NBA Rumors: Kevin Love To L.A. Lakers Trade Wouldn’t Be Surprising At All, According To ‘ESPN’ Analyst

Despite the departure of LeBron James in the recent free agency, the Cleveland Cavaliers still have no intention to undergo a full-scale rebuild. Their decision to give Kevin Love a massive contract extension showed that the Cavaliers are still aiming to defend their title as Eastern Conference champions in the upcoming 2018-19 NBA season. However, things are expected to dramatically change when they find themselves out of the playoff picture.

Giving Kevin Love a contract extension didn’t only enable the Cavaliers to take full control of him for the next five years, but it also makes him a more attractive trade asset. If the Cavaliers struggle, they are expected to make Love available on the market before the February NBA trade deadline. One of his intriguing trade destinations is the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to Stephen A. Smith of ESPN, it wouldn’t surprise him at all if the Cavaliers and the Lakers engaged in a blockbuster trade deal centered on Kevin Love.

“It wouldn’t surprise me at all if a trade went down between Cleveland and the Los Angeles Lakers for Kevin Love. You know the former guy that, the one that helps LeBron win a championship. You know the guy that used to be in UCLA and very very familiar with the West Coast. It wouldn’t surprise me at all. I’m just saying.”

Of course, trading Kevin Love means that the Cavaliers are ready to undergo the rebuilding process. In the potential deal with the Lakers, the Cavaliers will likely demand a trade package including at least either Kyle Kuzma or Brandon Ingram. Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart could also be interesting acquisitions for the Cavaliers, but they already have Collin Sexton as their point guard of the future.

It’s easy to understand why ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith is linking Kevin Love to the Lakers. Since he was traded to the Cavaliers in 2014, Love has made a huge improvement in his game as LeBron James’ sidekick. They made four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and won an NBA championship title together. At 30, Love still hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down.

In 59 games he played with the Cavaliers last season, Love averaged 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds on 45.8 percent shooting from the field and 41.5 percent from beyond the arc. However, after passing on trading for Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, it remains a huge question if the Lakers are willing to sacrifice Brandon Ingram or Kyle Kuzma for a player of Love’s caliber. The Lakers will not only lose young and promising talents in the process, but it will also affect their salary cap flexibility for the 2019 NBA free agency.

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