The Cleveland Cavaliers’ struggles continue after bowing to the San Antonio Spurs, 114-102, at the AT&T Center on Tuesday night. It was the Cavaliers’ 10th loss in 14 games, leaving them in the third spot of the Eastern Conference standings.
LeBron James got the milestone that he wants after scoring 28 points on 10-for-23 field goal shooting. Following a mid-range jumper with 1.1 seconds to go in the opening quarter, the three-time NBA champion became the seventh and youngest player to join the elite list of NBA legends who have scored at least 30,000 points in their careers.
However, the accomplishment was somehow tainted as the Cavaliers have continued to fail in trying to find wins as a unit on the court.
Instead, trade rumors mentioning the Cavs are growing louder and louder across the league with only a few weeks left before the trade deadline. The latest speculation brought up the team’s other All-Star, power forward turned center Kevin Love.
Stephen A. Smith said in a recent edition of First Take, that the Cavaliers “should trade Kevin Love.” The ESPN analyst claimed that Love is no longer happy about what is happening in Cleveland and trading him might be the best move the squad could make at the moment.
Smith’s co-host, Max Kellerman, suggested that dealing Love, the Brooklyn pick, and other assets to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis, if he is available, is the kind of deal that could change the Cavaliers’ fortunes moving forward. However, Davis is currently unavailable and so the Cavs should find other ways to turn their season around.
It is not only Love who is rumored to be unhappy as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that several Cavaliers players had “challenged the legitimacy” of Love’s supposed illness when he walked out of their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder last Saturday. After playing only three minutes, Love left the game and the Quicken Loans Arena with an unspecified illness, which ended with the Cavs losing badly, 148-124, to the Thunder.
With these recent developments, FanSided’s King James Gospel blog suggested a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers that would send Jordan Clarkson and Brook Lopez to Cleveland in exchange for Love and Channing Frye.
Clarkson, 25, is a consistent off-the-bench scorer throughout his career. There are whispers that he could be on track to a Sixth Man of the Year nomination this season as he currently averages 14.3 points, 3.3 assists, and 2.9 rebounds in only 23.2 minutes per game for the Lakers.
Clarkson had led the Lakers to back-to-back wins against the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks, scoring 33 and 29 points respectively. Even with his impressive performances, the Filipino-American combo guard continues to be on the Lakers’ trading block, and all of his heroics may have just resulted in his trade value actually getting higher.
Meanwhile, aside from giving Love the opportunity to go back and play for his hometown squad, getting the Santa Monica native would also be a huge boost to the Lakers’ rebuilding efforts. However, receiving his $24 million a year salary would mean that the Lakers will be able to accommodate only one big-name free agent this summer.
If the Lakers already consider Love as a superstar, then they might alter their free-agency objective into finding the perfect complement for the former UCLA star instead of pursuing any two in the summer.