to be a good compliment to all of Cleveland’s offensive weapons. If Smith does not re-sign and there is no deal between the Cavs and Oklahoma City, Shumpert would be a good enough replacement that the Cavaliers would likely be content going into the season with him alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
So far, this NBA trade rumor doesn’t look promising. Even if the Cleveland Cavaliers end up needing a shooting guard to replace J.R. Smith, this deal is no better than an even swap, and it’s doubtful the Cavs would agree to the proposal. If J.R. Smith comes back to the defending champs, Cleveland would have no interest in the Thunder’s rumored offer.
If there isn’t already enough evidence that this rumored deal is unlikely to take place, there is one last fact that seals the fate of this NBA trade rumor. NBA trade and salary cap guidelines would not permit a one-for-one trade of Kevin Love for Victor Oladipo, per the ESPN NBA Trade Machine. Love makes significantly more money than Oladipo, and the only way Oklahoma City could make this trade legal under NBA rules would be to include center Enes Kanter in their offer. Kanter is a very good offensive center and his inclusion would sweeten the deal for the Cavs, but that is not the trade scenario that is being reported online, so restructuring the rumored trade would be pure speculation.
Current NBA trade rumors are pointing toward a potential deal between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder. The validity of the rumored proposal looked shaky from the Cavs’ point of view to begin with, but then the rumored deal completely fell apart when examining the legality of the trade per NBA rules. Kevin Love might be headed to another team eventually, but it won’t be in a straight-up trade for Victor Oladipo.
[Featured Image by Scott Audette/AP Images]