When they lost LeBron James in the recent free agency, Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman insisted that they have no intention of undergoing a full-scale rebuild. Their decision to give Kevin Love a massive contract extension showed that the Cavaliers still wanted to defend their title as Eastern Conference champions in the 2018-19 NBA season. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as the Cavaliers expected.
As of now, the Cavaliers are on an 11-game losing streak and currently the worst NBA team in the Eastern Conference. Despite saying that they have no plan of trading Kevin Love, most people are expecting the All-Star forward to be moved before the February NBA trade deadline. With his massive contract extension that is set to kick in next season, multiple executives around the league believe that finding a trade partner for Love will be “challenging.”
According to Ken Berger of Bleacher Report, a “contending team that isn’t afraid to take chances” may consider inquiring about Kevin Love’s availability via trade once he becomes trade-eligible and proves that he’s 100 percent healthy. If the Cavaliers won’t demand much in return for their lone superstar, one league executive believes that trading for Love makes sense for both the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets.
“The Thunder already have committed to being a tax team, and they have a defined window to get the most out of Russell Westbrook and Paul George. Adding to the intrigue, Westbrook and Love were teammates at UCLA. The Thunder also have a defensive-minded center, Steven Adams, which could make it easier to hide Love defensively at power forward.”
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 10, 2019
Despite failing to live up to expectations as the Cavaliers’ main man, Kevin Love will still be a great addition to the Thunder, who need additional star power to dethrone the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors. Love will give the Thunder a third scoring option behind Russell Westbrook and Paul George and a big man who can knock down three-pointers. After spending three seasons playing alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, Love won’t have a hard time sharing the court with Westbrook and George in Oklahoma City.
The same thing with the Rockets where he could form Houston’s “Big Three” with Chris Paul and James Harden. Pairing Kevin Love with Clint Capela in their frontcourt will enable the Rockets to hide the All-Star forward’s defensive issues. With his ability to space the floor, Love will be a nice fit to Rockets Head Coach Mike D’Antoni’s pace-and-space offense.