Despite having the worst record in the Eastern Conference, the Cleveland Cavaliers made it clear to the entire league that they have no intention of trading the new face of the franchise, Kevin Love, before the February NBA trade deadline. The Cavaliers revealed that they still see the All-Star forward as the centerpiece of the title-contending team they are trying to build in the post-LeBron James era.
Kevin Love is currently recovering from an injury, but when he becomes trade-eligible and proves that he’s 100 healthy, his name is expected to surface once again in various trade rumors. Though the Cavaliers haven’t made him available on the trading block, Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that some rival front offices view Love as a “difference maker” who could be traded for a “proverbial right price.”
According to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, one of the NBA teams who could express a strong interest in acquiring Kevin Love is the Utah Jazz.
“Utah is among the most tantalizing destinations for Love. Pairing him with Rudy Gobert in the frontcourt makes a ton of sense, and the Jazz have the active perimeter defenders to survive minutes with him at center. Derrick Favors has been fantastic on an individual level this year, but a fully healthy Love is the more dangerous weapon. Utah is at its best spreading the floor around Gobert, and frontcourt spacing has become that much more important with Donovan Mitchell’s belly-flopping efficiency.”
— Morning Journal Sports (@MJournalSports) January 5, 2019
Kevin Love could form his new “Big Three” in Utah with Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. Aside from being a reliable scoring option, the 30-year-old power forward will give the Jazz a big man who has the ability to space the floor. Last season, Love averaged 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds on 45.8 percent shooting from the field and 41.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Based on his performance earlier in the 2018-19 NBA season, Love is undeniably better off teaming up with other NBA superstars than serving as the team’s main guy.
To acquire Kevin Love, Favale suggested that the Jazz could engage in a three-team trade with the Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Clippers. In the proposed trade deal, the Cavaliers will receive Grayson Allen, Marcin Gortat, Jerome Robinson, a 2019 first-round pick, and a 2019 second-round pick, the Jazz will acquire Kevin Love and Milos Teodosic, and the Clippers will get Derrick Favors, David Nwaba, and Thabo Sefolosha.
The deal will not only be beneficial for the Jazz but also for the Clippers and the Cavaliers. In exchange for their lone superstar, the Cavaliers will get young players and future draft picks that could help them speed up the rebuilding process. Meanwhile, the potential acquisitions of Derrick Favors, David Nwaba, and Thabo Sefolosha will help the Clippers become a more competitive team in the deep Western Conference this season.