Kevin Love was the subject of countless NBA trade rumors over the summer, but the starting power forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers was not dealt prior to the season. The flow of those rumors had died down recently, but Sportsrageous is now reporting that the Cavs and Miami Heat may be discussing a deal that involves Love and Heat point guard Goran Dragic. According to iSports Times, Cleveland could also be investigating the possibility of bringing in New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony to join forces with superstar LeBron James.
A current trade scenario that is making the rounds online is a three-way deal between the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, and Miami Heat. The Cavs would obtain Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks would receive Goran Dragic and shooting guard Josh Richardson, while the Heat would come out of this trade proposal with Kevin Love. The ESPN NBA Trade Machine gives its blessing to this four-player deal as it would be a legal transaction under NBA trade and salary cap constraints, so let’s take a look at how this player exchange would affect each team.
From the perspective of the Cavaliers, this would be a one-for-one swap of Kevin Love for Carmelo Anthony. Anthony is arguably a better and more talented player than Love, but the fit for Cleveland would be questionable. Anthony primarily plays small forward, which just happens to be the same position held down by LeBron James. Both players have enough versatility to move around in the lineup, but the likelihood is that Anthony would be asked to log significant minutes at power forward, which would only work if the Cavs were committed to playing “small ball” on a regular basis.
It appears that Cleveland would only be willing to accept this offer if they are convinced that Kevin Love is an awkward fit in the team’s lineup, as has been rumored ever since the 2016 NBA Finals. It would be very tempting for the Cavaliers to acquire a superstar talent such as Carmelo Anthony, but dealing Love to get him would risk a situation where the puzzle pieces simply would not fit. Love is a true power forward and now has a defined role with the defending NBA Champions, where Carmelo Anthony’s potential role with Cleveland would be ambiguous at best.
RELATED ARTICLES ON THE INQUISITR:
- NBA Trade Rumors: Nerlens Noel And Ricky Rubio To Cavs, Iman Shumpert To Timberwolves In Three-Team Deal With 76ers
- NBA Trade Rumors: Anthony Davis To Knicks, Kristaps Porzingis And Derrick Rose To Pelicans
- NBA Trade Rumors: Heat, Rockets, Timberwolves And Kings Discuss Blockbuster Five-Player Deal Involving Ricky Rubio, Goran Dragic And Rudy Gay
- NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers’ Julius Randle And Luol Deng To Magic For Serge Ibaka And Jeff Green
The New York Knicks would be giving up their biggest star (Anthony) for Goran Dragic and Josh Richardson in this hypothetical trade scenario. Goran Dragic is a very good player, but the Knicks just made a big move over the summer to add former NBA MVP Derrick Rose to man the point guard position. Dragic can play shooting guard, but that isn’t his best position and the value in obtaining Dragic would be in playing him as the starting point guard — which isn’t an option as long as Derrick Rose is healthy. Josh Richardson showed some promise with his solid rookie year in 2015-16, but he is not much more than a throw-in here.
Derrick Rose has one year remaining on his contract with the Knicks and the team could theoretically need to replace him next season, but everything considered, this is a deal that would be easy to pass up for New York team president Phil Jackson — there would not be enough value coming back to the Knicks, and the quality of those assets would be diminished by the fact that Dragic would not fill a need for New York.
The Miami Heat’s end of this three-team transaction would bring Kevin Love into the fold. Love would be an immediate starter in Miami, but losing Dragic and Richardson would leave both the point guard and shooting guard spots weakened. Tyler Johnson would be in line to replace Dragic, and Dion Waiters would probably grab the starting shooting guard position if Richardson were sent out. The biggest loss would be Goran Dragic, and Kevin Love would not seem to be enough of an upgrade at power forward to justify unloading Dragic.
Luke Babbitt and Derrick Williams have been slated for the Heat’s available minutes at power forward, and even though Kevin Love is a more impactful player than either Babbitt or Williams, the team would be no better off with Love due to the problems this trade would cause regarding the point guard spot, and to a lesser extent, shooting guard as well.
The latest NBA trade rumors are hinting at a momentous deal between the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, and Miami Heat. The Cavs would surely like to have Carmelo Anthony, but there is a solid chance that they would veto this trade if it were offered to them. This rumored proposal does not make sense for the Knicks, so it would be a “no” from them. This trade would be no better than an even swap for the Heat (it would cause as many problems as it would solve), and they too would seem likely to walk away from this deal. This is an interesting NBA trade rumor to ponder, but none of the three teams mentioned would be especially enthusiastic about this potential opportunity, so don’t look for this one to happen.
[Featured Image by Phil Long/AP Images]