With Kyrie Irving and LeBron James gone, Kevin Love officially became the face of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ franchise. The Cavaliers’ decision to give Love a massive contract extension showed that they are still aiming to defend their title as Eastern Conference champions in the 2018-19 NBA season. Unfortunately, after spending the last four years as LeBron’s sidekick, Love struggled to live up to expectations from his role as the Cavaliers’ main guy.
To make things more complicated, Kevin Love suffered an injury that will keep him out until January. After realizing that they no longer have the capability to contend for the NBA championship title, the Cavaliers decided to move some of their veterans, Kyle Korver and George Hill, to focus on the development of their young players. Though he’s still recovering from an injury, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders revealed that the Cavaliers have already started listening to trade offers on Love.
Several NBA teams who are in dire need of additional star power will surely express a strong interest in acquiring Kevin Love once he returns to his 100 percent health. According to Matt Burke of Metro USA, the most realistic trade destination for the All-Star forward is the Charlotte Hornets.
“One final team to keep an eye on when it comes to Love, and the one that might be the most realistic, is the Charlotte Hornets. Charlotte could put together a package centered around Malik Monk – who is just 20-years-old and was the 11th overall pick just 18 months ago. The Hornets are hell-bent on making the playoffs this season and giving Kemba Walker a reason to stay. Making a play for a veteran like Love would show him that Mitch Kupchak is serious about building a winner now.”
— Sportsnaut (@Sportsnaut) December 19, 2018
Kemba Walker started the 2018-19 NBA season strong, and as of now, he is averaging 24.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 1.3 steals on 42.0 percent shooting from the field and 34.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc. However, based on their current performance, it’s obvious that the Hornets need at least one superstar to pair with Walker in order to make a deep playoff run in the Eastern Conference this season.
Kevin Love may not be on the level of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard, but he will still be a great addition to the Hornets. Love will give them a very reliable scoring option next to Kemba Walker and a big man who can play both center and power forward and has the ability to space the floor.
If the Cavaliers finally decide to undergo a rebuilding process, acquiring a trade package centered on Malik Monk for Kevin Love makes a lot of sense. Monk, the No. 11 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, could form the Cavaliers’ backcourt of the future with rookie point guard Collin Sexton.