The Cleveland Cavaliers are aiming to reclaim the NBA championship title in the 2017-18 NBA season, proven by the big moves they made in the recent offseason. With lack of a true center, the latest rumors suggest that the Cavaliers should trade for Brook Lopez of the Los Angeles Lakers to strengthen their chance of beating the Golden State Warriors’ “Super Death Lineup.”
Brook Lopez is expected to be the Lakers’ starting center this season. However, according to Jason Reed of LA Sports Hub, Lakers president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson, and general manager Rob Pelinka could be planning to move Lopez before the February trade deadline. Reed suggested multiple trade ideas involving Lopez, including a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In the Lakers-Cavs suggested trade scenario, Brook Lopez will be heading to Cleveland in exchange for Channing Frye, J.R. Smith, and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick. The deal works on the ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. With almost the same trade asset, Nathan Beighle of King James Gospel believes the Cavaliers could acquire DeMarcus Cousins of the New Orleans Pelicans.
However, Cousins has an attitude on-and-off the court which could be a distraction for the Cavaliers. This makes Brook Lopez the better option.
Brook Lopez is not only a proven leader, but can also provide an incredible presence in the locker room. Trading for Lopez will definitely make things easier for the Cavaliers since there is no need to force Kevin Love to play at 5. Recently, coach Tyronn Lue announced their new starting lineup with Love playing as starting center and Tristan Thompson coming off the bench.
“He’s a great passer,” Lue said of Love. “Fives (centers) have to get out and try to guard him on the pick and roll with LeBron and D-Rose and those guys making plays, so it’s going to be tough for those guys. We liked it.”
Lue wants to improve their floor spacing, believing the strategy will give a huge headache to opposing teams. While playing Love at five will undoubtedly create a matchup problem on the offensive end, the Cavaliers’ defense will surely suffer. This is why trading for Brook Lopez makes a lot of sense for the Cavaliers.
Last season, Lopez managed to add three-point shooting to his skills where he shot 34.6 percent from beyond the arc. He also proved to be a quality rim protector, averaging 1.7 blocks per game. If the Cavaliers are really open about moving the Nets’ pick, the Lakers will surely not think twice before sending Lopez to Cleveland. Adding Lopez will definitely strengthen the Cavaliers’ chance of dominating the Eastern Conference and make them more ready to face whoever rule the deep Western Conference.
[Featured Image by Michael Reaves/Getty Images]