The Los Angeles Lakers are currently active on the trade market searching for another superstar to pair with LeBron James next season. San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard remains as the Lakers’ top trade target, but according to Chris Sheridan of Get More Sports, President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka have a number of trade options where LeBron’s former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Kevin Love is reportedly included on the list.
Kevin Love spent the last four seasons playing alongside LeBron James. They have made four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and won an NBA championship title together. Despite the huge sacrifice he made and the criticisms he received when he joined the Cavaliers, Love said after the end of the 2017-18 NBA season that he loves to play with James for the rest of his NBA career.
After DeMarcus Cousins took a huge discount to join the mighty Golden State Warriors, James obviously needs a tremendous amount of help to conquer the deep Western Conference. If the Lakers fail to acquire Kawhi Leonard this summer, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report suggested that Los Angeles should consider trading for Kevin Love.
“If the Lakers can’t trade for Kawhi Leonard, they’re going to need some star help around James to make any noise in the Western Conference. JaVale McGee and Lance Stephenson won’t cut it on their own. Love, on the other hand, might. Lineups featuring James and Love lineups scored an average of 113.1 points per 100 possessions this past season, which would have led the league. The two combined to average 45.1 points and 17.9 rebounds per game.”
In the suggested trade scenario by Bleacher Report, the Lakers will be sending Luol Deng, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and a 2019 first-round pick to the Cavaliers for Kevin Love. The proposed trade deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. If this trade becomes a reality, it will definitely help both teams in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.
LeBron James will be reuniting with a superstar who no longer needs to adjust with his game. The deal will also allow the Lakers to get rid of Luol Deng and the remaining two years and $36.8 million on his contract. Meanwhile, the departure of Kevin Love will mark the start of the Cavaliers’ rebuilding process. Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart will be joining former Lakers teammates Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. in Cleveland.
As of now, it remains unknown if the Lakers really have an interest in acquiring Kevin Love this offseason. However, aside from Leonard, Love is the only realistic trade target for the Lakers. Expect more rumors to circulate as the offseason goes deeper.